In the wake of the Chargers relocating to Los Angeles, the San Diego Padres are moving to reassure their city with a ‘Celebrate San Diego Rally’ on Feb. 11.
The Chargers may be gone but San Diego isn’t dwelling on it. City officials have teamed with the San Diego Padres to host a “Celebrate San Diego Rally” at Petco Park on Saturday, February 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
According to an announcement made on the Padres’ website, the rally will feature speeches from Trevor Hoffman, Randy Jones, and Padres manager Andy Green.
Other figures from the San Diego sports community will also appear, as all the other organizations still in the area – including the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, MASL’s San Diego Sockers, and teams from San Diego State University, University of San Diego and University of California San Diego – have also pledged their support for the rally.
Longtime radio broadcaster Ted Leitner will emcee the rally, as he has done for many other major events at Petco Park in the past.
The Padres will also offer the opportunity for fans to turn in their unwanted Chargers gear to be donated to charity. In exchange, they’re offering a $25 credit at the Padres Team Store so that San Diegans can purchase new Padres gear to wear and use instead.
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Stadium gates open at 10 a.m. for interested fans.
This is either a great show of solidarity with the community or a canny bit of self-promotion from the Padres (and there’s no reason it can’t be both).
San Diego sports fans are incredibly upset with the Chargers for deciding to exit the city in favor of a shared stadium with the now-Los Angeles Rams, to the point where moving companies refused to help the team relocate.
Their departure has made San Diego the only major market in the United States that does not have both an NFL team and an MLB team.
It’s a nice gesture from the community to try and quell the anger by bringing sports fans together to celebrate what they still have, and point out that there are teams that do want to play in San Diego.
At the same time, the situation also presents a perfect opportunity for the Padres to capitalize upon now that they are the only major sports franchise in town. Especially since the team has its own room for improvement – with an underperforming roster that traded most of the major stars it signed in the offseason and general manager A.J. Preller busted by MLB for a medical records controversy – they could certainly use to win over some more fans as well.
Will fans turn out for the “Celebrate San Diego Rally” at Petco Park? Are you interested in going? For more upcoming events in the San Diego area, visit the San Diego section of Local POV here.