The City of San Diego has selected Anaheim Arena Management’s bid to serve as the new management and venue operator for Pechanga Arena San Diego beginning June 1, 2020. Anaheim Arena Management operates Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Anaheim Ducks, the primary affiliate of the San Diego Gulls. Honda Center hosts top-name concerts, exciting sporting events and family shows, welcoming more than 40 million guests through its doors since opening in 1993.
“From the outset of this process, our goal was to improve the experience for the arena’s users and guests, enhance the volume and quality of programming and increase revenue for San Diego taxpayers,” said Anaheim Arena Management President/CEO Tim Ryan. “We are excited that the review panel agreed with this vision and selected our bid. We look forward to working collaboratively with the city staff to finalize an agreement that will achieve all of this plus deliver more value for the City of San Diego and its residents. The next steps will be negotiating the lease agreement with the City, which will then go to the City Council for approval.”
The San Diego Gulls, Pechanga Arena San Diego’s largest tenant, are owned and operated by the Anaheim Ducks, one of 31 NHL teams throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Ducks were purchased in the summer of 2005 by Henry and Susan Samueli and also took ownership of Anaheim Arena Management. The Ducks became California's first Stanley Cup Champion in 2007.
“We are committed to providing a fan-first experience at every touch point while utilizing the arena as a community asset to enrich the lives of San Diegans,” said Gulls President of Business Operations Matt Savant. “We look forward to working with AEG Management, the current arena operator, on a smooth and successful transition through the remainder of their lease with the city and the Gulls’ 2019-20 hockey season.”
The Gulls have been one of the AHL’s most successful franchises since the club’s inception in 2015. The club has welcomed more than 1.2 million fans to Pechanga Arena San Diego over the last four seasons while leading the AHL in attendance the last two years. The team’s commitment to the community is one of its fundamental values, which includes numerous fundraising events and special programs led by the San Diego Gulls Foundation, donating more than $250,000 to the San Diego community over the last five years to produce positive change for children and families throughout the region.
On the ice, the Gulls have qualified for the playoffs in three of their four seasons, one of only three AHL clubs to advance to the Division Finals on three-or-more occasions since the inception of the current division format in 2015. The Gulls made their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2019. The Gulls own an all-time regular-season record of 154-95-15-8 to lead the Pacific Division in all-time wins, points (331) and points percentage (.608%) since the division’s inception in 2015.