Orlando, FL - The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL, the City of Orlando, and Visit Orlando announced plans for a week of events surrounding the 2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando. The Solar Bears will face-off against a team of All-Stars selected from the other ECHL clubs on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.
The week-long schedule of events begins with the Orlando Youth Hockey/Martin Luther King Day Tournament at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den, starting on Friday, January 16th, and running through Monday, January 19th. More than 50 youth hockey teams from across the US and Canada will travel to Central Florida for the Tournament.
The ECHL All-Star Fan Fest with player appearances, interactive game, prizes, giveaways, auctions, memorabilia, and a special Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit will be held on All-Star Tuesday, January 20th. On All-Star Wednesday, January 21st, the day's events include the All-Star Open Practice at Amway Center, the ECHL Hall of Fame Luncheon, and the 2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando. Select ECHL Skills competitions will be held the same night and will be incorporated into the evening's events. Specific event details will be provided in the future.
"We all know the city of Orlando is a great 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 Solar Bears were third in ECHL attendance, drawing more than 240,000 fans to the Amway Center.
"We would not have secured this great win for our community without the leadership support exhibited by the City of Orlando and Visit Orlando," said Solar Bears Managing Partner and CEO Jason Siegel. "We have assembled a tremendous group of community leaders to form our Local Organizing Committee (listed below) and we look forward to a successful week of events."
"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."
"We are delighted to be the presenting sponsor of the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game," said Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel. "We look forward to continuing to partner with the Solar Bears, the City of Orlando, and the Amway Center to enhance the fan experience and maximize attendance at the game, while leveraging the week's events to heighten exposure for our destination."
The format of the All-Star Classic features the Orlando Solar Bears battling a team of All-Stars selected from the other ECHL clubs. This format has been adopted in the ECHL on three separate occasions, with the Charlotte Checkers earning a 7-6 victory over the ECHL All-Stars in 1997, the All-Stars taking down the Bakersfield Condors 9-3 in 2011, and last season's 2013 All-Star Classic that saw the Colorado Eagles fall to the All-Stars 7-3. The first ECHL All-Star Classic was held in Wheeling, WV, in 1993, with an East vs. West format.
Previous All-Star Games have generated millions of dollars for the local economy as guests, players, coaches, and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend several days in the host city. Past ECHL All-Star Games have been available live to millions of households on the NHL Network, as well as broadcast on multiple regional networks and satellite radio.
The logo for the 2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando was created by the Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co. They were also responsible for designing the primary and secondary logos for the Orlando Solar Bears. In addition, CCM will provide the All-Star game jerseys which will be designed by one lucky winner of the ECHL All-Star Jersey Design Contest.
The ECHL celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. The league began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 22 teams in 15 states in 2013-14, and officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003. A total of 512 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL. A record 87 ECHL alumni were on NHL opening-day rosters in 2012-13 and the League had affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams at the start of last season.
The Downtown Development Board, Orlando Venues, Central Florida Sports Commission, and Levy Restaurants have joined the City of Orlando and Visit Orlando as 2015 All-Star Classic corporate partners. Sponsorships for specific events are still available, call 407-951-8200 for more information.
2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Visit Orlando - Local Organizing Committee:
- Jean-Claude Bergeron - CCM
- John Bisignano - Central Florida Sports Commission
- Erik Genrich - CenturyLink
- Doug Taylor - Church Street Entertainment
- Craig Swygert - Clear Channel Outdoor
- Bruce Stone - Clear Channel Radio
- Thomas C. Chatmon, Jr. - Downtown Development Board
- Ryan Crelin - ECHL
- Paul Mears - Mears Transportation
- Dianne Owen - Fairwinds Credit Union
- Bob Johnston - Florida Distributing
- David Cassidy - Florida Hospital
- Josh Mora - Full Sail
- Andrae Bailey - Impact Homelessness
- Joe Bosack - The Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co.
- Jim Breig & Luis Rivera - Levy Restaurants
- Skip Valet - Local 6
- Heather Fagan - City of Orlando/Mayor Dyer's Office
- Karl Droppers - MVP Sports/RDV Sportsplex
- Eric Ushkowitz - Orange County Government
- Jerry Demings - Orange County Sherriff's Office
- Martin Lewis - Orlando Business Journal
- Phil Rawlins - Orlando City Soccer
- John Miller - Orlando Fire Department
- Paul Rooney - Orlando Police Department
- Michael Caires - Orlando Sanford International Airport
- Allen Johnson - Orlando Venues
- Louis DiPaolo - OYHA
- Joseph Meterchick - PNC
- Geoff Lemasters - Sheraton
- Kelly Cohen - Southern Strategy Group
- Rick Ninko - Space Coast Iceplex
- Wendy Connor - TRUE Marketing
- Scott Burkstein - UCF
- Danielle Courtenay - Visit Orlando
- Marlin Hutchens - Walgreens
Todd Souders - Wawa