Last week, the San Francisco Bulls revealed themselves to be on exceedingly thin ice.
After being granted a weekend-long negotiating extension by the league board of governors, the team was unable to cement a deal with an ownership group that, SF Weekly
is told, would have moved the squad to Fresno. Instead, the Bulls -- the ECHL
affiliate of the San Jose Sharks -- sent an e-mail to ticket-holders today announcing the immediate curtailment of the season.
And the team's existence.
Calls to the Bulls Cow Palace's office were not answered; the first option on the voicemail regards those hoping to recoup tickets for the team's 32 canceled games. That was a giveaway that talks with the Fresno group had gone sideways, even for those who didn't receive the team's e-mail.
Team president and coach Pat Curcio and CEO Angela Batinovich didn't return messages. League commissioner Brian McKenna declined to comment.
Today, ticket-holders received the aforementioned e-mail:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly, it seems this Change.org petition
to Mayor Ed Lee imploring him to, somehow, save a team playing in Daly City did not serve its intended purpose.