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Politics

San Diego Revises Policy On City-Owned Tickets To Petco Park, Qualcomm Events

Associated Press
Jets fly above Petco Park during the national anthem prior to the MLB baseball All-Star Game, July 12, 2016.

With many city-owned tickets to events at Petco Park and Qualcomm Stadium going unused, the San Diego City Council on Tuesday unanimously revised its distribution policy in an effort to boost participation.

The city receives 26 seats to events at Petco Park and 52 at Qualcomm Stadium. Last year, the city suites were full for just nine events, while they were empty for 11, partly because officials declined to participate under the current policy, according to a staff report.

The new policy places authority for distributing the tickets in the office of the council president, instead of with individual council members; grants top priority for receiving tickets to nonprofits; limits recipients to one event every six months; and increases use of the tickets by San Diego municipal workers under an employee reward program.

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Recipients will be required to sign a code-of-conduct form that will generally mirror stadium behavioral regulations.

Councilman Christ Cate, who helped develop the amendments, said the purpose was "to remove all nine of us (council members) from having the ability to use these tickets for any type of personal or political gain moving forward, no matter what it is."

"This allows individuals in the community who are on the ground, who understand their groups, who serve on behalf of those who are in need, to have the opportunity to apply for these tickets, use them for whatever purpose they serve for the betterment of the community and not just strictly rely on a relationship or knowing or having access to a council office — whomever sits in it today," Cate said.

The amended policy broadens the range of people who can benefit from the tickets, he said.

While a public speaker criticized the use of event tickets for political benefits, the executive director of the city's Ethics Commission, Stacey Fulhorst, said the amendments meet the guidelines of the Fair Political Practices Commission.