The ECHL announced Thursday that the Orlando Solar Bears were awarded the 2012-13 ECHL Award of Excellence at the ECHL League Meetings held in Las Vegas.

The award recognizes the ECHL organization that best executes a well-rounded business plan including, but not limited to, sales, marketing, media relations and merchandising while also distinguishing themselves in their community, on and off the ice. The Solar Bears finished third in attendance during the 2012-13 season, led the league in jersey sales, and participated in over 100 community events.

"The Solar Bears certainly set the bar high in their first year of operation," said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. "Their impact on the Orlando market was recognized by the other Members of the ECHL in selecting them for this well-deserved award."
In addition to the ECHL Award of Excellence, the Solar Bears were finalists for three separate awards. The team finished as a finalist for Ticket Staff of the Year, Solar Bears Managing Partner and CEO Jason Siegel was a finalist for Executive of the Year, and Director of Public Relations and Broadcasting Bob Mills was a finalist for Broadcaster of the Year after winning the award for the 2011-12 season.

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