San Diego’s Ernie Hahn has seen it all. He has been involved with live events since 1991 working with the former San Diego Sports Arena, now known as the Pechanga arena. Formerly the home of the San Diego Clippers basketball team, prior to their name change and move to Los Angeles, the arena still holds 130 or more events annually. Hahn became the arena’s general manager in 1996.
I have some personal knowledge of Hahn’s journey with the arena because I came to San Diego as a graduate student in 1983 and am still there today. During those past almost 40 years I’ve been to the live events in that building more than 100 times and likely closer to 200. I’ve seen it all from U2, The Who and Paul McCartney to George Michael, Billy Joel, Green Day and Britney Spears (when my daughter was young.) There’ve been circuses and ice skating shows, Harlem Globetrotters basketball, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes for my step-daughter. I even saw the Rolling Stones from the walkway around the concourse where the arena management pulled some seats because the seats I had purchased had been compromised by an overeager fan who gave back her dinner onto my row just as we were walking to the seats.