Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orlando Solar Bears are Back!

I am pretty excited to see another former IHL team hitting the ice next season. Back in 2000, the Orlando Solar Bears won the final IHL Turner Cup before the league folded, with 6 of its teams continuing on to play in the AHL. I can't wait to see what their updated logo looks like once it is unveiled.  Below is the press release announcing the team.

City of Orlando Welcomes Home the Orlando Solar Bears. When the Orlando Solar Bears last skated off the ice 10 years ago, they carried the IHL’s final Turner Cup. Today owners of the Orlando ECHL team (Joe Haleski, Jason Siegel and Bob Ohrablo) were joined by City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Magic President Alex Martins, Executive Director of Orlando Venues Allen Johnson, and ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna, to announce that the team will be named the Orlando Solar Bears.

“The Solar Bears were a strong part of our community and it is with open arms that we welcome them back to Orlando,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “The new Amway Center was designed with the goal of housing a hockey team and features amenities specific to hockey. We look forward to showcasing our new state-of-the-art Amway Center to hockey fans here in Central Florida and giving them an experience they will never forget.”

ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer “The Orlando Solar Bears are coming out of hibernation,” said Bob Ohrablo, Chief Operating Officer/Managing Partner of Orlando Pro Hockey Operations, L.P.  “We are honored to bring the Solar Bears back to Orlando. Once the ECHL announced that we were awarded an expansion franchise, fans from throughout Central Florida made it clear to us to what the team’s name should be.  We want to continue the proud tradition established by the DeVos family.”

The Orlando Solar Bears, owned by RDV Sports, competed in the International Hockey League from 1995-2001.  In their six seasons, the Solar Bears won three Conference Championships and in 2000-2001 won the IHL championship trophy – the Turner Cup.  It was the last Turner Cup ever awarded.

"On behalf of the Orlando Magic family, we welcome Orlando Pro Hockey to Central Florida.  We are excited that we have formed a partnership with Orlando Pro Hockey that will enable them to revive the tradition of pro hockey established here by our organization in the past,” remarked Orlando Magic President Alex Martins.   

“On behalf of the ECHL Board of Governors, I am pleased to welcome the Orlando Solar Bears to the ECHL. Orlando is a dynamic city,” said McKenna. “That, combined with a world-class facility in theAmway Center and an experienced and enthusiastic ownership group, create a very positive outlook for the future of hockey in Orlando.”

“We are looking forward to bringing another family affordable entertainment option to Orlando and we are pleased with the initial response,” said Jason Siegel, President/Managing Partner.  “We anticipate that at least 60% of our lower bowl seats will be priced at $15 and under.  So far more than 700 season ticket deposits/information requests have come in through our website since the ECHL announced the approval of the expansion franchise two weeks ago.  We urge fans to visit our website and place a deposit. ”          

The Orlando Solar Bears will begin play at the Amway Center in October 2012.  Fans will be able to obtain ticket plan information by by filling out the form to the right. Season tickets plans will range in price from $195-$1350 per season seat.  Full and half season ticket plans will be available.

The team will unveil its’ team logos and jersey designs, announce its NHL and AHL affiliations, and introduce its coaching staff over the next 6-8 months.  The team has retained The Joe Bosack Graphic Design Company ( to design its primary and secondary logos along with new jersey designs and wordmarks.  Joe Bosack designed the Colorado Avalanche logo and a number of current ECHL team marks.

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