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US Grant Marks Opening Day in a Special Way 

Civic pride is certainly something that everyone can enjoy. When you’re out of town and you hear someone say the words “San Diego,” you would be hard pressed not to smile from ear to ear. It’s really something special to be referred to as “America’s Finest City,” and perhaps that moniker makes us a little haughty and obnoxious at times.

But who cares? You’re from San Diego.

Being a San Diegan, you want to enjoy all of the finer things this city has to offer: the beautiful beaches, the craft beer, the amazing hikes and attractions, and of course… local sports teams.

Yes, when you’re in San Diego, it’s not too far-fetched to assume you’re a Padres fan or Chargers fan. Certainly, we live in a city of transplants and our local military installations make San Diego a perfect haven for out-of-town marines, sailors, and servicemen and women alike. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to be enveloped in a sea of Charger Yellow or Padres Blue (or Brown) when the teams are running strong.

Indeed, rallying around a common front is something that everyone can get behind. So it’s really something special when you have a local business– especially one of the more prominent ones – proudly wave their civic pride and show their support for the local sports team. If you’re looking for a bar, would you want to go to the one with the Yankees game on? Probably not. But if they had the Padres game on?

Well, I know that’s where I’ll be going.

Being on the side of the home team is just good for business, and it’s good for your appearance too. One local business took that civic pride to a large scale by transforming its color scheme for the Padres home opener this last Thursday. The U.S. Grant Hotel in Downtown exchanged it’s normal golden lighting façade for some blue and white aesthetic Thursday evening to show its support for the San Diego Padres.

Did I forget to mention that this is the second year that the U.S. Grant has done this? Now that’s flexing some Padres pride.

Local activist and National University activist Vince Vasquez made the request to the U.S. Grant just prior to the Padres 2015 home opener, and the U.S. Grant Hotel was more than happy to oblige with his request for a second year in a row.

“I’m thrilled that the U.S. Grant Hotel proudly displayed Padres team colors for Opening Day,” said Vasquez. “The U.S. Grant sets a great example for all of San Diego’s businesses to rally team spirit and civic pride with beautiful, thematic lighting displays.”

A rallying cry indeed. Although the Padres lost their home opener to the San Francisco Giants 1-0 in a 12-inning marathon, the Padres pride emanated through the city in a big way. The blue glow that came off the U.S. Grant echoed the similar support that the San Diego Downtown Public Library had this last year when the Chargers were in the playoffs. The library commemorated the Chargers playoff run by alternating between a Blue-and-Gold lighting display on its large dome façade that could be seen from miles away.

Who knows? Maybe if the Padres make a playoff run, the Library will follow suit and ignite its dome once more with some Padres Navy Blue and White? Or perhaps even… some Padres Brown and Gold? Maybe we should suggest that next year, eh Vince?

It truly is a pleasant sight to see local businesses rally around our boys. Cheers to the U.S. Grant.

And you stay classy, San Diego.

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About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!