Sure, the Stanley Cup Final didn't go as expected. That still does not negate the positive branding benefits that we received thanks to the Shark's stellar performance this season. Raul Peralez--San Jose City Councilmember for District 3 (Downtown)--started his last newsletter with some thoughts on how San Jose's brand is changing for the better. I have included his statement in its entirety below, but recommend reading the whole newsletter over here.
Sports and politics putting us in the spotlight.
Never before has the Bay Area and specifically San José been in the spotlight as much as it has in recent weeks. Holding strong as the tenth largest city in the Unites States, it has been difficult to receive the same level of national recognition as other major cities. Sitting in the shadow of one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world, we San Joséans have regularly described ourselves in geographical context with San Francisco. This year I believe we can finally begin to see ourselves emerging with our own identity and that means our own internationally news worthy moments, for better or for worse.
Starting with Super Bowl 50 in February, there began to be a sense of pride amongst city officials, staff and our partners. When the San José Sports Authority helped cement a downtown hotel as the official NFC team host and the SAP Center as the official opening night venue, there was a measurable buzz going around. Fast forward to this past week, downtown has now played host to three more internationally newsworthy and historical events.
A few weeks ago both Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton made campaign stops in San José. Last Thursday night, while the Centennial of COPA America was having a kick off VIP celebration at our City Hall Rotunda, some San Joséans were helping to create national news with an inexcusable and disappointing display of violent protesting outside of the Trump rally at the McEnery Convention Center.
Friday afternoon, one of the greatest soccer players of all time was practicing at Spartan Stadium while fans were laying on the ground just trying to get a peek at him. Later that evening after the US National team lost to Colombia, downtown SubZero Festival guests could see lines of Colombia's visiting fans still donning their jerseys and patronized bars in the SoFA District.
On Saturday night the SAP Center hosted its first Stanley Cup Hockey game as our San José Sharks played their very first championship home game. The Sharks won the game with a spectacular overtime goal and created what may very well have been one of the single most prideful and exciting nights for San Josèans in a long time. The city had been shining teal all week with support pouring in from all over and after Saturday's win, the streets of downtown were flush with Sharks fans celebrating into the early morning.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention our friends to the Northeast, the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Needless to say there are plenty of San José residents who are also enjoying the spectacular and historic run that this team is having. I'll note that the SAP Center kicked off the Warriors preseason this year by hosting a game here in San José and fans even received a fantastic Stephan Curry bobble head with him wearing a Sharks Jersey. For those who caught it you may have also noticed Marreese Speights wearing his own personalized Sharks jersey prior to his team's game 2 win on Sunday.
Tomorrow marks a very important day in both national and local politics and I know I will be very keenly focused on the results. To keep your sports fix going, have no fear, San José is gearing up to become Gymnastics City USA once again when we host the Women's Gymnastic Olympic Trials early next month. Our very own San José Earthquakes are still undefeated at home and the San José Giants continue to farm their talents to their Major league ball club in that little city to our North.
Thank you to every one of our downtown residents, businesses and community partners for making San José shine brighter into the future.