September 21, 2011 - ECHL (ECHL) - San Francisco Bulls
San Francisco, Calif. - After a fifteen-year hiatus, professional hockey is returning to San Francisco, with a strong connection to London, Ontario.
At ECHL league meetings in Atlanta earlier today, league Commissioner Brian McKenna announced the awarding of a franchise to the San Francisco Bulls, whose coach, general manager and operating partner will be Pat Curcio, former assistant coach of the London Knights of the OHL.
Also part of the ownership group are London businessman Shmuel Farhi and media personality Jim Chapman.
Scheduled to take the ice at San Francisco's fabled Cow Palace for the 2012-2013 season, the Bulls will join twenty other teams in the ECHL, a professional league with franchises from coast to coast in the United States.
"It has been a decade and half since a pro team laced them up in San Francisco," said Curcio, "and our market research shows there is a strong fan base for pro hockey there. We looked at lot of potential locations but in the end the choice was obvious."
There are more than eight million people in the metropolitan San Francisco area and the Cow Palace was previously home to the Oakland Golden Seals and the San Jose Sharks of the NHL.
"We have a strong U.S. ownership group but in my mind, as a proud Canadian, I hoped we could have some involvement from back home, too. I am so pleased that Shmuel and Jimmy stepped up right away," explained Curcio. "This opportunity is a dream come true for me and it is even better having my buddies from London playing such an important role with the Bulls, not only financially but with advice and encouragement along the way as well."