SF Bulls fold after relocation plans fizzle

Sad news for the Bay Area hockey committee as reports surface that the San Francisco Bulls hockey team has been forced to cease operations halfway through its second season.

Last week, the Bulls were granted an extension to negotiate with potential buyers to keep the team afloat, if not at the Cow Palace for the remainder of the season.

But early Monday afternoon, the team sent an email to season ticket holders and loyal fans confirming the worst: That the team, in its second season as the San Jose Sharks ECHL affiliate, would not carry out the rest of the season as hoped.

There was no immediate response from the ECHL or the team, but the Bulls front office did send out a release later Monday afternoon, including this message from Bulls head coach Pat Curcio:

“We want to thank all of our fans for your support and loyalty over the last two seasons. … It’s been such a memorable time here with you in San Francisco, and we’ve especially appreciated all of your positive feedback over the past week.”

Ticket holders and those who signed a recent petition on change.org received the following email:

To the SF Bulls Ticket Holders,

We regret to inform you that the SF Bulls are ceasing operations, effective immediately. The team was hoping to secure new ownership, however the terms of an updated deal were unable to be finalized, cancelling the remainder of the season.

We want to thank all of our loyal season ticket and mini plan holders over the last two seasons. It’s been such a memorable time here with you in San Francisco, and we’ve especially appreciated all of your positive feedback over the past week. Thank you to those who went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed in the Bay Area, especially the members of the Matadors and Stampede. The entire organization is grateful.

We had a great opportunity come to us that would’ve kept the Bulls in San Francisco at least through the end of the 2014 season, with potential for future seasons, but we ran out of time to complete all ends of the deal. At this point, the best thing to do financially is to reluctantly end the season. We will miss playing here, miss our fans, and miss this city.

Bringing hockey to San Francisco was a dream; we have great talent on our team, and had a great vision for what the team could be. Things didn’t pan out the way we had hoped. It’s sad, and disconcerting, but we’re unfortunately left with no other choice at this point.

For fans that have already purchased tickets to upcoming games, the Bulls Office will take requests for refunds up until February 28. Season ticket holders and single game ticket holders can contact their ticket reps for more information at admin@sfbulls.com.


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