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CNBC's Rovell: Orlando Magic Offer Refunds After Coach Withdraws

Billy Donovan
John Raoux
Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan or your money back.

That's what the Orlando Magic are telling new season ticket holders on Monday.

The team promoted Donovan's coming to the Magic as head coach to some people who eventually became season ticket holders. But several lawyers told CNBC that they believed the Magic weren't legally obligated to offer refunds after Donovan backed out. Those fans spent an average of about $40 per game, or $1,800 on the season.

Magic spokesman Joel Glass told CNBC that the team was in the process of contacting each of the new season ticket holders to find out if they would like to back out.

"So far we've had some people who said they are going to stick with us and others have said they will wait until free agency," said Glass, who noted that he didn't know of anyone who elected to cancel.

In the hours before and after the University of Florida head basketball coach was announced as the team's new head coach on June 4, Magic officials said that they had sold 200 new season ticket packages.

Although Donovan had signed the five-year, $27.5 million contract, he almost immediately expressed a desire to return to Gators, who won back-to-back NCAA titles under his watch. Donovan was released from his contract on June 7 with no penalty, with the provision that he did not take an NBA head coaching job in the next five years.


Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for CNBC, can be reached at sportsbiz@cnbc.com. For more on this and other sports business news, check out his blog.