Pro Hockey Returns to San Francisco After More Than 15 Years

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At the start of the 2012-2013 ECHL season, the newest member of the league, the San Francisco Bulls, will play at the Cow Palace.

Today, the ECHL Board of Governors announced that with the start of the 2012-2013 AA hockey season, the league’s newest member, The San Francisco Bulls, will call the Cow Palace home. The Bulls become the 21st team in the premiere ‘AA’ hockey league, which serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. The San Francisco team joins the Pacific Division of the ECHL, which includes the Bakersfield Condors, the Las Vegas Wranglers, Ontario Reign, and the Stockton Thunder.

The San Francisco Bulls are owned by a group of investors, led by Pat Curcio and his wife Elouise who have relocated to San Francisco from Salt Lake City, Utah. Curcio will serve as president, general manager and head coach for the San Francisco Bulls. He began coaching in 2001, working with teams including the Pickering Panthers, the London Knights, the Utah Grizzlies and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Curcio’s hockey career began in 1991. He spent 10 years playing professional hockey with the ECHL for the Dayton Bombers, the Charlotte Checkers and the Hunstville Blast. He then played in Europe for the Milan Devils, the Wedemark Scorpions, the Ravensburg EV, the Hannover Scorpions and the Bayreuth ESV. In 2009, Curcio organized the Euro Can Cup at London’s John Labatt Centre. The round-robin tournament pitted London Knights alumni against EHC Munich, Linz Black Wings and EV Zug, and raised more than $35,000 for the American and Canadian Spinal Cord Research’s Shoot for a Cure campaign.

"We are so excited and proud to provide professional hockey to the San Francisco Bay Area. The on ice product will be very entertaining and the Cow Palace is the perfect venue for our team,” explains Curcio.

“The Cow Palace is excited to host high quality, professional ice hockey again. It’s an iconic venue that is well suited for an enjoyable and convenient fan experience. The San Francisco Bulls will offer great family entertainment for the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Joe Barkett, chief executive officer of the Cow Palace.

PRESS CONFERENCE
The San Francisco Bulls Manager/GM/Head Coach Pat Curcio will host a press conference on September 27 at 1 p.m. at The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco, located at 345 Stockton Street. To register email blythe(at)sfbulls(dot)com

SEASON TICKETS
Season tickets go on sale October 3, 2011 and will range from $600 - $1,700 per seat and will require an initial $50 deposit.

CORPORATE EVENT
In October, the franchise will host a special event in San Francisco for members of the Chamber of Commerce. This will be an opportunity for corporations and organizations that are interested in purchasing season tickets to view the arena and to pre-select their desired season ticket seats. And, it’s a chance to meet with the franchise owners to discuss possibilities for corporate partnerships, cross promotions, and advertising options. To RSVP for this event please email blythe(at)sfbulls(dot)com

About the ECHL
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states. Today, the league has 20 teams in 14 states. The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. The ECHL has had 273 players reach the NHL over the last eight seasons. It’s the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. On opening day of the 2010-11 season, 79 former ECHL players were on NHL rosters. The ECHL teams are divided into the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The Bulls will join the Western Conference which includes the Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Colorado Eagles, Idaho Steelheads, Las Vegas Wranglers, Stockton Thunder, Ontario Reign, and the Utah Grizzlies. All teams play a 72-game schedule. For more information please visit http://www.echl.com

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Blythe Beaubien

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