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On July19, SOAR hosted their 8th Annual Angels Game & BBQ event.  Held at The Gas Company building just across the street from Angel Stadium, the event was not only a chance for members to meet but also an opportunity to raise awareness for some of the issues Anaheim and its resorts face.

SOAR (Support Our Anaheim Resorts) is a coalition of residents, community leaders and business leaders that encourage the tourism market in Anaheim.  They also seek to protect the resorts district in Anaheim which they see as a major asset.  Some of these include the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Anaheim Ducks, the Anaheim Convention Center, and, of course, the Disneyland Resort.  They believe that the success of these teams and destinations leads to a more prosperous community for all of Anaheim  In fact, they point out that while the resorts district in Anaheim occupies only 5% of the land, it provides 50% of the revenue.

The event comes amid a lawsuit filed against the city and its council for what the petitioners call irresponsible spending in deals with the resorts district.  In April, a  group called CATER (Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility) sued the city Anaheim in an effort to stop recent deals to renovate Angels Stadium and expand the Anaheim Convention Center.

Councilman Jordan Brandman mentioned the controversy as he spoke to the crowd and encouraged attendees to come help them get the convention center deal passed for a second time on Tuesday.  His philosophy goes hand-in-hand with that of SOAR, as he summed his perspective thusly,  “when the convention center is strong and the Angels are strong and the Ducks are strong and the resort is strong, the entire city is strong.  Every single neighborhood thrives when our engine thrives.”

Similarly, Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray told the crowd, “the strength of our resort has a direct connection to the strength of the funding we can put into the neighborhoods.”  As fans were getting ready to head out to the game, Murray also pledged her support for the team saying,  “I will work every day to make sure those Angels stay in Anaheim for the next generation of fans.”

Across the street, the Angels went 12 innings against the Seattle Mariners before losing the game 3-2.  While the members of SOAR and their partners on the Anaheim City Council may feel their fighting a similarly long and drawn out battle, they also seem confident in a different result.