The Orlando Magic acknowledged Saturday the organization has laid off 31 full-time employees from a staff of about 300 workers.
Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement the franchise, like many organizations across the country, had to take cost-cutting measures due to the adverse financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The layoffs were first reported by The Athletic.
“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,” Martins wrote.
“Throughout our evaluation process, our top priority has been to preserve as many jobs as possible. We regret to confirm that the jobs of several of our colleagues have been eliminated, due to an organizational restructure and reduction in staff.”
One person impacted by the cuts is Magic.com writer John Denton, who had been with the Magic 10 years after 13 years with Florida Today. Denton posted a note to his Twitter feed about the news:
“As many have likely heard, the @OrlandoMagic laid off a chunk of their staff on [Friday] because of cutbacks related to the coronavirus. I, unfortunately, was one of those cuts. While I’m saddened, I will value my time with the Magic, a stellar organization with many great people.
“... I want to thank the fans who read my Magic stories over the last 23 years — 13 with Florida Today & 10 while working for the Magic. It’s been a great run, filled with so many tremendous memories, but I am far from done. Hopefully the future will allow me to continue writing.”
Martins’ statement went on to read:
“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.
“We will continue to work hard everyday in our community to make a positive impact on our Central Florida community in which we live, work and play, as we become leaner and more impactful.”
”To those who we must say goodbye to, we have provided very fair severance, health care benefits continuance, outplacement services and wellness consultation. 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.”
In mid-March, the Magic ownership group — the DeVos family — funded a $2 million compensation package to pay 1,800 hourly workers for the Magic, Amway Center, Lakeland Magic and Orlando Solar Bears for remaining regular-season games those part-time employees otherwise would have worked.
The Magic players also pooled together donations in support of hourly workers, providing assistance in addition to the funds provided by the DeVos family.
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This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Chris Hays at email@example.com.
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