ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will unveil the Solar Bears’ new game jerseys at The Abbey in Downtown Orlando tonight at 6:00 p.m.
SP Apparel, an official ECHL licensee based in Granby, Quebec, Canada, designed the game jerseys. Joe Bosack Graphic Design, based in Pottsville, PA, designed the team’s logos. The home jersey is white with purple and teal trim, and it includes a unique side design. The road jersey is purple with white and teal trim; it features the primary Solar Bears logo (the team mascot, Shades, holding his stick across his shoulders). The Orlando Solar Bears will wear their white jerseys for home games at the Amway Center during the first half of the 2012-13 season. The team will sport their purple jerseys for home games at the Amway Center during the second half of the season. The “Out of Hibernation” season will start in mid-October. Replica jerseys and a selection of Solar Bears merchandise can be purchased online at www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com later this week.
“SP Apparel has designed jerseys that our players and fans will be proud to wear. The response from the 200-plus fans and local celebrities who took part in our pre-unveiling photo shoot was overwhelmingly positive,” explained Jason Siegel, President of the Orlando Solar Bears.
The Solar Bears will reach back into their past to introduce their jerseys. Solar Bears alumni goalie Allan Bester and left wing Bob Joyce will present the home and road jerseys. They will be introduced to the stage by the PA voice of the Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning, Paul Porter.
“Allan and Bob had long, distinguished hockey careers playing in the National Hockey League and with the IHL team here in Orlando,” said Siegel. “When their hockey careers ended, they made Orlando their permanent home and we welcome them and all Solar Bears alumni as part of our team. We are honored to have them join us tonight to welcome a new era for the Orlando Solar Bears.”
In addition, the Solar Bears will introduce five-year-old Jayden Belinger, the winner of their “Face of the Solar Bears” contest. Belinger was selected from more than 200 fans who had audition photos taken last week at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den. Belinger, an additional 14 finalists, and a number of local celebrities, including Mayor Dyer and Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson, will be featured in a multimedia advertising campaign that starts tomorrow and focuses on driving season ticket sales.All of the individuals who had their pictures taken at the RDV Sportsplex last week can view their photos on the Solar Bears’ Facebook page, beginning April 11.
The Solar Bears are preparing for their “Select-a-Seat” Open House event at the Amway Center on Saturday, April 21.
“The response to the return of the Solar Bears has been phenomenal,” exclaimed Siegel. “On April 21, we will host a private Open House event at the Amway Center for all individuals who have placed a deposit for season tickets. The venue will be configured in the Solar Bears’ hockey setup and our fans will be able to view the sightlines from every seat in the house. In addition, fans can test their skills at the Solar Bears’ 18-foot- tall Slapshot Cage, take tours of the Solar Bears’ locker room, and have the opportunity to win prizes. We invite those who haven’t placed their deposits to do so at our website: www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com.”
The Orlando Solar Bears are “Out of Hibernation” and begin play in October 2012, as members of the ECHL. The Orlando Solar Bears are committed to bringing quality entertainment to the Greater Orlando community at family-affordable prices, providing unparalleled customer service. Our NHL affiliation and head coach will be announced in the upcoming months.
Notes:Allan Bester is a veteran of 219 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Dallas Stars. He tended goal for the Solar Bears from 1995-98 and registered 82 wins in 138 games. The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted him in the third round in 1983. Allan’s hometown is Hamilton, Ontario, and he resides in Orlando with his wife, Kim. He currently serves as Sales Manager for Royal Plaza in the Walt Disney Resort.
Bob Joyce is a veteran of 158 NHL games with the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals. He played in 131 games for the Orlando Solar Bears during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, scoring 66 points (22 goals and 44 assists) with 179 PIM (penalty minutes). Prior to being drafted in the fourth round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, Bob was a star with the perennial college powerhouse, the University of North Dakota (1984-1987). He resides in Maitland with his wife, son, and daughter. He is currently the Director of Flight Operations at Aerosim Flight Academy
Jayden Belinger, five, hails from Sanford, FL, and is currently attending pre-K. She lives with her parents, Cindy and Tim, and three sisters. Belinger enjoys swimming and riding her bike, and is very excited about attending Solar Bears games!