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Monday, August 28, 2023

Nonprofits Get a Cut of Petco Park Food Proceeds, But One of the Biggest Nonprofits at the Stadium Doesn’t Exist

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.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 28, 2023 at 11:33 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: padres

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   1. Rally Posted: August 29, 2023 at 10:36 AM (#6139858)
Kick them out then.

Give the money to another charity. Like the Human Fund. Money for people.
   2. Cris E Posted: August 29, 2023 at 11:17 AM (#6139861)
Indict them. I've got a low threshold for tolerating fraud in the non-profit world.
   3. Two Thousand Seven DaDaDaDaDa Posted: August 29, 2023 at 12:41 PM (#6139862)
Give it to Kars For Kids...I would give you the phone number if I could remember.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: August 29, 2023 at 04:17 PM (#6139884)
#2 ... I didn't RTFA but, based on the excerpt, all we have is that somebody placed a sign that claimed some of the proceeds were going to "Chula Vista Fast Pitch" ... or maybe just haven't bothered to take down a sign that's been there since at least 2014. The money is going somewhere obviously but as long as it's being claimed on somebody's taxes, I'm not sure a crime hs been committed.

Saying "I give 10% of my proceeds to charity" then not doing so is a kind of fraud I suppose but I'm not sure it's tax fraud. Now if the concession owners are claiming charitable deductions without making charitable donations or somebody is running a bogus charity that doesn't satisfy IRS regs for charitable organizations then there's definitely a crime. (If there's no actual charity, I assume there are no volunteers running the stands and those folks are actually being paid.)

But at the moment the worst we got is that some small percentage of their customers choose these particular concessions believing their spending was somehow benefiting the game of fastpitch in Chula Vista. I'm pretty sure you'd do better with a picture of puppies.

I think I might be more annoyed that concessions are getting voluntary labor in exchange for relatively cheap donations and that's legal apparently (and maybe a writeoff for the company).

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