Illustration by Adriana Heldiz for Voice of San Diego

Many Padres fans don’t even realize when they buy a $10 hot dog or a $20 tall boy: Roughly 10 percent of the take at many stands is supposed to be donated to charity.

Charities staff those concession stands at Petco Park and, in return, they get to keep anywhere from nine to 12 percent of the proceeds for their charity.

A group called Chula Vista Fast Pitch operates more stands than any other charity in the park – netting it potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, according to documents obtained by Voice of San Diego. The only problem is Chula Vista Fast Pitch does not exist.

Chula Vista Fast Pitch doesn’t have a website and it has no permits to use fields in Chula Vista. Official tax and business filings, as well as internet archives, show that such a charity did exist at one time. But it shut down in 2014. (The charity was called “Chula Vista Fastpitch.” Fastpitch, a version of softball, is one word, but the group at Petco spells it out in two words.)

Searches for many different permutations of Chula Vista Fast Pitch online, in business directories and in tax filings returned no current nonprofit organizations.

People familiar with the softball world, including the former founders of Chula Vista Fastpitch, say no one is using that name currently for softball purposes.

And yet, Chula Vista Fast Pitch has been operating in Petco Park for the last nine years. Multiple people familiar with the operation said it was an open secret that the charity doesn’t really exist.

So who oversees these groups? The city of San Diego owns Petco Park. It entrusts the management of the facility to the Padres. The Padres, in turn, entrust the management of concessions to Delaware North, a company involved in food, venue and hotel management all over the world.

Delaware North requires the nonprofits to submit paperwork on a semi-regular basis to verify their charitable status, according to emails obtained by Voice.

Officials for the company said they would investigate Chula Vista Fast Pitch after receiving questions from Voice.

The fact Chula Vista Fast Pitch was operating in some form and taking revenue from Petco Park charitable operations shocked the former softball league’s founders.

“Wow, okay, Jesus,” said Jackson Wyatt, who formed Chula Vista Fastpitch with his wife in 2008.  Wyatt said he had no idea anyone was still using the name.

Wyatt and his wife closed Chula Vista Fastpitch in 2014, he said, because they’d just had a daughter and no longer had the bandwidth to keep the league running.

“It seems so dumb that no one at Petco Park would notice,” said Wyatt. “Every softball team and all the leagues know each other. It seems very silly that’s the name someone’s gonna come up with, because right away it’s obvious [that it doesn’t exist.]”

Hot Dogs Are Big Business

Fans at Petco Park during a San Diego Padres vs. Baltimore Orioles game on Aug. 16, 2023.
Fans at Petco Park during a San Diego Padres vs. Baltimore Orioles game on Aug. 16, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Chula Vista Fast Pitch has run an average of 12 stands per night at Petco, according Delaware North officials. Anyone who has been to a Ballpark Eats, michelada stand or Mr. Softee might have dropped money in the group’s bank account.

The stands bring in money that can be a massive boost to charities.

Operating the stands, Chula Vista Fast Pitch collected $3.7 million in net sales between Jan. 1 and June 5, according to receipts Voice obtained. And that only included the first two months of baseball season. (Charities in the program also staff the stands during concerts and other events.)

Ten percent of $3.7 million is $370,000.

Delaware North officials declined to answer questions about how they verify whether a charity is real or not. After receiving an email from Voice, they did say they planned to look into the matter.

“We are actively looking into the recent information presented to us regarding the status of Chula Vista Fastpitch and will determine our course of action after our review is complete,” wrote Charlie Roberts, the director of public relations.

Padres officials put an arm’s length between themselves and Delaware North.

“The Padres do not have operational oversight of [Delaware North’s nonprofit program,]” wrote Craig Hughner, a Padres spokesman, in an email. Delaware North “is solely responsible for the staffing of their concession stands at Petco Park.”

Hughner later confirmed the Padres are following up with Delaware North on Chula Vista Fast Pitch’s role at the stadium.

Meet the Players

If Chula Vista Fast Pitch doesn’t exist as a nonprofit, then who is operating the stands at Petco Park under that name? Multiple sources, who asked to remain anonymous, pointed us to two men: Noly Ilarde and Martin Rebollo.

When reached by phone, Rebollo acknowledged that he worked with Chula Vista Fast Pitch.

“I help them out,” he said.

Rebollo said he acts as a manager and a supervisor for the group. He also said his daughter is involved with softball and with Chula Vista Fast Pitch.

However, Rebollo told me he wasn’t in charge.

I asked him who is.

“Who’s the main person?” Rebollo asked, repeating the question. He told me he only knew the last name of the man in charge, but couldn’t remember the first name. 

I told Rebollo it had been difficult to find any mention of Chula Vista Fast Pitch and asked him it if it was a real nonprofit.

He said he believed it was.

I also asked if anything potentially inappropriate or illegal was going on with the group.

“No, not that I’m aware of,” he said.

At Petco Park during a recent Padres game, I found Ilarde, who said Rebollo was the one really in charge of Chula Vista Fast Pitch and the stands it operates.

“Martin’s in charge. He’s on the paperwork,” Ilarde said.

Ilarde acknowledged he is a manager for Chula Vista Fast Pitch, but would say little else, before disappearing into the back of a Ballpark Eats stand near Section 116.

I told both Ilarde and Rebollo that others told me the two of them ran the group and they should contact me before deadline if they had anything they wanted to add. I didn’t hear from either of them again.

In my conversation with Rebollo, he mentioned that he was associated with a second group called Chula Vista Fast Patch. A “C V Fast Patch” was once registered with California’s Secretary of State. It lists its address as a home owned by Rebollo, according to property records.

C V Fast Patch claimed to be a softball nonprofit in paperwork submitted to the state. The Internal Revenue Service, however, automatically revoked the group’s charitable status in 2018, because it hadn’t filed taxes for three years.

Jackson Wyatt, Chula Vista Fastpitch’s original founder, said Rebollo did have a loose connection to the original Chula Vista Fastpitch. He said Rebollo’s brother was a coach for one of the teams.

“I would hate for the legacy to be this, because it was a cool league and helped a lot of kids get started,” he said. “That someone would turn around and use it for illicit purposes … you know nothing surprises me anymore.”

Will Huntsberry is a senior investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego. He can be reached by email or phone at or 619-693-6249.

Join the Conversation


  1. It seems from the evidence in this article that Chula Vista Fast Pitch is a long standing scam operation. It would be interesting to do a follow up on Delaware North’s worldwide “nonprofit” fundraising organizations. This could possibly expose a major network of false charities funneling millions of dollars to shell corporations.

  2. Thank you for this excellent expose of this local charity scam. Great journalism. There are definitely more layers to peel in this onion.

  3. well done..
    And this was common knowledge? The Padres saying its someone else’s problem strikes me as a cop out. How did they get their foot in the door originally? Details of the process might be enlightening. If there is one is there possibly others? I would like to know the back story on how you unraveled this investigation. I don’t think the Padres will be having a day for you…nice job

  4. Great journalism! This seems like just the tip of the iceberg, like who, exactly, is collecting the “charitable donations” and if anyone is paying the taxes on this income (since presumably Delaware North is claiming it as a charitable donation and there is no nonprofit filing taxes on it, either). Keep up the good work!

  5. Nice catch, but not exactly Hunter’s laptop.
    Seems like the Padres and Delaware (wait, Delaware maybe it IS the Bidens) are doing a good thing for the charities but got lazy checking the 501c3 status. If you think this is rare check the expiration dates on the elevator and fire extinguisher in your building.
    WillWoodward seemed to miss an obvious opportunity to ask the people who are volunteering to work at these stands why they were doing so and where they thought the money was going…
    Let’s hope the Pads/Delaware sniff out any non-charities and replace them with real charities vs. eliminating the program all together.

  6. Outstanding journalism! There is clearly a level of avoidance on multiple levels that should involve various agencies to further investigate if they have not already.
    I am a big fan of ethical behavior and integrity which feels optional these days. It’s good to know our local news teams are curious about these scenarios and ask questions. For that, you have earned a contribution from our household in the form of a donation.

    Great work to you and all who have partnered on this story.

  7. If what this article says is true, this looks like an open and shut case of felony fraud. Has VOSD referred the case to the County District Attorney’s office for investigation and prosecution yet?

  8. Do Noly Ilarde and Martin Rebollo have anything to do with 101 Ash Street? Nice reporting!

  9. I’ve not forgotten that it was Delaware North which had the contract for concessions in Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks and sneakily filed for copyright on the names of historic Park hotels in Yosemite, for instance, and were poised to charge taxpayers for use of the historic names, The Ahwahnee (hotel), Curry Village and the Wawona Hotel. Instead, NPS chose to use different names until litigation resulted in a settlement returning the names to the NPS and the public. Worth looking into what if any $$ has been going to Delaware North from this fake nonprofit at Petco Park.

  10. This is phenomenal investigative reporting! Your story is blowing up on Reddit by the way. Great job getting to the bottom of this!!

  11. Yes!! I was going to mention the same thing. They are not an ethical company in my opinion.

  12. Very interesting, but not surprising. The Padres organization cares only about being able to say their vendors give a percentage of profits to charity and not that they actually give a percentage of profits to charity. As for a crime, it is not clear that a crime has been committed based on the information provided in this story. That said, perhaps this investigative journalism provokes a deep dive resulting in exposure of legal transgressions. At minimum, hopefully this prevents future such incidences.

  13. This was talked about and a point of contention for the real non profits at both of these stadiums who work really hard to raise funds for real causes in the city. The rumblings were very well known at Petco park where CVFP operated before SnapDragon yet no investigation or inquiry ever seemed to come of it. Sounds like folks at the right levels made that possible.

  14. That crazy I worked the whole time Thier ask for my tips they said that they paid them to me and they said I sign a paper n never did

  15. That crazy I worked the whole time Thier ask for my tips they said that they paid them to me and they said I sign a paper n never did

  16. “Delaware North requires the nonprofits to submit paperwork on a semi-regular basis…”
    what a crock. there is no ‘semi-regular’; if it’s not regular, it’s not regular.
    in other words, NO regular oversight.

  17. Delaware North took the Old Town park and screwed it up after Diane Powers made it a destination for tourists.

  18. Good work, Will Huntsberry. Well researched and documented. Thank you for the expose. I’m glad there is action being taken because of your journalism. Too bad those scammers operated for so long.

  19. And people wonder why there is bureaucratic red tape. It’s because greedy so-called “entrepreneurs” like this ruin it for the honest folks. Instances like this will make it that much more challenging for small non-profits to compete. I hope this goes to criminal proceedings.

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