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Solar Bears to Bid on 2015 ECHL All-Star Game

January 3, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) - Orlando Solar Bears News Release

Orlando, FL - On January 22 and 23, the Colorado Eagles and Loveland, Colorado, will host the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game and ECHL mid-season meetings. During those League meetings, the ownership group for the Orlando Solar Bears has announced that they will notify the ECHL Board of Governors that they will submit a bid this summer to host the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game during the League's 27th season.

"Orlando's ownership and staff has done a tremendous job in the team's first season, averaging over 6,500 fans per game to rank third in the ECHL. The League looks forward to receiving the Solar Bears' bid to bring our showcase event to Central Florida in 2015," said Commissioner Brian McKenna.

"With an award winning facility and the tremendous support of our local community, season ticket holders, corporate sponsors and growing fan base here in Orlando, we will make a compelling bid to host one of our League signature events, the 2015 All-Star Game," said team President and Alternate Governor, Jason Siegel. "We will spend the next three months assembling a group of community leaders and partners to help us present what we believe will be a winning bid to the ECHL Board of Governors in June."

"We built the award-winning Amway Center to host national and international events with a vast array of fan amenities which makes Orlando the ideal place to host the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "In just their first season, the Orlando Solar Bears have already become an integral part of our city and hosting the ECHL All-Star game would be good for the Solar Bears and all of Central Florida."

"What a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Amway Center and Central Florida to hockey fans throughout the country as we continue to draw more and more fans to downtown Orlando," said Solar Bears COO, Bob Ohrablo.

Nick Petersen becomes the first player in Solar Bears history to be selected to the ECHL All-Star Game

The Wakefield, Quebec, native has played in 22 games for Orlando this season, scoring 12 goals and adding 14 assists for 26 points. Petersen notched the first hat trick for the Solar Bears against the South Carolina Stingrays on October 25, and leads Orlando in goals while being tied for first in points. He is currently on recall to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, where he has scored one goal and added one assist in six games.

The ECHL All-Star Game

More than 50 players from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 39 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level. The game has been available on the NHL Network the last nine years 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.

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 game has been available on the NHL Network the last nine years 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.

The ECHL is currently in the middle of its 25th season of play, and is the third longest tenured professional hockey league behind on the American Hockey League (AHL) and National Hockey League (NHL). The league has seen 298 players reach the NHL since 2003, when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and AHL. The league had a record 81 former players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, and was represented for the 12th season in a row on the Stanley Cup in 2012 with Los Angeles Kings players Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, and Jonathan Quick. Quick would also win the Conn Smyth Trophy for playoff MVP, becoming the second-straight former ECHL player to win that award (Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins won the award in 2011).

The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and AHL's Houston Aeros, play all of their home games at the 2012 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year, the Amway Center.

Individual tickets for all regular season home games are on sale beginning as low as $15. To purchase your tickets, please visit www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com or the Amway Center Box Office.

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