Orlando won the right to host the 2015 ECHL All-Star game.
The Orlando Solar Bears, the city of Orlando and Visit Orlando worked on the bid and will jointly host the 2015 East Coast Hockey League All-Star game. The game will be played Jan. 21, 2015.
ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said it was an easy call to pick Orlando.
"They put togethr a terrific prpoposal," McKenna said. "What really impressed our board was the depth of the proposal."
He added it was rare to see business leaders, elected officials and community members lined up to support the all-star game 18 months before it is scheduled to be played in Orlando. McKenna said the Orlando group is about six months ahead of schedule.
"We would not have secured this great win for our community without the leadership support exhibited by the City of Orlando and Visit Orlando," Bears managing partner and CEO Jason Siegel said in a news release. "On behalf of our ownership team, staff, season ticket holders, sponsors and fans, we especially want to thank the ECHL board of governors for their vote of confidence in our ability to host one of the league's signature events."
The Solar Bears just completed their first season in the ECHL, ranking third in the league with an announced average attendance of 6,668 fans per contest. Seven Orlando games drew an announced crowd of more than 8,500 fans.
"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," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a news release. "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."
Visit Orlando president and CEO George Aguel added, "We are delighted to be the presenting sponsor of the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Solar Bears, the city of Orlando and the Amway Center team to enhance the fan experience and maximize visitation for the game while leveraging the week's events to heighten exposure for our destination."
While the Solar Bears and their partners have yet to announce events tied to the all-star game, McKenna said he sees the event as more than just a hockey game.
"The game is a very small aspect of the entire celebration," McKenna said. "We expect it is going to be a hockey fesitval."