Professional hockey is returning to the Cow Palace in 2012-2013, as the expansion San Francisco Bulls have been approved by the ECHL Board of Governors.
The San Francisco ownership is lead by Pat Curcio and his wife Elouise, who have relocated to San Francisco from Salt Lake City. Curcio will serve as president, general manager and head coach for the Bulls. The team will play its home games at the Cow Palace, which opened in 1941 and has welcomed more than 50 million visitors through its doors. The arena, which has a capacity for hockey of approximately 11,000, was home to the San Jose Sharks during their first two seasons in the National Hockey League from 1991-93 and also was home to the San Francisco Spiders of the International Hockey League in 1995-96.
â€œSan Francisco is a good addition to our Western Conference and a logical rival for our California teams in particular,â€ said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. â€œWe look forward to working with Pat as he assembles his front office team and works toward the October 2012 opening at the iconic Cow Palace.â€
â€œWe are so excited and proud to provide professional hockey to the San Francisco Bay area,â€ said Curcio. â€œThe on-ice product will be very entertaining and the Cow Palace is the perfect venue for our team.â€
â€œThe Cow Palace is excited to host high quality, professional ice hockey again,â€ said Cow Palace CEO Joe Barkett. â€œIt is 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.â€
Sign up for the free weekly Arena Digest newsletter and keep up with the latest happenings! You can sign up here.