Orlando Magic D-League affiliate moving to Lakeland, team begins play in 2017-18 season

Posted at 9:24 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 09:24:07-05

Professional basketball is coming to Lakeland. 

The Orlando Magic have agreed to purchase the Erie Bayhawks and they are moving them to Lakeland, Florida. The team will begin play during the 2017-2018 season. 

The Orlando Magic is now the 17th NBA team to own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate. 

The NBA D-League season is made up of 50 regular-season games, plus a post season and runs from November to April. 

According to a press release, there will be future development of a practice facility in Winter Haven. 

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The team will play at the Lakeland Center. Get more info here

Season ticket deposits for the first season are being accepted by calling 407-447-2210.

“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 and D-League Team Managing Partner 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.”

“Today's announcement not only shows the continued growth of the NBA D-League but also enables the Magic to develop players close to home and provides fans in Central Florida the opportunity to watch top NBA prospects compete,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner.  “I’m thrilled to welcome the Magic as NBA D-League owners, and I want to thank Steve Demetriou and Owen McCormick for their leadership in Erie.”

“Things happen in a city which can profoundly change for the better that city’s future,” said City of Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs.  “Lakeland now has professional basketball and we are excited. This is a great example that Lakeland has a bright future and we are glad to be partnering with such a quality organization like the Orlando Magic.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity Lakeland has to host the Orlando Magic D-League franchise,” said Lakeland City Manager Tony Delgado. “This activity will continue the legacy of our great facility that has been host to many wonderful events over the years.”

“The Lakeland Center is thrilled to welcome the NBA D-League to Polk County,“ said The Lakeland Center Executive Director Tony Camarillo. “It was a focused effort that involved many members from all over the community.  Bringing professional basketball to Lakeland will not only continue to increase the sports and entertainment options available to this thriving community, but it joins the ranks of other prestigious events that The Lakeland Center is honored to host, making Lakeland, Florida, a premiere destination for sports and entertainment in Central Florida.”