Axios San Diego

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Hey, it's Wednesday get-away day for the Padres, but stay-right-there-for-two-more-days day for us working stiffs.

  • Today's weather: Coast — Sunny with highs in the upper 60s and light winds. Inland — Sunny with highs near 80 and light winds.

Today's newsletter is 934 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Petco Park is MLB's most walkable

Data: Walk Score; Table: Axios Visuals

Petco Park is the most walkable baseball stadium in America, according to Walk Score.

Why it matters: Even in historically car-centric San Diego, the East Village area around the ballpark has developed into a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood like team officials pitched to voters in 1998.

By the numbers: Petco Park is tied for the top spot among all 30 MLB stadiums, along with Boston's Fenway Park and the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

  • Its transit score of 80, however, ranks 11th among the MLB's 30 ballparks.

How it works: Walk Score analyzes hundreds of walking routes and nearby amenities to calculate pedestrian friendliness and walkability. Population density and road metrics are also considered.

  • A good score (above 69) means a trip does not require a car and reflects how easy it is to walk to a location or use public transportation. A "walker's paradise" is a score of 90 or above.

Flashback: Before Petco Park, East Village was home to blocks of warehouses and industrial buildings.

  • In 1998, voters approved a deal where the city borrowed about $300 million to help build the ballpark, to be paid back with sales and hotel taxes generated by nearby development.
  • JMI Realty, where Padres owner John Moores was chairman, then got to create a development master plan for the 26-block area, including 10 blocks it acquired, as the New York Times reported.

Friction point: East Village is also ground zero for the despair of San Diego's ongoing homelessness crisis, and Petco Park has been a controversial driver of the city's response.

What's next: The Padres host the Cubs this afternoon to close out a three-game series, before a day off Thursday and the start of a weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

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2. SkateJazz continues spreading across San Diego

Ruby Hernandez of SkateJazz. Photo: Courtesy Ruby Hernandez

After starting as the house band for a Barrio Logan jazz night that quickly outgrew its space, SkateJazz is now busy filling up music clubs all over San Diego.

Why it matters: SkateJazz is drawing crowds and promoter attention, drummer Ruby Hernandez told Axios, because they "play songs people want to hear, not songs musicians want to play to improve their chops."

  • "It's dope musicians playing dope music that people can relate to — deep cuts, and songs people didn't know they wanted to hear until they hear it," Hernandez said.
  • That includes tunes by artists like Erykah Badu, Roy Ayers and Kool & the Gang.

What's next: SkateJazz's next show is Friday at Soda Bar in City Heights.

Driving the news: SkateJazz sold out Soda Bar earlier this year without an opener and has packed gigs at Moniker General, the Che Cafe and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla.

  • "SkateJazz needs a bigger space," Hernandez said. "Seventh-grade me would be very proud."

State of play: Hernandez is the only regular member of SkateJazz, but he said the rotating cast is part of the appeal.

  • "Spontaneity and rawness is where the magic happens in jazz," he said. "Sometimes, it's better if we don't rehearse."
  • "What crowds are responding to is jazz skills, but with taste and style," Hernandez said.

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3. The Lineup: Local news for you to read

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Padres cut nearly $100 million from last year's payroll — almost double the next-closest team. (NBC 7)

🧑‍🏫 UCSD is in negotiations to buy two buildings near the Santa Fe Depot train station after the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego shuttered both of its downtown locations last month. (Union-Tribune)

🏘️ Officials from the city of Del Mar and the state-controlled Del Mar Fairgrounds are asking the County Board of Supervisors to support building affordable housing on the property. (KPBS)

4. San Diego GOP chair resigns

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The San Diego GOP ousted its chairperson Monday after she failed in a controversial bid to change the party's 75th Assembly District endorsement in the middle of the race.

Why it matters: Paula Whitsell's attempt to revoke the party's endorsement of Lakeside School District board member Andrew Hayes in favor of talk radio host Carl DeMaio sparked outrage within the party and led to her resignation.

Driving the news: The party's governing board unanimously elected Corey Gustafson, a brewery owner and unsuccessful congressional candidate, to replace Whitsell, Fox 5 reported.

The intrigue: Whitsell told a party committee earlier this month that its previous endorsement of Hayes applied only to last month's primary and called for a new general election endorsement vote, as Voice of San Diego scooped.

  • In an email to party officials, Coronado Republican Mayor Richard Bailey called Whitsell's maneuver an unprecedented abuse of power and violation of party bylaws.

Context: Hayes won the GOP endorsement in June with support from over two-thirds of the party's governing board, but DeMaio won more than twice as many votes in last month's primary.

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5. Our March Madness champs

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

College basketball season is over and we've got some swag to give away.

State of play: Michael S. won our bracket for the men's tournament, while Seth B. took home the women's championship.

  • Shoot us an email (replying to this one will do), and we'll get some Axios gear in your hands as quick as a Caitlin Clark pull-up from the logo.

The intrigue: Special thanks to Michael S. for sneaking past Andy, ensuring he couldn't use this space to take a victory lap.

Our picks:

💀 Andy is monitoring with interest all the festival failures he's seeing.

⚽️ Kate is happy the USWNT beat Canada in PKs — this time on a non-flooded field.

This newsletter was edited by Carly Mallenbaum and copy edited by James Gilzow.