Orlando Magic Reportedly Lay off 31 Employees amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Orlando Magic Reportedly Lay off 31 Employees amid Coronavirus Pandemic
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An exterior view of the Amway Center arena, home of the Orlando Magic, prior to an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

John Raoux/Associated Press

The Orlando Magic laid off 31 full-time employees Friday, nearly 10 percent of the organization’s overall staff, as the result of a “dramatic loss of revenue” due to the coronavirus pandemic, per Josh Robbins and Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Magic CEO Alex Martins confirmed a staff reduction in a statement, though the team did not give an exact number: 

“Our business, as well as many others like us, are significantly impacted due to COVID-19. We have had to make some very difficult business decisions in these unprecedented times. Due to this reality we have had to make the very hard decision to evaluate our overall structure, reorganize and reduce our headcount.

“For an organization like ours, whose mission is centered around our people, and creating the best work environment possible, grounded in family values, this is a very difficult situation to confront, and it will be even more difficult for our colleagues who will be leaving us. Please know that we do not take this decision lightly, and although most difficult for our colleagues that we must say goodbye to, please know that this is a decision that is very difficult for our organization as well. This is not the fault of any specific individual that we must part with today, this decision is purely about becoming more efficient in a post COVID-19 environment, and the requirement to be more efficient in this unknown future that we find ourselves faced with.”

The Athletic noted the team has also eliminated 16 positions that were unoccupied. 

The DeVos family owns the majority of the team and has a reported net worth of $5.4 billion as of 2018, per Forbes. Ownership, including the DeVos family, and Magic players alike previously announced a $2 million fund for the nearly 1,800 hourly workers at Amway Center after the season was placed on hiatus March 11. 

Orlando had 10 home games remaining at the time, and though the team will take part in the NBA’s restart later this month, individual franchises are bracing for overall revenue reductions. 

“To those who we must say goodbye to, we have provided very fair severance, health care benefits continuance, outplacement services and wellness consultation,” Martins said. “We thank all those who are leaving us from the bottom of our hearts, for their dedication, work and compassion that they gave to the Magic organization.”

This is the second time in the last decade a loss of games has required the Magic to lay off employees after 20 staffers and 12 unoccupied positions were cut during the 2011 lockout.