Orlando Magic, DeVos family to purchase ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic and DeVos family will purchase the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, CEO Alex Martins announced today. They will continue to play in the Amway Center for the 2017-18 season.
“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.”
“We are excited and grateful the DeVos family has agreed to purchase 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.”
From 1995-2001, the DeVos family owned and operated the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League (IHL). During their six seasons of existence, the Solar Bears captured one division title (Central Division, 1995-96), three Eastern Conference crowns (1996, 1999, 2001) and the IHL’s Turner Cup championship in 2000-01. Orlando compiled an all-time regular season record of 286-162-44 (.626), the best in the league over that time frame. The IHL ceased operations following the 2000-01 campaign.
On November 1, 2011, the ECHL announced that the Board of Governors had unanimously approved the expansion membership application of Orlando for admission into the league. Starting play in the ECHL in 2012, the Solar Bears have compiled a regular season record of 177-142-22-19 (.549) and qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in three of their five seasons.
The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL) and Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL). For ticket information for the 2017-18 season, log on to OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com or call (407) 951-8200.
ABOUT THE ORLANDO MAGIC
Orlando’s NBA franchise since 1989, the Magic’s mission is to be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way. The Magic have seen great success in a relatively short history, winning five division championships (1995, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010) with seven 50-plus win seasons and capturing the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009. Off the court, on an annual basis, the Orlando Magic gives more than $2 million to the local community by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants. Orlando Magic community relations programs impact an estimated 100,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 7,000 volunteer hours annually. In addition, with major support from OMYF over the last 27 years, more than $22 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, which serves at-risk youth. Ticket highlights for the Magic’s 2017-18 season in the Amway Center, honored with TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year, include: 2,500 seats priced $20 or less, 8,000 seats priced $40 or less and 9,000 seats priced $50 or under. For ticket information log on to OrlandoMagic.com or call 407-89-MAGIC.
ABOUT THE ECHL
Beginning 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 27th season in 2016-17. There have been 623 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, 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.