Santa Ana's Downtown Inc. has vowed to no longer help in attempts to attract the pro soccer team Chivas USA to the city after a group of residents voiced strenuous opposition last week to bringing the team to town.
The organization, which promotes the city's downtown core, doesn't want to be seen as taking sides, an email from Downtown Inc. Executive Director Vicky Baxter indicated.
Recently, Downtown Inc. hung a banner on Fourth Street that promoted the effort to bring the team to the city. The banner was part of a discount ticket promotion for city residents who wanted to attend a Chivas USA soccer game in Los Angeles, said Baxter. The banner was stamped with the Downtown Inc. logo.
But since the residents' meeting, which Baxter attended, it became apparent that bringing the team to the city is becoming a political issue.
Residents at the meeting, which took place at the house of former Councilman Tom Lutz, said the move would aggravate traffic and noise in their neighborhoods as well as take away a local stadium from high school and college football teams.
Rumors of Mayor Miguel Pulido's private meetings aimed at moving the team to the city further angered residents, who felt they should be consulted about the move and informed of the negotiations.
Here is Baxter's complete email:
This morning in our Marketing Committee Meeting I discussed the issues that over 15 leaders of Neighborhood Associations have with bringing a soccer team to Santa Ana and housing them initially in the arena and then on to "Historic" Willow Wick Park. There was complete agreement that we will cease and desist with any further assistance to the team, Mayor or anyone.
Again, thank you for inviting me last night and please keep me apprised of issues in the downtown you have concerns with. We are not a political group but merely here to enhance and facilitate a vibrant downtown!
— ADAM ELMAHREK