San Francisco Bulls Remain on Very Thin Ice

Categories: Business, Sports
Pat_Curcio_by_Joseph_Schell.jpg
Joseph Schell
It's been a rough road for Bulls coach and president Pat Curcio
Last week, the San Francisco Bulls minor-league hockey team leaked news to the press every bit as pleasant as a slapshot to the dome: Barring a quick-turnaround sale to out-of-town investors who'd move the team elsewhere, the not-quite 2-year-old franchise would implode. Coach and president Pat Curcio told the press the Bulls could fold as soon as ... now

Calls to the team office in the Cow Palace reached employees still working hard and selling tickets. News of the team's imminent demise was "taken out of context," they said. 

Hardly. A terse note from team CEO Angela Batinovich this morning all but confirmed there'll be no Season Three at the Cow Palace -- and, perhaps, not much more of Season Two: 

During the ECHL Mid-Season Meeting, the Commissioner and Board of Governors granted our request for additional time to complete negotiations that would allow for the transfer of the San Francisco Bulls to a new ownership group. 
 
We are hopeful that these negotiations will be completed within the allotted time, and we currently have no intention to cancel any games.

So, the Bulls are scrambling to unload the team to out-of-towners, purportedly in Oakland or (more likely) Fresno. That much is known. Here's what we don't know: 


  • How much more time has the ECHL granted the Bulls to negotiate? 

  • Who are they negotiating with? 

  • If those negotiations go poorly, what then? Will the team immediately fold? 

  • How many more games are guaranteed this season at the Cow Palace?
Bulls_celebration_by_Joseph_Schell.jpg
Joseph Schell
Happier times
Curcio and Batinovich declined to comment, as did ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna, who passed along a message that he has nothing to add until the league meetings wrap up. 

He wouldn't say when that might be, incidentally. 

The Bulls' next scheduled home game is a week from today vs. Stockton. Team officials say tickets are still available. 


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