Pat Curcio may have had the dream of owning his own hockey team — a dream 10 years in the making — but he had no ice.
And until recently, neither did the Cow Palace.
But two years and nearly $2 million into the Canadian’s minor-league hockey endeavor, the Daly City arena is now suitable for Curcio’s ECHL squad to take the ice.
“When we came to the venue the first time, we weren’t sure what we needed to do,” said Curcio, the president and coach of the San Francisco Bulls. “And I think that if we would’ve known everything then, it probably would’ve scared us off. But once we got involved and we started doing all the things we thought were necessary, we just continued to go from there.”
First, it was the building of a new exterior ice system, a switch from the old, outdated and now outlawed ammonium-based cooling system. Then it was renovating the locker and equipment rooms, which had been built for the San Jose Sharks during their 1991-92, ’92-93 seasons. But the gem is the 11,000-pound Cube scoreboard and control room.
“We’re further advanced with this technology than any NHL team,” Curcio said of the cameras and touch screen monitors that will display immediate instant replay action to the 360-degree LED scoreboard without lag. “It’s just a matter of time before the big boys wanna get their hands on it.”
The scoreboard, which is supported by 45-foot steel beams, was a product of the Slovakian company Colosseo.
Curcio had heard of the company through hockey friend and Slovakian player Peter Bondra.
“We just happened to be in the market for a scoreboard,” Curcio said. “No one could even come close to the price and the technology, so we gave [Colosseo] the opportunity, and we’re happy we did.”
The arena will also feature a beer garden right behind the home net for those sitting in the elevated glass and box seats. The press box, player gym and concourse still have to be completed before the puck drops Oct. 12.