The ECHL announced on Wednesday that the Orlando Solar Bears have been selected to host the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game.
The Solar Bears completed their first season in the ECHL in 2012-13, finishing third in the League with an average of 6,668 fans per game, and had seven crowds of over 8,500 fans.
Orlando plays its home games at Amway Center, which is also home to the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association, located in downtown Orlando. Opened in the fall of 2010, the facility is owned and operated by the City of Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida Community. The Amway Center was designed to reflect the character of the community, meet the goals of the users and build on the legacy of sports and entertainment in Orlando. The building features a sustainable, environmentally-friendly design and unmatched technology featuring 1,100 digital monitors and the largest high-definition scoreboard in an NBA venue, and multiple premium amenities available to all patrons in the building.
“We all know the city of Orlando is a great winter destination,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “Couple that with a world-class arena and the strong following the Solar Bears have developed and we have a perfect location for our 2015 All-Star Classic. We are pleased to bring our flagship event to Orlando in January 2015.”
“The selection of Orlando to host the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game is another testament to our community’s ability to host top-tier sporting events,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The ECHL All-Star Game will further showcase our hometown hockey team, the Orlando Solar Bears, and a fan experience like no other at our state-of-the-art Amway Center.”
“On behalf of our ownership team, staff, season ticket holders, sponsors, fans and the Orlando community, we want to thank the ECHL Board of Governors for their vote of confidence in our ability to host one of the League’s signature events,” said Solar Bears Managing Partner and CEO Jason Siegel. “This would not have been possible without the pledged support from Visit Orlando (presenting sponsor of the Game), the City of Orlando and Mayor Dyer, Amway Center, the Downtown Development Board, the Central Florida Sports Commission and Levy Restaurants.”
“We are delighted to be the presenting sponsor of the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game,” said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “We look forward to continuing to partner with the Solar Bears, the City of Orlando and the Amway Center team to enhance the fan experience and maximize visitation for the game while leveraging the week’s events to heighten exposure for our destination.”
The annual midseason showcase is attended by representatives from the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League and it has produced more than 60 players who have gone on to play in the NHL including 45 since 2002 when the format was changed to feature younger prospects.
The past nine ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The All-Star festivities will also include the official induction ceremony for the eighth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame.
The previous nine games have been available on the NHL Network as well as being broadcast on multiple regional networks. The audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.