The Orlando Solar Bears have entered into a three-year affiliation agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Solar Bears will serve as the Lightning’s primary ECHL affiliate starting with the 2018-19 season.
“We are extremely happy to welcome the Orlando Solar Bears into the Lightning organization today,” Lighting vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman said. “The Solar Bears organization has demonstrated a strong commitment to success that has paid off with numerous playoff appearances. We look forward to being a part of their future accomplishments while also developing our prospects in a world-class environment.”
“We are incredibly excited for this new partnership affiliation with the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic, owners of the Solar Bears. “The Lightning is a first-class organization with tremendous values and vision and we feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to be a part of their hockey family.”
The Lightning will play a preseason game against the Florida Panthers at Amway Center in Orlando on Thursday, September 27. Tickets for the game will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, August 23 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com.
The Solar Bears are members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America, and have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in four of six seasons. The Solar Bears will open its seventh season of ECHL competition on Saturday, Oct. 13 against the Atlanta Gladiators at 7 p.m. at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center.