As Fans We Ask You for More Time

As the NFL owners met in Dallas yesterday, we as the voice of Chargers fans are calling on the team, the mayor, City Council, and the NFL to come back to the table with serious efforts. We had the City’s plan last year and the team’s plan this year, but, now we’re left with no real, solid plan that can prevent relocation.

We know it is easy to think of the franchises in California as chess pieces, in this high stakes games sometimes the NFL owners miss the core fuel that lights the fire of the league – fan passion. With almost six decades of loyalty, San Diego should not lose its team and deserves true leadership from the team and our elected officials.

We feel the fans concerns are being ignored. We know The NFL is a private corporation but we drive the NFL. We make the NFL work. We are merchandise sales. We are the ticket sales. We are the ratings that generate the massive TV deals.

We are pleading with the owners to extend the Chargers LA offer at least one more year to give our city a chance to close the deal. You may be familiar with our friends in Crown Downtown, it took them 3 tries to get an arena built. We ask that the NFL give us the same time frame to do the same. We understand the perception after the failed C vote and how that may seem like the last ditch effort. We thank the Spanos family for their efforts on Measure C, but, it was doomed to fail. San Diego County outside of the City limits is home to the largest population of local fans and they were not included in the vote. The high threshold for a tax increase was not a realistic possibility and should not seal the fate of professional football in this community who has been loyal to the Chargers for decades – even before the Spanos family even bought the team.

We have a unique natural environment that makes it ideal for championship games. We believe the value of the market is worth the long fight.

The Chargers in LA might solve the problem of where the team plays but will doom the franchise to try and build a fan base in a city already struggling to support one team. It will crush the existing fan base many of whom with not follow the team. We understand outside of California it seems like a short drive – what is the big deal? Imagine asking Yankees fans to follow the team to Boston or Philadelphia.

Granting relocation at this time and refusing an extension will only serve to hurt the fans that make the NFL Sundays so special. Many local businesses that thrive on their relationship with the team will also fail. We represent and support them too.

As Save Our Bolts, we call on City Leaders to act now and the NFL to give us the time finish what we have started.

Thank you kindly,
Save Our Bolts

Chargers To Honor Fan Activists on Sunday

Looking back to early 2015, the first Save Our Bolts meeting had less than 10 fans show up to a Mission Valley Starbucks and discuss how to save the team they were devoted to. Before the battle for Los Angeles, Carson2gether madness, CSAG forums or measure C, it was just a couple of fans trying to do what they could to build bridges.


Over the last two seasons, Save Our Bolts has become the voice for Chargers fans in the fight to keep the team in San Diego. It has molded into a strong civic-minded all-volunteer group that wants the team in San Diego for the future. The relationship between the fan groups and the team was at times contentious but now, the team is thanking the volunteers by honoring them on the field.

“This is a huge honor. The Chargers have not picked these twenty-five fan activists for this honor lightly. The people honored worked hard going to public meetings, going door-to-door, writing press releases, including some drafts that never made the cut, endless social media posts, gathering signatures and working campaign booths. They all did hard work behind the scenes for no money or glory,” said David Agranoff, co-founder of Save Our Bolts

Before the December 4th San Diego Chargers home game twenty-five members of Save Our Bolts, San Diego Stadium Coalition, and the Chargers Backers will be honored on the field before the game.

“For a football fan there is no bigger honor, we hope fans will get in the stadium early and cheer loud and proud for the activists who fought for them. The key is that it can be you next time. Anyone can get involved,” said Shawn Walchef of Save Our Bolts and owner of Cali Comfort BBQ.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Thomas Powell (@tpowell619) or email info@saveourbolts.org

Save Our Bolts Wants You To Show Your Support For Ballot Measure C

Take action to make #VoteYesOnC a trending topic on social media.

SAN DIEGO, California – On Wednesday, San Diego City Clerk Elizabeth Maland made public the official ballot designation for the Citizens’ Initiative that would fund the multi-use downtown convention center and stadium facility. Ballot Measure C will be the key ballot measure that will determine the future of the multi-use venue downtown.

“We are excited that the measure is called Prop C. It’s simple for Chargers fans, and we’ll encourage everyone to vote Yes on C,” said David Agranoff of Save Our Bolts.

“This initiative goes beyond the Chargers, since we have a chance to fund this much needed multi-use convention center expansion, which won’t cost local tax payers one dime of their own money. A vote for C ensures that the Chargers, the NFL, and tourists pay for this world-class facility. It just makes sense,” concluded Agranoff.

Save Our Bolts is calling on Chargers fans to take to social media today, this pre-season game day, to show their support for Prop C.

“It’s simple Bolts fans: post a picture of yourself making a “C” with your thumb and index finger and use the hashtag #VoteYesOnC. If all Chargers fans do this, we can get this topic trending. This type of action is simple, but it can show that you’re with the boys on the field and committed to a positive future for all of San Diego,” said Johnny “Bolt Pride” Abundez Hernandez of Save Our Bolts.

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VoteYesOnC

Showcase San Diego To The World

Now that the dust has settled on MLB showcasing San Diego to the world, let’s sit back and see how a major sporting event impacted us individually and our city.

The Chargers know that building a multi-use facility in downtown is the best path for all parties. Downtown is the one area in San Diego that will allow event organizers to occupy nearby outdoor areas and promote massive sports and entertainment events – just like the one that we observed here a couple weeks ago.

We got a preview to their vision the second week of July when MLB brought the Mid-Summer Classic to America’s Finest City.  Downtown was packed, restaurants were booming and there was a buzz around town.

Opponents of the stadium are quick to bring up the argument that parking and the crowds in Downtown  would be too overwhelming. Well, during the 6-day festivities during the All-Star Game Week there were no complaints from the people who went down there. Public transportation was not an issue for some. Also, Uber and Lyft drivers were receiving messages about a high-demand of ride requests. San Diegans and tourists in town for the festivities found a way.

Surely, things on the surface seem to be a hurdle but when everyone comes together looking for solutions ideas and compromises are born. That is when progress is made.

Our city was showcased to the world with all our beaches, scenery, and all things that make this America’s Finest City – we were all a witness. There were no chants of “We can’t do this, This won’t work, That won’t do.” We all came together and were excited to show our city to the masses. Some marveled at what San Diego had to offer. And at what could be if we could dare to think bigger!

Like the cities that dreamed big before us , now with a new facility on the horizon, our city could profit millions with the city, hotels, restaurants, bars, and other establishments all sharing in the wealth. That’s what comes with hosting a mega sporting event over six days in beautiful Downtown San Diego.

Cities that have hosted the All-Star Game previously have generated millions to their city as well as to some of the  charities in those cities.

Last year, for instance, Cincinnati generated $65 million dollars, according to the Baseball Almanac.  Between 2002 and 2011, per MLB League Data, cities averaged $70.5 million dollars generated to the host cities. Everyone enjoyed a piece of the pie.

45,000 hotel rooms were rented out to visitors for the week. (Wonder how many paid attention to what their hotel tax was?)

One of the stadium loudest critics is Joe Terzi, President and CEO of San Diego Tourism Authority, who spoke about the exciting opportunities that comes with hosting a Downtown mega sporting event offered, “We are no longer a stranger to large events and we think this year’s All-Star Game  will be one of the best  ever”. Yes, Joe, It is wonderful to think what could be if we all came together to achieve a common goal isn’t it?

60,000 visitors, 2000 media members, 51 radio and TV outlets were in our city to broadcast San Diego in  13 different languages across 16 countries and territories. How much do we need to promote San Diego – A city that simply markets itself.

Petco has previously hosted the World Baseball Classic, soccer games, rugby tournaments, motorcross and even concerts such as the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Taylor Swift. But now was the time to showcase our jewel in Downtown to the Big Leagues of Sporting Events. So how did Petco Park  grade? Petco was emanating brightness like a sun shining off the Pacific Ocean. The visitors to Petco Park thought it was majestic. USA Today raved, calling it   the “Best Ballpark in  the Country.” Others touted the mixture of food and the aroma in the air from the food stands  in Petco as a one of a kind. The Grades were in from the debate of 1998 November Election. Petco got an A+ on the world’s stage. If there was to be one location to permanently host the Mid-Summer Classic then Petco Park and San Diego would be a fine home for the Mid-Summer Classic game and the week of festivities.

Businesses like Bubs at the Ballpark, a popular local bar in downtown, hired extra workers that week to handle the massive customers that were descending onto our city. That coupled with Comic Con, Pride Week, 4th of July, Del Mar Fair and Racetrack set a record in San Diego making July the biggest month in SD for tourism ever.

The expectations from the city before All-Star Week was that San Diego as a city would generate about  $80 million dollars back to the city. $1.2 million would be made in hotel room taxes from visitors visiting our city. $1 million in sales tax revenue alone and many charities would be benefiting from Major League Baseball donations as San Diego would be the  host city.  Petco Park was getting rave reviews from across the country. While final numbers have yet to be published, consumer spending and Tax revenue was generated in the city they loved for so long.

The Chargers stadium opponents say a stadium 10 days a year is not worth it. THEY ARE RIGHT! No one disagrees with that, But what could a multi-use entertainment facility that would bring the  NFL Super Bowls, Final Four, Political Conventions, WrestleMania’s and World Cups to our city do? Instead of just expanding a convention center using a TOT tax ( A tax that would only tax visitors that stay at a hotel) to 15.5% for a convention Center only expansion. How about  raising the TOT one additional percent to 16.5% on out of town visitors to expand the Conv Center and a Multi-Use Stadium with  money coming out of the General Fund for the stadium, That would be a no brainer right? An extra $8.00 a night on their hotel bill. Just like almost every other major city has done to accomplish these things.The opponents say conventions might go elsewhere? Do you honestly think even 1 person who visited our beloved city the week of the All-Star Game would rather go to 110 degree Las Vegas over $8.00 a night on a hotel bill? Yes, It is laughable

We have heard the arguments from the anti-downtown crowd for about five months now. In a couple of weeks, The Chargers will begin their campaign for the vote on Nov 8th. They are not going to take to Twitter or a political circuit station to make their argument using the lies and deceit as our opponents have. We don’t need to. We are confident that when you seriously look at the numbers and the facts as they show you. The answer is easy. The Chargers  are going to come to you. Every one of you has a chance to personally  discuss your concerns and questions either with the team or even the fan groups.

What we hope is when this campaign begins you look at the facts yourself. That you take this initiative seriously and maybe just maybe even think big at the possibilities as they did in 1998. Let us come together and discuss this issue instead of throwing dissent and lies on a wall that divides us.

I just hope in the next couple of months. Junior Seau and Tony Gwynn can look down at us and smile with that laugh we all love and miss the way they could have during All-Star Week. Take care my friends and see you soon at Chargers Park!

Save Our Bolts Does Not Support Demaio Fantasy Plan

Save Our Bolts does not support former City Councilmen Carl Demaio’s so-called “No Tax” stadium plan.

“This plan has no basis in reality, and furthermore, the community showed overwhelming support for the Chargers current convadium plan by signing 110,000 petitions in record time. The plan we have doesn’t hurt the local taxpayer and shows great responsibility with the funds the Tax on tourists raises by completing two major projections and continuing to fund city marketing. The Chargers plan also has the NFL and Chargers paying for 100% of the stadium something we think is misunderstood.” Said David Agranoff co-founder of Save Our Bolts.

The Demaio plan is pure fantasy. An attempt by a former politician turned radio host to make himself relevant in city politics again. While many aspects sound good on paper several parts of his plan are impossible to implement:

  1. It requires a massive development which will take years to surmount environmental clearances.
  2. It takes naming rights away from team and NFL.
  3. Taking PSL and turning toward a “Fanlord model” isn’t viable, team and stadium are owned by individuals and the city. Not even the Green Bay Packers do this.
  4. It is unrealistic to ask the Spanos family to give up part of their business to a public model. The money from the development partners and hotel owners is high. They could never support this number with any factual analysis.
  5. No money or solutions for SDSU.
  6. Requires money from the Port of San Diego.

While we applaud anyone taking the time to look for solutions we think the time could be better spent supporting the plan that far surpassed the threshold of voter support and will be on the ballot in November.

For media inquiries, contact David at (619) 230-5799 or email Save Our Bolts at info@saveourbolts.org

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