The Orlando Magic are the only professional sports team in Central Florida. Okay, there are other pro teams in the area, but none with the pedigree of the Magic.
So it kind of came as a shock on Wednesday when readers of the local alternative newspaper Orlando Weekly ranked the team as the third-best pro team in the Orlando area, trailing Orlando City FC and the UCF Knights. The dip in fan support is not only shown in the rankings of an alternative paper though. Attendance is also slipping too. Orlando was at the bottom third in attendance per game last season, and this, combined with their standing in the community, means that fans are getting tired of the losing.
To his credit, Rob Hennigan is doing all he can to change the atmosphere. He is turning over the keys to the team to his young, dynamic nucleus, and has added veterans to help guide the youngsters and win more basketball games.
The Magic will certainly be more exciting next year, but will that translate into winning? Magic fans have had to swallow two straight years or deplorable basketball after a four-year run in which Orlando was among the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando fans are loyal, but they want to see a winner on the court. That is the only way fans will flock back to the Amway Center, and back to the television sets. Orlando fans are hungry, and it’s time to give the people what they want.