As a part of their ongoing boycott, members of The San Diego Stadium Coalition and Save Our Bolts demonstrated outside a fundraiser for Mayor Faulconer on Thursday night. The event was hosted by hotelier Bill Evans (owner of The Bahia, Catamaran and Torrey Pines Lodge) at his garage on Pacific Highway where Evans stores his high-end car collection.
Approximately thirty concerned citizens demonstrated, holding signs that read “For Sale Mayor” and “Stop Hotelier Cabal.” Participants voiced their concerns that a few hoteliers have had a tremendous negative impact on San Diego. They were particularly concerned that mayor Kevin Faulconer is beholden to the interest of a few hoteliers who prefer a contiguous expansion of the Convention Center over the Chargers’ plan for a multi-use facility stadium downtown that would include a non-contiguous expansion.
Jason Riggs, Founder of the San Diego Stadium Coalition said, “What started as an effort to expose the Hotelier Cabal and their obstructionist maneuvering against a downtown convention center/stadium project, has grown into something much more significant. It is now abundantly clear that this particular special interest group has wreaked havoc on the entire civic landscape of San Diego in a way that goes well beyond one specific issue.” He added, “It’s time to shine a bright light on this systemic plague that has permeated almost every corner of City Hall for more than a decade.”
Marc Angelo, who runs NorCal Dolfan, promised his support of the boycott. “We are coming to San Diego with about 300 or so people. I have already asked for a list of hotels that are cooperating with your guys’ mission. We will book rooms at those hotels only. If there was a hotel that would actually help you guys, I would rather be loyal to them.” Angelo talked about the past spending habits of his group when visiting San Diego. “Almost every night we were hanging in the lobby, spending money in the lobby. People were going into the bar ordering beers. Each person is probably $200 a night.”
Riggs continued, “This boycott has already touched a nerve with the Hotelier Cabal and the politicians who represent them. We’ve barely begun.”
San Diego mayoral candidate Lori Saldaña took note of the protest and shared it on her campaign page. The Saldaña campaign wrote the protest was bad timing for mayor Kevin Faulconer who just two days earlier claimed the hoteliers had no influence over him in a debate.
David Agranoff, co-founder of Save Our Bolts said, “It is not too late for the Mayor to show leadership, but it is impossible for us to ignore a big money fundraiser being organized for the Mayor by Bill Evans who has influenced so many civic failures. This event highlights the underlying problem in San Diego politics and who is really calling the shots. We want the Mayor to prove us wrong.”
Save Our Bolts along with The San Diego Stadium Coalition and their combined 42,000 members have joined forces and received support from various civic leaders and fan groups in solidarity for their boycott against several of the hoteliers hosting Thursday’s fundraiser.
For more information San Diego’s destructive Hotelier Cabal, please visit HotelierCabal.com.
Stadium advocacy groups Save Our Bolts and the San Diego Stadium Coalition have made unified political endorsements that best support development of a new stadium and convention center expansion downtown. These endorsements include both opponents to mayor Kevin Faulconer.
“In this primary there are three elections of critical importance to Chargers fans and the future of a downtown San Diego stadium and Convention Center,” said Chairman of the San Diego Stadium Coalition Jason Riggs. “Based on their voting records, public comments, action and/or inactions with respect to the Chargers, the following are the most ardent anti-Chargers officials in this election.
- NO – Mayor Kevin Faulconer
- NO – Councilman Scott Sherman
- NO – Candidate Ray Ellis”
While Faulconer hasn’t taken a position opposing the Chargers initiative or plans for downtown, it is clear where he stands by the actions of those closest to him and by what stadium groups are hearing from those that are engaged with the mayor.
District 1 city council candidate Ray Ellis and accountant April Boling have been two of the most outspoken voices opposing the Chargers’ downtown vision. Both have deep connections tying them to Faulconer.
Boling served as the treasurer for multiple Faulconer campaigns. When Faulconer ran for mayor, Boling was not just the treasurer of the campaign, but also treasurer both super PACs that supported the campaign.
Ellis recently received a $100,000 donation from the political PAC “Neighborhoods, Not Stadiums.” The phone number for this PAC is owned by Boling.
Tony Manolatos, former spokesman for the Citizens Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG), is the communication director for the Ellis campaign. Last week, Manolatos sent out a press release touting Ellis’ anti-stadium stance.
Faulconer’s allegiances clearly lie with the hoteliers. These same hoteliers are hosting a fundraiser for Faulconer this Thursday at Evans Garage, a venue owned by hotelier Bill Evans. It has become abundantly clear Faulconer’s stadium effort, which include CSAG, was designed to protect the interests of a select few hoteliers that favor a contiguous expansion of the Convention Center.
If Faulconer remains mayor, he will have many opportunities to block the Chargers plan from ever being realized. Hurdles to development would include failing to move the MTS bus yard or not acquiring Tailgate Park, for example.
In addition, sources at City Hall have been actively working to sabotage positive efforts to support a downtown stadium. On Friday, a contact at City Hall leaked a false story to NBC San Diego probably to create chaos among fan groups and delay the endorsements given today. The story indicated that the mayor and the Chargers struck a stadium deal in Mission Valley and was quickly shut down as reporters reached out to those in contact with the team. This serves as another example of purposeful deception targeted against the downtown effort.
The Chargers are currently circulating an initiative with hopes of getting it on the November ballot for the general election. The two pro-stadium organizations would ideally like to endorse candidates that have backed the Chargers plan, but no candidate for mayor has gone that far yet.
“No one has earned our vote,” said co-founder of Save Our Bolts David Agranoff. “Not one candidate has taken action or shown an understanding of what is needed to give San Diego the kind of effort needed in the years to come. Most importantly our fear is that a majority in the primary ends Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s need to campaign. We feel the issues facing the city whether it is downtown, 911 delayed response, the harassment of the homeless with inhumane policies need more discussion than a primary election allows. We are asking San Diegans to vote in the primary for Ed Harris or Lori Saldaña for the primary to ensure that we have more time to weigh the candidates. If in November you choose to change your vote we understand. The future of San Diego is too important to decide as early as June 7th.”
In addition to Harris and Saldaña, Save Our Bolts and the San Diego Stadium Coalition have endorsed councilman candidate Justin DeCesare. All three of these candidates have endorsed the Citizens’ Plan that provides a clear path for a stadium and Convention Center expansion downtown. All three of these candidates have indicated through their campaign management a willingness to implement the Chargers plan when it passes
Harris has promised to facilitate a downtown solution. “The days of Qualcomm are nearly over,” Harris said. “Now, we need to make a path for a downtown stadium, expanded Convention Center, and a public park along the San Diego river. As mayor, I will never stand on the sidelines when real leadership is required to tackle major issues.”
Saldaña echoes this solution-orientated message. “As a native San Diegan and a lifelong Charger fan, I am proud to have the support of my fellow Charger fans,” Saldaña said. “In the absence of leadership from the Mayor who called this his ‘number one issue in San Diego’ I am proud of my fellow San Diegans for taking up their cause and engaging in our political system to achieve what they believe is best for our City. As your Mayor, I will be committed to supporting your efforts and keeping the Chargers in San Diego.”
DeCesare is running against Scott Sherman in District 7. Sherman suggested the Chargers stadium plan is a con in a Voice of San Diego op-ed published on Monday. In a meeting with Riggs and myself, Sherman made it clear his stadium plan for Mission Valley is really a development plan. DeCesare opposes major development in Mission Valley. He favors the Chargers moving to downtown for the positive environmental impact that can be made with the Mission Valley land after the move.
“I’ve always thought that if a new stadium is to be built, downtown would be a far better location in order to protect the environmental concerns of the San Diego River and minimize the traffic impacts on the already overburdened residents of Mission Valley,” DeCesare said. “Once elected, one of my top priorities for the residents of District 7 will be protecting the Qualcomm site from condo development, and instead turning it into a major public park that can be enjoyed by all San Diegans while protecting SDSU’s football program.”
The June 7 primary election will have an impact on the future of the Chargers in San Diego. Its magnitude cannot be underestimated. “It is critically important that all Chargers fans vote. Fans must get their family and friends to vote as well,” Riggs said. “Abstaining in this election is actually casting a vote for the politicians who are trying to drive the Chargers out of San Diego.”
Full List of Save Our Bolts and San Diego Stadium Coalition endorsements for June 7th primary
Mayor: Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña
City Council, District 1: Barbara Bry
City Council District 7: Justin DeCesare
City Attorney: Bryan Pease
My name is David Agranoff. I just moved back to Charger country after 8 years in Portland, Oregon representing for the Bolts. My main focus is to write in-depth, researched articles that add humanity to the players on our team. I also like to take a lighthearted tone and have a laugh or two at the experience we have as Bolt fans.
A Chargers fan in Portland is likely to be found on football Sunday at Claudia’s sports pub, which has been a sports bar since the 50’s (I am picturing a wall of black and white TVs). My first year watching San Diego games at the bar was 2009. During the 11-game winning streak we had as many as 50 Bolts fans, lots of high fives, hugs and friendships were made. The majority came to the northwest from San Diego, North County, East County or down south by the border. I used this experience to write a two parter on Chargers bars. So despite the fact that I don’t drink alcohol, I have become somewhat of an expert on Charger bars outside of the 619.
I did live in San Diego before, but my serious Charger fandom grew into what it is today while living in Portland. I also grew up in Indiana. I did like football, but we didn’t have a team when I was young. The Colts were sucking in Baltimore and we got Cincy games on TV. By the time the Colts were good I had gotten into punk rock. Music became a passion so much so that I stopped watching sports all together.
It was not until 2004 living in San Diego that someone convinced me to watch a Chargers game. LT ran for something north of 200 yards and threw a touchdown to a rookie tight end named Gates. Who was this guy? A week later I found myself watching because of him. I was not totally hooked yet and I watched off and on until 2006.
We left San Diego and moved to the northwest during the 2006 Season (spending that one year in Seahawks country – Port Angeles Washington). I enjoyed that season. The Chargers looked nearly unstoppable during the regular season. The highlight was sitting in a bar of 12th men and women who were stunned when Rivers hit VJ in the corner of the end zone for a game-winning touchdown.
It was the following year, as the “turkey neck” era began, that my love for the Chargers went to the full-on fandom level. Watching the Chargers beat the defending champs on the road with their star running back and starting QB on the bench was amazing was fantastic. I loved the spirit of the team. I liked that the organization valued character and didn’t suffer morons.
It was 2009 when I discovered the Chargers bar, made friends with other Chargers fans, discovered the Bolt Talk podcast, and figured out that I could listen online to the Mighty 1090 and XTRA Sports 1360 AM.
I admit to being biased. I am a fan, but I try to break down the team the best I can. In my other life, I write science fiction and horror novels professionally. The Chargers are a passion and escape from my daily grind. I believe I have lots of great things to bring to the table as a Chargers fan. I know this team, and think that I see things clearly. I just wanted you to understand why this hoosier-bred Bolts fan bleeds powder blue.
I am the biggest weird-O writing for BoltBlitz.com. I am a horror novelist and work as a Special Education teacher’s aid for a day job. I have been Drug and Alcohol free and a strict Vegan for more than two decades. I listen to Death metal and have been arrested in more protests than Philip Rivers has children.
I would love to connect with more Bolt Fam on Facebook or Twitter. I am a strongly opinionated human being and different from your average NFL fan. We don’t have to agree to learn from each other and talk Bolts. My friends call me Count Agranoff, since I wrote a vampire novel and eventually I accepted that nickname wouldn’t die. What up, Bolt Fam?
David Agranoff is the Wonderland award nominated author of three novels – The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. Follow him on Twitter (@DAgranoffauthor), to keep up with all that David is working on.
(Photo caption) David with friends at Claudia’s in Portland during the 2011 season opener!
So the next big question is what if you are a Chargers fan in say Dayton, Ohio or Philadelphia and you want to start a Chargers bar. You may think you are alone, but remember there are San Diego Ex-pats that have had to move around country for work and family. There are Chargers fans who never lived in San Diego looking for Brother/sisterhood. There may be closeted Rivers’ fans just waiting for a spot to gather and sing along to our wildly out of date disco fight song.
Portland’s Claudia’s sports pub started with two guys watching a Tube TV together in the corner and in three years built it up with almost zero effort.
Remember if you want to ensure turn-out you have to provide an experience the Charger fan can’t get at home with NFL Sunday ticket.
> Wear Chargers gear – Gotta be able to recognize each other so you know to high-five when Rivers gets us in the endzone.
> Introduce yourself to other fans. It is basic but you build up your crew by being friendly and welcoming. Make small talk before the game and during breaks about the Chargers. At the end of the game tell them about your online group. Oh yeah…
> Start a Facebook group, A Twitter, A meet-up group or anything like this. Communicate between games you become a tighter group. Let’s say you live in Indianapolis and a Bolts fan moves to the city. A google search can grow your group.
> Get Pumped. High fives on scores or first down can be fun. It is something you don’t get at home. Fun is infectious. When the team is winning the bandwagon should always be ready. After big wins in Portland we used to sing the fight song together! I know it’s cheesy, but it is also fun.
Lets say you got a dozen people but you are worried about turn-out. Here are some next level things you can do. Talk to the bar staff and the owners (not on a Sunday when they are busy). Stop by or call on a weekday when they are bored. Find out ways you can work with them.
> Food and drink specials with Chargers themes. Offer to print the menu for the bar with your groups contact info on it.
> Play the Chargers fight song on TD’s. You can do this by setting up speakers to a phone in a pinch. If the bar has a DJ give them a disk. If they are too busy have someone offer to do this. This creates a fun atmosphere.
>Raffle prizes Give away tickets for each game attended and give a prize out at the end of the year. You might be able to get better prizes. Hit players and Charger PR staff on Twitter.
> That might work better if you raise money for a Charity. So do that raise money for one of the player’s foundation.
Facebook has several local and national Chargers groups. It is a great place to start. If you don’t use Facebook you can use other social media but I highly suggest this approach! Feel free to post comments with your ideas right here on BoltBlitz! Update us with results!
David Agranoff is a die-hard Chargers fan but also the author of 3 published horror fiction novels including the Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf-Reich. Follow him on Twitter @DAgranoffauthor
In 2006, just as LT was on his historic touchdown record run, my wife and I moved away from San Diego and ended up in Portland, Oregon. Besides learning how to not despair with a 7 forecast of solid showers we also had to root for the Bolts in very different environment. Thankfully the Chargers were good enough at the time that we got played on national TV often, but I spent some games following the score on the ticker. That my friends is a shitty way to watch football, game tracker on NFL.com doesn’t cut it. I didn’t know anyone else who was a Chargers fan.
In 2009 when the Bolts were 2-3 and suffering from another slow start thanks to the coach I am not allowed to name. I was wearing a Chargers hat while shopping at a Portland Trader Joes when a guy called me over. “Hey Chargers fan…You watch games at Claudia’s sports pub?” I had no idea what he was talking about but he told me this was where Chargers fans watched the games. You see, I don’t drink and, as silly as it may sound to some, I never thought about a Sports bar.
Luckily it was near my place, so that Sunday I went to Claudia’s for the first time. Well you know what happened next? Rivers and LT led the Bolts on a killer 11 game winning streak, and I thought they couldn’t lose while I was at the bar. With the games on a massive screen with around 30 or 40 Chargers fans each week, I was impressed by the support of the team and the atmosphere. Our 2009 record for number of fans was 62. All in Blue and Gold. I loved the game like atmosphere. Everyone clapped and high-fived on every positive play, we yelled and cheered together. I loved it, made life-long friends and watched every game at Claudia’s through the 2013 season.
Claudia’s Sports pub is one of Portland’s oldest sports bars, going back to the 50’s. In the morning, it is a Bears bar, in the afternoon it was almost always Bolts dominated. Mostly San Diego Ex-pats but more than a couple of fans of the team were converts who enjoyed the atmosphere.
I hated missing games with the crew and for those of you in other cities who have a Chargers bar, consider yourself lucky. If you don’t already have a Chargers bar, why not start one? Claudia’s is actually one of two Chargers bars in Portland, and it was all started by two guys. I’ve done my best research on Charger bars around the country. I am not positive this information is all up to date. I have also included some ideas for starting a Chargers bar in part two.
Considered by many to be the best Chargers bar/experience outside of the 619 is in the lower Haight of San Francisco. Danny Coyle’s is the place. Also known as a Seahawks bar, all you have to do is read the Yelp reviews to see this is Charger country north. One Yelp review said “Such a great place for Chargers fans to call a home away from home. Nothing like hearing the San Diego Chargers theme song play every time a touchdown is scored and having the whole bar sing along in excitement. Honestly, I have more fun watching the Bolts at Danny Coyle’s than I do back in San Diego.” Sounds like a challenge, San Diego!
668 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117 b/t Pierce St & Steiner St in Lower Haight
New York City:
MJ Armstrong’s The internet has conflicting info on this bar. It appears to still be open. At one time MJ Armstrong’s had a drink and food specials menu that included dishes named after Charger greats and the Bolts Stadium. They also had a DJ who played Chargers songs on scores.
329 1st Ave New York, NY 10003 b/t W Stuyvesant Loop & 19th St in Stuyvesant Town, Gramercy
I have heard great things about Chicago’s Chargers scene. Here is what I know. They have an active FB group with more than 150 members and a legendary bar. I am told they have prizes and play the Chargers fight song on touchdowns.
Crossroads Public House, 2630 North Clark Street (at Wrightwood), Chicago, Illinois 60624 – 773.248.3900
According to several reports Las Vegas has a strong Bolts fan base. There used to be a place called Michael’s pub that closed. When I put out a request several fans wrote back including Chris Jimenez of Las Vegas “There is a Facebook page called Vegas Chargers Bolts. The lady who runs it gets us all together. There is about 40-60 She buys prizes and gives them out.” The two rumored bars are Al’s is in Henderson near Green Valley Ranch Station and 7777 bar.
7777 W Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Seattle has an active Chargers fan base in Seattle with a Facebook group. They have been looking for a bar to call home. Gerald Simonsen owner of the Iron Bull wants to work with Chargers fans to make that happen. When he bought the bar he didn’t know he inherited a Bears bar. “We have people who drive 100 miles on sunday morning to watch the Bears play. We can have up to 200 folks in the joint. We have two 12 foot projection TVs and maybe 20 regular flat screens,” Simonsen told Bolt Blitz. In Portland, Chargers and Bears shared a bar with few conflicts. Simonsen wants to work with Chargers fans to make it a Chargers bar as well. “I have been trying to get a Charger crowd in the Iron Bull since I bought the place. If we started to get a good crowd, I would buy another projector and screen and set up a Chargers corner. We can play songs on the sound system, show any video that will work on the computer on the big screen or anything else anyone wants. Every Chargers game on the big screen where there is no conflict.”
Iron Bull 2121 N 45TH St, Seattle Wa 98103
Various Bars Rumored to be Bolt Friendly:
Posse’s Sports Bar, 1212 S. Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia, California
Goldrush Saloon, 3399 Pegar Road in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Handlebar and Grill, 19345 N. Indian Avenue, Palm Springs, California.
Connolly’s Bar & Grill, – 2605 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, Arizona 85085. (LT Mural on the wall, ha-ha)
OC (Fox Sports) Fox Sports Grill, 31 Fortune Drive, in the Irvine Spectrum, Irvine, California.
Spectators (Albuquerque) 5850 Eubank Blvd., NE, #59, New Mexico Phone 505-275-1166
Damon’s Bar and Grill in Pittsburgh They always play Chargers games in a bar owned by a ex-Charger Cheerleader.
The Dark Horse Sports Bar 4929 W. Ray Rd. #3, Chandler, Arizona, 85226, (480) 753-4772
Sideliners Grill in San Antonio Texas Tx.
Sportsman’s Grill Williamsburg, VA
Cities/Regions with Facebook or online groups for Chargers fans.
Portland: Facebook: San Diego Chagers fans PDX
Seattle: Facebook: San Diego Chargers fans of Seattle
Chicago: Facebook Chi-town Chargers backers
LA: Facebook Los Angeles Area Chargers fans
Las Vegas: is supposed to have a Facebook group but I couldn’t find one.
Austin, Texas: facebook.com/ SanDiegoChargerFansinAustin
Bay area meet-up group : meetup.com/South-Bay-San-Diego-Chargers-Fans/
In Part two we will discuss how to create a Chargers bar in your City!
David Agranoff is a die-hard Chargers fan and the author of 3 published horror fiction novels including the Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf-Reich. Follow him on Twitter @DAgranoffauthor
From Indiana… why are you a Chargers Fan?
Being a Chargers die-hard in Portland, Oregon is not that weird. This is a city of transplants, where NFL loyalty is all over the map. A few like the Seahawks, but, before their recent bandwagon started picking up folks, it was almost impossible to find NFL fans here that didn’t hate Seattle. I mean, when Fox is showing their game of the week and you’re forced to watch Seahawks Vs. Rams… you could see that happening right?
A Chargers fan in Portland is likely to be found on football Sunday at Claudia’s sports pub which is a sports bar since the 50’s (I am picturing a wall of black and white TV’s). My first year watching Bolts games at the bar was 2009. During the 11-game winning streak we had as many as 50 Bolts fans, lots of high fives, hugs and friendships were made. The majority came to the northwest from San Diego, north county, east county or down south by the border. I was the guy from Indiana who everybody asked “Why aren’t you a Colts fan?”
I did live in San Diego for a few years, but my serious Charger fandom grew into what it is while living here. Growing up in Indiana I did like football, we didn’t have a team when I was young. The Colts were sucking in Baltimore and we got Cincy games on TV. By the time the Colts were good I had gotten into punk rock. Music became a passion so much so I stopped watching sports all together.
It was not until 2004 living in San Diego that someone convinced me to watch a Chargers game. LT ran for something north of 200 yards and threw a touchdown to a rookie tight end named Gates. Who was this guy? A week later I found myself watching because of him. I was not totally hooked yet, I watched off and on until 2006.
We left San Diego and moved to the northwest during the 2006 Season (spending that one year in Seahawks country – Port Angeles Washington). I enjoyed that season watching the Chargers look nearly unstoppable during the regular season. The highlight was sitting in a bar of 12th men and women who were stunned when Rivers hit VJ in the corner of the endzone for a game-winning touchdown.
It was the following year, as the Norv era began, that my love for the Chargers went to the full-on fandom level. Watching the Chargers beat the defending champs on the road with their star running back and starting QB on the bench was amazing. I loved the at the spirit of the team. I liked that the organization valued character and didn’t suffer morons.
It was 2009 when I discovered the Chargers bar, made friends with other chargers fans, discovered the Bolt Talk podcast, and figured out that I could listen online to the Mighty 1090 and Xtra sports 1360 AM.
I would spend the offseason following every move, watching youtube videos of old game to learn the history of my team, including the 1994 super bowl team and the Air Coryell games featuring none other than Dan Fouts.
I admit to being biased, I am a fan, but I try to break down the team the best I can. In my other life, I write science fiction and horror novels professionally. The Chargers are a passion and escape from my daily grind. I believe I have lots of great things to bring to the table as a Chargers fan. I know this team, and think that I see things clearly. I just wanted you to understand why this hoosier-bred Bolts fan bleeds powder blue.
David Agranoff is the Wonderland award nominated author of three novels – The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. Follow him on Twitter (@DAgranoffauthor), to keep up with all that David is working on.