San Diego Gulls is temporarily moving to Irvine

Another sports team from San Diego is moving north.

But much like the San Diego State soccer team that plays in Carson, the seagulls moving their home games to Irvine are temporary.

And unlike the Aztecs, who won’t be able to play Mission Valley until September 2022, the Seagulls are hoping their move will only happen for a season or even less when fans get back to sporting events this spring.

“The ideal situation,” said Matt Savant, Gull’s president of business operations, “would be to get clearance from the state and county. The Gulls are playing well late in the season, for the playoffs, and we’re getting into one.” nice long playoff run with the crowd (San Diego) waving towels and having fun. That is the best scenario. “

The American Hockey League team issued a statement Monday that it would play “temporarily home games” at the FivePoint Arena in Irvine’s Great Ice Park. The move, the team said, will ensure that all players within the Anaheim Ducks organization – the NHL’s parenting club of the Seagulls – are “in one place under the same health protocols.”

“We will keep our players safe,” said Savant. “… We don’t want anyone to think that this temporary move is more than that. The goal is to get back to the Pechanga Arena – we’ve just signed an extension to keep us there for several years, and ours The goal is to be in San Diego for the long term. We’re so well received by the San Diego community. It was a great marriage. “

The Seagulls won’t be the only AHL team to move temporarily. Rival Ontario Reign will play in El Segundo, where its parent club, the Los Angeles Kings, are headquartered. The Binghamton Devils will also play in Newark, New Jersey and the Providence Bruins in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Three other teams – the Charlotte Checkers, the Milwaukee Admirals, and the Springfield Thunderbirds – have decided to end the 2020-21 season. They are expected to play again in 2021-22.

The AHL season, which has been delayed from its normal start in October, will now begin on February 5 with 28 teams. The NHL season begins January 13th.

Savant said approximately 15 percent of the club’s full-time employees have been on leave until the team can sell tickets again. He said he didn’t know what percentage of the capacity state and county officials would need to be allowed in for the seagulls to decide whether it made economic sense to open the doors to fans.

The Seagulls plan to televise more than 10 games in San Diego this season, Savant said. Details will be announced later.

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