New AHL Team Name – Finalists are Revealed

The Calgary Flames have reveal the five finalist names for the AHL team set to begin play in Stockton during Fall 2015.

Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton AHL franchise, owned by the Calgary Flames, announce the five names that have made the final cut from the “Name the AHL Team” contest. The American Hockey League franchise will be known as the Stockton Blaze, Stockton Fire, Stockton Heat, Stockton Inferno or the Stockton Scorch.

The winning name, which will be selected by the Calgary organization, will be announced soon and the winning fan will be awarded the grand prize of season tickets for the inaugural AHL season.

“We were simply blown away by the amount of names submitted,” Team President Dave Piecuch said. “We received thousands of submissions from all over the Central Valley, and even a few from Alberta, and it seems that the overwhelming majority would like to see the AHL team branded similar to that of the parent Calgary Flames hockey club.”

The Flames name was originally used in Atlanta for the expansion Atlanta Flames NHL club back in 1971. When the team moved to Calgary in 1980 the name was retained and the flaming “C” has been the trademark ever since.

Throughout the Flame’s history, the team’s AHL affiliation tends to play off the big club’s moniker, being known as the St. John Flames from 1993-2003, the Quad City Flames in 2007-09, the Abbotsford Heat from 2009-14 and currently the Adirondack Flames.

Fans can reserve their seats for the first season of AHL hockey in Stockton by calling (209) 373-1500. For more information, visit


*Story courtesy of Stockton Thunder

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A new year, a new push forward…

It is no secret that the City of Stockton has gone through its challenges. However, 2015 will mark a new, a time for moving forward, and a time to grow into a new roll. The team at Visit Stockton has been pushing hard for the past couple years to promote Stockton to all that may bring business to our city, now it is time for everyone to rally together and do it with us.

As Visit Stockton representatives travel around to meet with potential event organizers, we are often asked about past events, how they went, and how the attendance was at these events. With this, supporting Stockton’s growth can be as simple as attending a sporting event or community function. This simple act means much more than just occupying a seat at the event. This act shows the rest of the country that our city rallies behind events and should they choose to bring their event to town, the event will be a successful one.

There are other opportunities to get involved to help Stockton grow. Visit Stockton introduced a program nearly two years ago, our Certified Ambassador program. Designed to give residents and employees in the are the resources to assist visitors, the program has certified nearly 200 people in town. We are always looking for additional help and do what we can to show appreciation for those that join us. For more information, contact Megan at the Visit Stockton office (209) 938-1555, or click here.

Or, you can help in a more hands on approach. Reach out to a local sporting event organizer, or community event organizer. Whether it be a local little league, sports club, or anything like that, they always need additional help and I know it would be appreciated. A little help goes a long ways and although it may be hard to picture exactly what your value is, trust me…it is appreciated more than you can imagine.

Now, looking forward to the beginning of sporting events in 2015, the first community sporting event is the St. Mary’s High School MLK Girls Basketball tournament. Held on MLK holiday weekend, this tournament showcases the rich history of girls basketball at the school and brings in teams from across the area. For more information on this tournament, click here.

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Following a record breaking year of sports, the momentum continues…

2014 was a record breaking year for sports in the City of Stockton.  We hosted two National Championships, one World Finals and 9 collegiate conference championships.  Not to mention countless other events that kept our fields, courts and facilities busy.

Well, very happy to say that 2015 (and beyond) continue to look bigger and brighter.  2015 will see a Junior Olympics event, a World Finals, and at least 7 collegiate conference championships (with more to be announced).  Plus, our softball and baseball fields are being utilized almost every weekend of the year next year!

Some of the key events to look out for include the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships.  This event comes to Stockton for the first time and will be held at the Stockton Arena from March 5-7, 2015.  For those that don’t know, the CCAA is the home conference of the local California State Stanislaus Warriors.  The city will definitely want to come out in full force to support this event and watch some fast paced, high quality basketball.  Once the CCAA wraps up their basketball championships, their staff will return to town three more times for their Golf Championships (Brookside Golf & Country Club), Softball Championships (Arnaiz Softball Complex) and Baseball Championships (Klein Family Field at the University of the Pacific).

Following the CCAA, the West Coast Conference comes into town with their Conference Baseball Championships.  This event is always a special one as the championship game is on ESPN nationwide.  However, 2015 makes it even more special for two reasons…our local Pacific Tigers have great chance of making the tournament, and 2015 is the last year of the contract with the event being in Stockton.  The ballpark staff and Visit Stockton staff are currently negotiating an extension, but how awesome would it be to pack the park to show them we want them here?

June brings us the USA Racquetball Junior Olympics event.  This event is a week-long championships for youth from all over the country.  Although the event will be based at the In-Shape Sport facility off of West Lane, it will also utilize the other In-Shape facilities that have racquetball courts.

Then in September, we once again have the EVP World Finals of Beach Volleyball on the beautiful campus of the University of the Pacific.  This facility is state of the art, and the athletes loved playing here in 2014.  If you missed it, you’ll definitely want to come the last weekend of September and see it before it leaves!

I’m very happy to say, this is only a small segment of our sporting events for 2015.  To check on other events, please feel free to visit our website

And of course, it doesn’t stop with 2015, Visit Stockton and the local facilities are working to bring the city numerous other events in future years, including the NCAA Women’s Basketball Regionals, NCAA Golf Regionals and various other championship events.  If you have any ideas on possible events for our city to host, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

On behalf of everyone at Visit Stockton, thank you for making 2014 such a fantastic year.  Our city truly rallies around sporting events and it makes our job that much easier to show potential event organizers just what they’ll get when they come to town.  Have a wonderful New Years, and here’s to a great 2015.

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Fleet Feet Sports Stockton announces 10th Annual Resolution Run & Walk – New Years Eve Night

Fleet Feet Sports Stockton is pleased to announce the 10th annual Resolution Run & Walk – New Years Eve night – December 31st.

At the stroke of midnight, enjoy a family friendly 2 mile run or walk though Lincoln Center and the Lincoln Village neighborhood. Enjoy hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, treats and great friends. Entry is $20 and includes a custom long sleeve t-shirt and raffle ticket for over $2000 in raffle prizes and gift certificates to be given away that night. Wear your best pajamas for a special prize.

For more information or to register, visit or contact Fleet Feet Sports at (209) 952-1446

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Delta Athletics Update

The Mustangs had a good weekend with women’s basketball winning a tournament, men’s basketball finishing as tournament runner-ups and three wrestlers placing at the State Championships.

Our last home athletic event for 2014 is the Men’s Basketball Delta Holiday Invitational this Friday-Sunday December 19-21. The Mustangs play their first game at 6:00PM on Friday versus Reedley.  Following this game (at 7:30) former Delta Athletic Director/Coach Ernie Marcopulos will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Delta Athletics.

Men’s Basketball: The team finished in second place at the Foothill College Tournament this weekend. In the first round they defeated Shasta 70-64. They then won 70-68 over Foothill. In the tournament finals they lost a tight one 68-71 to #8 state ranked Canada. They are currently at 6-3. They host their home tournament this Friday-Sunday.

Women’s Basketball: They went 3-0 this weekend to win the Caren Franci Tourney at Santa Rosa. In the first game they defeated College of the Redwoods 69-39. In the semifinals they won a tight one 67-66 over Ohlone. In yesterday’s finals they won 57-39 over San Francisco. The picture of the team after the championship game is on the CCCAA website:

The Lady Mustangs are at 10-2 on the year. They compete again at the San Jose Tournament on December 27-29.

Wrestling: The team finished 14th in the State Championships with all three competing wrestlers earning All-State honors. Tim McMihelk finished 5th at 285 while Rogelio Bravo (149) and Talyn LaTour (197) both finished 7th.

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San Joaquin ASA Annual Crab Feed set for January 24

The Greater San Joaquin Softball Association and The Greater San Joaquin Hall of Fame is sponsoring a fundraising Crab Feed on January 24, 2015 at the Lodi Grape Festival Jackson Hall.

Doors open for cocktails at 6pm, Dinner at 7pm, raffle and auction at 8:30 and music and dancing from 9pm-12pm featuring “The Retreads”.  The cost is $45 each and proceeds will go to the construction of a permanent Hall of Fame Display featuring over 60 years of softball history. Tables are also available for $400 and seat 10.

Tickets are available by calling 209 484-5036 or going to our web site .  Tickets are also available at Canepa’s Car Wash on Pacific Ave., Stockton.  For all the information, and a sample of the great band that’s playing at the event, go to

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Ports announce 2015 coaching staff

The Stockton Ports have announced their field staff for the 2015 season. In conjunction with the Oakland Athletics, Rick Magnante will enter his first season as manager for the Ports, and joining him are pitching coach Rick Rodriguez, hitting coach Brian McArn, athletic trainer Travis Tims, strength coach Henry Torres, and clubhouse manager Vic Zapien.

Magnante will be joining the Ports in his 13th season with the A’s organization, having served as the manager of Class-A Beloit in 2014. Magnante previously spent eight seasons with the A’s short-season teams in Vermont (2011-2013) and Vancouver (2006-2010). Magnante acted as a scout with the Athletics’ prior to his coaching career from 1995-2005 and has been credited with signing both Barry Zito and Bobby Crosby to the A’s organization. Magnante served as the manager of the South African National Team during the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics and managed the team during the 2013 qualifying tournament. The University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus was drafted in the 13th round of the 1969 draft by the Cleveland Indians and spent one year in the minor leagues with their Class-A affiliate.

Rodriguez will serve as pitching coach for the Ports, marking his first season with Stockton. Rodriguez served as the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats’ pitching coach for the past two seasons and previously acted as the A’s bullpen coach in 2011 and 2012. The University of California, Riverside alumnus spent an additional ten seasons with the River Cats as pitching coach from 2000-2002 and 2004-2010, and in 2003 he managed the Athletics’ Class-A affiliate at the time, the Modesto A’s. Rodriguez was drafted by the A’s in the second round of the 1981 draft, having spent two years with the major league club and five in the minors. The Oakland, CA native also spent a year pitching for both the San Francisco Giants (1990) and Cleveland Indians (1988).

McArn, an Elk Grove native, will be re-joining the Ports in his second consecutive year as Stockton’s hitting coach and 18th with the A’s organization. McArn spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons in Stockton before getting promoted to Double-A Midland in 2013. Previously, McArn has also coached for Triple-A Sacramento and Advanced-A Modesto.

Tims will enter his third season in Stockton as the Ports’ athletic trainer and seventh with the A’s organization. Prior to joining Stockton, he spent 2012 with Low-A Burlington Bees and acted as athletic trainer in short-season from 2008-2011. In 2010, Tims was named Northwest League’s Athletic Trainer of the Year.

Torres will be joining the Ports in his second year with the Athletics organization and his first as Stockton’s strength coach. The University of Texas, San Antonio alumnus spent the 2014 season with the Short-Season Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters. Prior to joining the Athletics, Torres was the strength and conditioning coach for the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Rookie League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, in 2013.

Zapien is entering his 11th season with the Stockton Ports and 10th as clubhouse manager, having originally  joined the organization as a bat boy. Following his inaugural season, Zapien was promoted to the team’s clubhouse manager. Zapien has represented the Ports as the California League All-Star team’s clubhouse manager three times (2007, 2011, 2013) and was named the California League Clubhouse Manager of the Year in 2010.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new field staff. I am excited for our opportunity to win an unprecedented 12th League championship title,” said Ports President Pat Filippone. “We wish Ryan Christenson the best with his opportunity in Midland.”

Former Ports manager, Ryan Christenson, will be joining Double-A Midland as manager. In Stockton, Christenson led the team to an 85-55 record and a second-half division title.

The Stockton Ports’ Opening Night is scheduled for Thursday, April 16th vs. the Visalia Rawhide. Season tickets and mini-plans are now available by contacting the Ports’ front office at 209-644-1900.


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2014 – A Great Year for Sports in Stockton

2014 was a banner year for the city; we hosted two national championships, a world finals event, and several collegiate conference championships. We saw more positive media exposure surrounding sporting events than ever before, and have lined up several key events for the future!

Here is a breakdown of some of the major facilities in Stockton and how they stayed busy throughout the year:

The Stockton Arena was busier than ever when it comes to amateur sporting events. Not only was it host to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Wrestling Championships, it also hosted the United States Twirling Association (USTA) National Baton Twirling Championships in July (economic impact of over $500,000 to the city), and the USA Roller Sports Roller Derby National Championships in September (economic impact of over $230,000 to the city). The facility will be busy again in 2015 as the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) brings its conference basketball championships to town for the first time in March of 2015.

Banner Island (Stockton) Ballpark hosted countless youth travel baseball tournaments and also served as home to two major collegiate baseball events: the CCAA baseball championship and the West Coast Conference (WCC) baseball championships. Both events were held in May and brought in a combined economic impact of nearly $500,000 to the city of Stockton. The WCC event was broadcasted live on ESPN nationwide and will return to the ballpark in May of 2015.

The University of the Pacific’s Athletics Department has been extremely busy during the year as well. Not only are they in the middle of a major athletic facility construction project, they have also been host several large-scale conference championship events on campus. The last event of 2014 was hosted on the university’s newest facility in November – the NorPac Field Hockey Championships were played on the new Field Hockey Turf complex.

But of course, there are two colleges in town, and Delta has remained just as busy as Pacific. San Joaquin Delta College has served as host to the conference Track & Field Championships, the conference Water Polo Championships, and several other events on campus throughout 2014.

Other facilities in town that have been busy include the Arnaiz Softball Complex (host to California Grapettes and Runnin’ Rebels Softball tournaments, as well as the CCAA Softball Championships), Billy Hebert Stadium (host to countless travel ball tournaments), and the golf courses in town (Brookside Golf & Country Club, Stockton Golf & Country Club, and The Reserve at Spanos Park all hosted large scale tournaments this year).

To all that assisted in making 2014 such a great year for sports in Stockton, I say THANK YOU! I spend all day, everyday marketing our city to sporting event organizers, and having an ever-growing resume of successful events and happy event participants definitely makes my job easier.

With that said, here’s to a successful 2015 in the city! We have four CCAA events (basketball, golf, softball, and baseball), WCC baseball championships, USA Racquetball Junior Olympics, and many more events to look forward to!


Posted in Baseball, Baton Twirling, Delta, National Championships, Pacific, Ports, Roller Derby, Softball | Leave a comment

Why the NCAA Regionals is such a WIN for Stockton

Last week’s announcement that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) awarded the City of Stockton their 2017 Women’s Basketball Regionals event was as good as it gets when it comes to sports marketing/sports tourism.

For almost 7 months now, the bid team (Visit Stockton, University of the Pacific and the Stockton Arena) have been working on providing a very detailed, positive bid to entice the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee to give Stockton the opportunity to host.  The NCAA likes to reward new communities by giving events to them (new in their world as it comes to hosting events), but they like rewarding successful cities even more so.

For a city the size of Stockton, the regionals event is as large as we feasibly could host.  Sure, I’d love to have the experience of hosting a Final Four or a Super Bowl…but we are missing a 70,000 seat stadium (just as starters).  The regionals will bring four of the nation’s best Women’s Basketball teams to town to compete over two days (see below for the rough schedule), NCAA staff, university staff and fans, but even more so – a lot of media coverage.  Historically (I say this because tv contracts could change between now and 2017) the regionals round has been broadcast on ESPN, live, nationwide.

The great thing about the NCAA and them bringing their events to town is that from the second they award the event to a city, that city is already a winner.  Sports Marketing & Sports Tourism professionals are used to offering incentives to event organizers to come to their city, the NCAA does not require this…instead, they provide incentive to the facility and host institution (in our case, the University of the Pacific) to make sure it is a successful event by offering a form of profit sharing on the event.

Now that the event is awarded, the next phase of work begins.  It is time for the Local Organizing Committee (once again comprised of staff from Visit Stockton, the University of the Pacific and the Stockton Arena) to put plans in place to provide the best regionals event the NCAA has seen….one with seats in the arena full, and game operations run smoothly.

The reason this is so important?  Summer of 2017 marks the next bid cycle for NCAA events.  The event Stockton will host in March of 2017 will be very fresh in everyone’s minds back in Indianapolis where the NCAA is headquartered.  If everything goes smoothly, there is no reason the city can’t be rewarded with many additional events from the NCAA for years to come.

Celebrate the victory and what it means for our city.  Mark your calendars now to be at the arena the weekend of March 25, 2017.

Tentative schedule:

The games could be held either Friday and Sunday, or Saturday and Monday – the NCAA will announce this 9 months prior to the event.

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March Madness is coming to Stockton

On Thursday morning, the NCAA announced that Stockton has been awarded the 2017 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Regionals.  This will mark the first time this event has been held in Stockton.

The official NCAA release can be read here:


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    Tim Pasisz

    Tim Pasisz is the Sports Development Director for Visit Stockton, Stockton’s Visitors Bureau. He is tasked with marketing the city to sporting event organizers nationwide in an attempt for them to bring their events to town. Prior to working at ... Read Full

    Wes Rhea

    Wes Rhea has been the CEO of Visit Stockton (formerly known as the Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau) since 2005. Wes is a Stockton native and Army veteran and lives in Stockton with his wife Kristi and boys, Max and Jack. Read Full

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    Bryan Meadows is the Assistant General Manager of the Stockton Ports Baseball Team. A native of Allen, Texas, he oversees all event management, ticket sales and customer service aspects of the team and the Stockton Ballpark. Read Full

    Daryl Arroyo

    Dr. Daryl Arroyo has been the Athletic Director at San Joaquin Delta College since October 2013. Prior to that, he spent two years in western New York at Alfred State College as the Director of Athletics and Physical Education. He spent much of his ... Read Full

    Wes Yourth

    Wes Yourth: With over 14 years of experience as a coach/administrator in college sports, Wes Yourth currently serves in the role of Assistant Director of Athletics for Facilities and Operations at University of the Pacific. Passionate about all ... Read Full
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