ORLANDO, FL – 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.
SOURCE | Orlando Magic