Fans, start crossing the days off the calendar with a big orange marker as we count down to return of hockey at the Cow Palace.
The San Francisco Bulls released their 2013-2014 regular season schedule Wednesday afternoon, and surely most of you are already gearing up for the home opener on Friday, Nov. 8.
But let’s not stop with that first date back on the ice. There is plenty of fun and shenanigans to be had in the months to follow.
Here’s a dissected look at what the upcoming season has in store, and what you as fans can look forward to, in addition to seeing your favorite players drop their gloves and wreck havoc.
After the Long and Winding Road: Not unlike in 2012, the Bulls start the first few weeks of the season on the road, beginning in Alaska at the Aces Friday, Oct. 18.
But fear not, because the Bulls have two weekend home stands in November — including two games with the Western Conference champion Idaho Steelheads Oct. 15 and 16 — followed by three consecutive weekends at home in December.
Hockey with a side of Good Karma: The Bulls family-at-large contributed heavily to its community in its first year. In a recent letter to fans, team President and Head Coach Pat Curcio wrote that team, along with help and support of its fan base, “generated over $10 million in revenue for area businesses,” as well as donating to numerous charities and boosting support for youth hockey.
That do-gooder, community-uniting spirit will return in the Bulls’ sophomore season with events such as Autism Awareness Night March 29, Hockey Across America Weekend Feb. 28, LGBT Night on Jan. 11 and Movember/Cancer Awareness Night Saturday, Nov. 16.
Fans can go to a Bulls game knowing that they aren’t just supporting their local team, but supporting community and charity outlets as well.
Promos A-Plenty: The Bulls’ premiere season saw a slew of promotions for game attendees, and the 2013-2014 season will see even more.
New stand-outs such as bobblehead giveaways pepper the schedule, along with the additions like 90’s Night (Friday, March 7), Mardi Gras Night (Feb. 20), even a midnight movie on Friday, Dec. 13.
Thirsty Thursdays and Star Wars Day will be making reappearances, as well as the return of the Teddy Bear Toss and the cowbell giveaway.
And of course — though it is going to make this writer’s ears bleed — Country Night.