It’s been a year because San Diego City Council voted to revamp its perk of allowing officials to distribute tickets in Qualcomm Stadium and Petco Park to luxury suites, and city documents reveal the and city attorney’s employees of nonprofit groups are profiting.
In accordance with disclosure statements compiled into a database from U-T Watchdog, the majority of the tickets to the city-controlled suites — also a luxury box in Petco and a 52-seat luxurious box in Qualcomm — go to youth groups, associations and members of the army.
Recipients include the Old Globe Theatre, Vista Community Clinic and Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit that provides solar arrays for low-income households. YMCA groups have obtained 231 tickets to Chargers and Padres games because June 2016, the maximum tally in the database.
Coming in at No. 2 in terms of tickets obtained were employees of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, who obtained 105 tickets.
Gerry Braun said the office is currently allocated one third of the city box tickets available to Petco and Qualcomm suites. Elliott asked that five from the Padres’ 81 home games be used for employee recognition.
“A worker is eligible for this recognition when he or she demonstrates extraordinary job performance and has made a substantial positive contribution to town,” Braun said in an email. “Each of our established employees was nominated by a manager and receives two tickets.”
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, a nonprofit foundation that works to revitalize San Diego, has received 103 tickets to Padres games and San Diego State University football matches.
Bennett Peji, director of marketing and community events for your organization, reaches out to determine if volunteers or staff would like to attend an event for free and sometimes said an employee of City Council President Myrtle Cole was used to work in the Jacobs Center.
The center assists generate employment opportunities for people age 16 to 24 who are not in working or school.
“We employ them, and their job is to show up to class and learn a practical skill that will help them get back on track and become a part of the community,” Peji said. “They are the first people we provide the free tickets to. Most of them haven’t been to any game so that is their one chance. Not the last.”
San Diego City Council members voted unanimously in August of 2016 to overhaul the ticket policy, after decades of criticism and conflict-of-interest concerns for tickets are doled out. The shift centered the distribution of tickets and gave greater priority to high-performing and organizations city employees.
Councilman Chris Cate, who suggested the policy shift, said it would help boost use of their seats, which sat empty or were marketed on Craigslist. Many members of this council and Mayor Kevin Faulconer refrained from utilizing the tickets because of integrity concerns.
Cate’s reforms also known as for recipients to sign a form acknowledging that it is illegal to sell the tickets.
Statistics reveal city leaders have handed out almost 2,000 tickets and parking passes to the events because June 2016. The value per ticket fluctuates based on the occasion, however, the overall represents $ 15,000 in parking moves and roughly $ 130,000 in tickets.
As a mayoral candidate, Faulconer said he wished to terminate the perk altogether and use the city boxes as a revenue source to spend in areas.
Faulconer tried to terminate the perk by selling the suites back but neither team was curious.
Spokesman Craig Gustafson said Faulconer supported the attempt last year to reform its ticket policies of the council and the Mayor’s Office doesn’t take part in the application.
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