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The San Francisco Bulls Are the San Francisco 49ers of Hockey
Scott Lucas | Photo: Margo Moritz | January 20, 2014
By which we mean, they won't be playing in San Francisco any longer.
Chalk up another victim of the city's affordability crisis: Minor league hockey.
The Sharks will have to look elsewhere for their sharklings, as San Francisco's minor league team, the Bulls, announced that they would shut down within a week, unless they can cut a deal with new owners. Just like folks displaced from the City, the Bulls would move to Oakland or Fresno.
Though the team has drawn a loyal following (see the slideshow above, taken from a photo shoot for our February issue, which went to press just days before the news broke), management said that the team's finances were unsustainable—they lost $2 million in their first year of operation. The Bulls pay significant expenses to use the state-owned facility and have reached into their collective wallet for numerous upgrades. Adding insult to injury, the team's coach said that many of its players had been unable to afford rents as high as $3,000 in San Francisco.
The move to Oakland is complicated by the Warriors, since the hockey team would seek to play its games in the Oracle Arena. That would create a significant scheduling headache, one that the basketball team, in the midst of its own potential move to San Francisco, has shown little enthusiasm for solving.
Whatever happens to the Bulls, San Francisco will be without a major league sports team playing with city limits, save the Giants. But in any case, as seen in the slideshow above, the team still has plenty of die hard fans.