SAN JOSE (KCBS)—The NHL lockout is still not settled, but hockey fans will soon get a chance to see some action on the ice at HP Pavilion when the San Francisco Bulls are let loose in the Shark Tank to cross sticks with the Stockton Thunder on Dec. 17.
The Bulls, of the ECHL, are a minor league hockey team that is affiliated with the San Jose Sharks and have built up a following while playing their usual league games at the Cow Palace in Daly City.
All seats for the game are complimentary with San Francisco and San Jose season ticket holders getting priority access. Parking for the event will also be free for all attendees on a first-come first-served basis in HP Pavilion-controlled parking.
Though it’s only one game, some business owners are happy that the game is scheduled on a Monday night. Jimmy Dill, a bartender at Henry’s Hi-Life—around the corner from the Shark Tank—thinks it’s a welcome sign.
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“They will draw pretty well that night and I think it will give business a real boost,” he said. “People are hockey starved here, even though some people don’t like the idea and are kind of upset about the season and yet others just want hockey.”
The NHL has already cancelled games though Dec. 14, but fans and downtown business owners are still hopeful. Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association said on Tuesday that it’s not too late for a Christmas miracle.
“The owners and players met for a special session yesterday and the NHL board of governors is meeting today back east. Maybe they can pull it out of their helmet and we can salvage the season,” he said.
Knies said downtown bars and restaurants have already lost tens of thousands of dollars and that not having a season at all will be devastating.
The lockout reach it’s 81st day on Wednesday.
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