The ECHL announced on Wednesday that the League’s Board of Governors has approved a Transfer of Controlling Interest of the Orlando Solar Bears from Orlando Pro Hockey Operations, LLC, an entity controlled by Joe Haleski, to Orlando Solar Bears, LLC, an entity controlled by the DeVos family and the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association.
“We are excited and grateful the DeVos family has purchased the Solar Bears to continue to grow the brand and expand the growth of the sport in central Florida,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “A track record of successfully operating professional sports franchises, an in-depth knowledge of the Orlando sports environment and as creators of the original Solar Bears brand, the Orlando Magic and the DeVos family are the ideal owners for the professional hockey team.”
“The ECHL would like to express its thanks to outgoing owner Joe Haleski for his efforts in bringing the Solar Bears back to Orlando and for his support over the last five seasons,” McKenna said.
“We are thrilled to purchase the Solar Bears, giving the team the opportunity to continue to play in Orlando,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “The Solar Bears’ fan base has been outstanding and we look forward to an exciting future.”
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 29th season in 2016-17. There have been 623 players who have started their career in the ECHL who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 24 who made their NHL debuts in the 2016-17 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2016-17, marking the 20th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.