Programming note: Kings-Sharks coverage begins Monday at 7 p.m.on the NBC Sports Network
The Sharks’ ECHL affiliate, the San Francisco Bulls, have officially folded.
A letter to season ticket holders from team President/general manager/head coach Pat Curcio, obtained by CSNCalifornia.com, reads:
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.
In a statement, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said: “The Bulls have been a great partner for our organization, both on the ice and as a partner in growing the game of hockey in Northern California. We wish everyone involved with the franchise the best in the future."
The Sharks have five players under contract with the Bulls in goaltender J.P Anderson, defensemen Kyle Bigos and Steven Tarasuk, and forwards Riley Brace and Sebastian Stalberg. They will be reassigned "in the very near future," according to Wilson.
The Bulls were in their second season playing at the Cow Palace. After making the playoffs in their first year of existence, they were 15-20-5 with 32 games left in the 2013-14 season.