Posted by Jack Anderson on Sep 07, 2017

Sunrise Rotary September 7, 2017; Ernie Hahn Discusses the Valley View Casino Center and San Diego Sports History



President Dave called the meeting to order…


Past President John Masson led the Pledge to our Flag… 


The invocation was offered by Past President Jack Anderson 


Guests and Visitors:


Dave Avanos, from the Boys and Girls Club


Kathy O’Malley was a guest of Past President Mike O’Malley




September    7    Kathy Herbert


            Glynna Hoekstra


        8    Lorraine Page


            Past President Mike Muehl    




None this week


Rotary Anniversaries:


None this week


Photos of the Week:


Past President Mike Muehl with another “bigggggg Fish”… Mike caught this Blue Fin Tuna off of San Clemente Island… Weighed in at about 150#… He landed it in 2 1/2 hours on relatively light tackle… Nice Work!!


Grape Day 5K:    30 Days till the big event…


Still need runners…


Fundraising is going strong: $44,476 committed by our teams


With Major Donors, the total raised is $100,436


Great job by all… Find those participants…




Past President and Foundation Chair, Kevin Svetich; presented the first Paul Harris Fellow award to Bob Portillo. Congratulations Bob, thanks for your generosity…





Dates to Remember:


September:    23    Rotary Foundation Seminar, Poway Center for the Performing Arts


October:    7    Escondido Sunrise Grape Day 5K Event; 30 days away


Hi-Fives and Announcements:


Future President Chris Miller announced that Kathy Johnson had her last chemo treatment; Kathy and Past President Jeff are on their way to Italy for a celebratory trip… Blessings!!


Past President Rich Aeling announced that his daughter is moving back to Escondido and she is now ‘Engaged”… Congrats Dad; get the check book ready…


Past President Jack Anderson announced that the Education COMPACT is seeking mentors for high school youth in their career development program. An orientation meeting will be held on Thursday October 12 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Escondido Police Department Community Room… Contact COMPACT: 760-839-4515, ext 4277… or






Past President Mark Hoekstra introduced our speaker (and his cousin); Ernie Hahn, President of AEG; Arena Entertainment Group, and General Manager of the Valley View Casino Center… or as some would call it, The San Diego Sports Arena…


Ernie shared some history of the 50 year-old facility and the various sports teams that have called it home, and major events that have taken place there. Of note was the 1979 NCAA Basketball Final Four, and various times with the Rockets (now Houston), the Clippers (now LA) and various hockey teams in a variety of leagues.






Ernie Hahn speaking to Escondido Sunrise Rotarians



The arena hosts 150 or more events each year, and in spite of its age, functions very well with numerous interior improvements that have been put in place over the years. Ernie used the example of exterior versus interior improvements; most of us are likely to agree that the arena looks like it did when it was new… Ernie’s comment was that return on investment is not affected positively at all, by the way of a venue’s exterior appearance. But, it functions now like an arena of the 21st century… And, the number of events staged there each year are a testimony to the quality of the venue to those who perform there. The arena is in the top five in the world in gross revenue for comparably sized venues.


Ernie also discussed the challenges in upgrading the facility; ranging from height limits on buildings west of I-5; a citizen’s initiative in San Diego that rarely sees a variance granted… And the Arena’s neighborhood (many strip malls, and lots of ‘strip’ businesses…). His comments reflect his perspective as a developer when he refers to the “CAVE” people always present in communities… “Citizens Against Virtually Everything.”

He spoke from a developer’s perspective about the challenges of land and project development; sharing his thoughts on development of big box stores and shopping malls and, now after several years of operation (e.g. Horton Plaza), being re-purposed. Having grown up in his father’s business, and with his grandfather’s (developer Ernest Hahn; North County Fair, Horton Plaza, and UTC among his major projects) influence. 


President Dave with Ernie Hahn and Past President Mark Hoekstra…










Next Week’s Program:


Bill Schutzer, Ramona Valley Vintners…


Opportunity Drawing:


Lunch Money:    $18.00    Past President Mike O’Malley 


Big Pot:        $200.00    Gloria Leffler … Sorry, better luck next time