On Wednesday, the Orlando Magic announced they will purchase the Erie BayHawks and relocate the team to Lakeland beginning in the 2017-18 season. With the purchase, the Magic become the 17th NBA team to own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate.
The team will play their 24 games at the Lakeland Center.
“When we started this process, our goal was to have our Development League team closer to home and the perfect fit for us was the City of Lakeland,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “Having our D-League team in Lakeland gives us the best opportunity, not only to continue developing our young players, but to extend the Orlando Magic brand across Central Florida.”
The Magic also announced that Shelly Wilkes has been named the team’s president, and Steve Demetriou and Martins will be joining as minority partners in the ownership of the team.
The anticipated relocation of the NBA Development League team also includes the future development of a practice facility in nearby Winter Haven.