San Francisco Bulls

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San Francisco Bulls
SanFranciscoBulls.svg
City Daly City, California
League ECHL
Conference Western
Division Pacific
Founded 2011
Home arena Cow Palace
Colors Old Gold, Orange, Black, White
                   
Owner(s) Pat and Elouise Curcio (Utah Sports Management)
Angela Batinovich
Shmuel Farhi (Farhi Holdings)
Peter Higley (Pickle Barrel)
General manager Pat Curcio
Head coach Pat Curcio
Media San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner
Comcast Hometown Network
KNBR
Affiliates San Jose Sharks (NHL)
Worcester Sharks (AHL)
Franchise history
2012-2014 San Francisco Bulls

The San Francisco Bulls were a professional minor ice hockey team of the ECHL located in Daly City, California, serving the San Francisco Bay Area market. They were an affiliate to the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League and the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.

History

Goaltender Thomas Heemskerk on November 10, 2012 at the Cow Palace

Beginning with the 2012–13 season, the Bulls played their home games at the Cow Palace (former home of their NHL affiliate, the San Jose Sharks), which is right on the Daly City/San Francisco border. To accommodate the Bulls, the team spent $2 million installing a new ice system and a custom-made 360-degree wraparound LED video scoreboard with its game presentation system and ten sets of speaker arrays. The center hung video board has a 360 degree view for game presentation and full timekeeping and statistics. The new Colosseo Cube scoreboard had to be custom built by Colosseo USA because of the weight limitations on the 71-year-old building's roof. The Cow Palace made steel support beams and installed them in the rafters to help provide the additional support.1

On July 11, 2012, the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks announced that they had entered into an affiliation agreement with the Bulls.2 The Bulls were the first ice hockey team to represent San Francisco since the San Francisco Spiders of the International Hockey League played only the 1995-96 season before folding.34 The team made its debut on October 12, 2012 with a 4-3 loss to the Bakersfield Condors in front of a capacity crowd of 8,277 at the Cow Palace. They finished the regular season eighth in the Western Conference with 25 wins, 38 losses, 2 overtime losses, and 7 shootout losses, falling four games to one to the top-seeded Alaska Aces in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.

Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Minnesota Wild forward Torrey Mitchell, who was a former San Jose Shark, signed a standard contract with the Bulls on December 31, 2012.5 He played his first official game as a Bull two days later and scored the only regulation goal for the team in a 2-1 shootout loss at home.6

On January 20, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Bulls might fold or move the next week.7 The team folded on January 27, 2014.8 At the time of their folding, the Bulls were eighth in the Western Conference with 15 wins, 20 losses, 4 overtime losses, and 1 shootout loss, and had a next-to-last attendance average of 2,292 fans per game (eclipsing only the Wheeling Nailers). San Francisco was the third team in ECHL history to fold mid-season after the Augusta Lynx and Fresno Falcons, both of which folded during the 2008–09 season.

References

  1. ^ Randy, Thompson. "Bulls Unveil Multi-Million dollar improvements". Pro Hockey News. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Press release (July 11, 2012). "Sharks announce affiliation with ECHL's San Francisco Bulls". San Jose Sharks. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Staff report (September 20, 2011). "Minor league hockey team coming to San Francisco". San Francisco Examiner. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Pro hockey returns to San Francisco after more than 15 years". San Francisco Chronicle (Press release). November 29, 2011. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Bulls Sign Former Sharks Fan Favorite Torrey Mitchell". San Francisco Bulls Pro Hockey. December 31, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Torrey Mitchell Scores in Bulls Debut, a 2-1 Shootout Loss to Colorado". San Francisco Bulls Pro Hockey. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ Slusser, Susan (January 20, 2014). "SF Bulls to fold or move as soon as next week". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ Lerseth, Mike (January 27, 2014). "San Francisco Bulls hockey team ceases operations". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 

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