ECHL San Francisco Bulls - new franchise 2012-2013
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09-20-2011, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boise, ID
Originally Posted by
Most teams in the west do not fly everywhere. Vegas drives to all the California cities, even Stockton. They fly to Idaho, Alaska, and now Colorado. For the new San Francisco franchise, if they are smart with the schedule, whenever a team goes to Stockton, just have them bus across to SF. The Cow Palace is a horrible building for hockey, even though the Sharks played there. The sight lines are terrible, and the parking/traffic is bad too. But for ECHL hockey it could work. Didn't work in the IHL with the Spiders though.
The building wasn't the reason the Spiders failed. Their management was poor and they came in too quickly after the Sharks came to town. The Sharks made a lot of Sharks fans right away but it took years to make "hockey fans" out of the people in the Bay Area. I've watched the Shamrocks, Sharks and Spiders all play there. It's not great but it will do for now. The weeks after the circus and NFR are not great but other than that they will survive.
The Cow Palace is certainly not a state of the art building but it will do until they see what they can create for a fan base. This might be the right time to bring a cheaper alternative to the area. The Sharks have created plenty of hockey fans now but Sharks tickets are not easy to get or cheap to buy. With the economy the way it is and with the North Bay virtually untouched by the Sharks starting in the Cow Palace seems like a good idea to me. Spend a couple years and find out where your fan base comes from and then decide on a permenant home if you want. The city alone should attract enough good players to field a good team. Hopefully they market it well and really put in the work behind the scenes.
It's still a difficult place to get to for the North Bay folks but if the support is there maybe a place like Petaluma would be a future option. But at least in the beginning they should draw from all three directions. It's far enough away that it won't hurt Stockton but close enough to maybe start a rivalry that all the western ECHL haters think are missing out here.
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