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The odds seem stacked against SeaWorld being forced to phase out its killer whale shows. But if critics do force SeaWorld to act — or it acts on its own — could one of San Diego’s most lucrative landmarks survive? It could, former theme park executives tell us, although it’s no simple presto-change-o.
We compile their perspectives in a new story and ponder other ways forward for the park.
So what are the other options? Old-timers may remember the the defunct Marine World, which is now all about thrill rides. That’s one possibility: Six Flags Mission Bay, maybe? Or it could turn into a zoo (we’ve got one, although not about sea creatures) or an aquarium (uh-oh, got one of those too).
• SeaWorld is reporting that attendance at its 11 theme parks has slumped by 13 percent in the first three months of the year. We take a look at what that could mean.
Could the park be suffering from a “Blackfish” backlash? It’s not clear. And keep in mind that the attendance numbers are for all SeaWorld theme parks, including Busch Garden theme parks back East and a water park in Chula Vista, among other properties.
According to the U-T, “SeaWorld stock fell 1.41 percent to close at $30.01 a share.”
• The U-T chats with the assemblyman who wants to bring SeaWorld to its knees.
Balboa Park’s Plan B: Party On
• It looks like we’ll end up with more than a miniature fiesta next year after The Balboa Park Fiasco. In a new story, we look at how the Balboa Park Conservancy is playing a crucial role in a last-ditch effort to make a party happen. Not only that: The booster group is out to restore and enhance the iconic botanical garden building.
• San Diego Explained, our video series with NBC San Diego, takes its own look at the city’s attempts to salvage the centennial of the exposition that turned Balboa Park into the jewel it is today.
Pondering the Police Department’s Future
We’re holding a community meeting later this month to discuss the problems facing the San Diego Police Department and where we go from here. Join us on April 15 at Cherokee Point Elementary School and get details here.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! U-T Has Stadium Thoughts
As you may have noticed, the U-T really, really, really wants a new football stadium. Pretty please with sugar and city subsidies on top?
In a column, U-T sports columnist Kevin Acee reports that city staffers will meet with the Chargers next week to move forward on stadium plans.
Acee says the team knows that it won’t get new taxes to pay for the thing, but he notes that there are other ways to find taxpayer money for a stadium. Now under discussion: a stadium in Mission Valley instead of downtown.
Quick News Hits: Credentials, Please!
• A byproduct of the beer-making process is used to feed pigs, but now there’s a debate over whether so-called “spent grain” follows proper safety protocols when it comes to food for animals. VOSD food politics blogger Clare Leschin-Hoar has details and local perspective.
• Internal emails reveal worry about accuracy within the industry-backed campaign to turn back the City Council’s plans for the Barrio Logan neighborhood, the Reader reports.
• Armed with an odd logo (is that supposed to be a sailboat?), the city’s Olympics bid for 2024 is ready. (U-T)
• “San Diego Superior Court judicial candidate Ken Gosselin is accused of misleading voters about his education, his experience and the kind of law he practices,” KPBS reports. An opponent says he claims he was Harvard-trained but actually — apparently — only attended a workshop. And there’s more.
• Did you think we’d stop hearing from former mayoral candidate and ex-legislator Nathan Fletcher? Me neither. He wrote a personal essay for us a few weeks ago, and now he’s hanging out with Bill Clinton and revealing that he had his photo taken with the guy more than 30 years ago. (Clinton was governor, and Fletcher was a kid.)
• Students in Escondido this week weren’t out to break a world record. They wanted to set one in a category that doesn’t exist: the world’s longest PB&J. (U-T)
Sounds great. But, as the U-T reports, they didn’t just use jelly. Preserves and jam were part of the mondo sandwich too: “The flavors were pomegranate, peach cobbler, strawberry habanero, apple pie, jalapeño, mandarin-orange, banana rum-raisin and fig with walnut conserve.”
Rum-raisin for kids? Scandalous! And non-jelly components? Sacrilege!
I’m telling the Guinness people! Just wait while I try some of this peanut butter. Wait, don’t take away the milk … Mrrph! Margggh!