Ernest W. Hahn II is a partner of the Arena Group 2000 and an employee of AEG Management, San Diego. He has served as general manager of the San Diego Sports Arena since December 1996. Hahn has been with Arena Group 2000 since 1991, when he started as event coordinator. He went on to become the business manager in November 1992.
His current responsibilities are to oversee the booking, development, sponsorship and other day-to-day operations of the sports arena, with an added emphasis on the recent $2.5 million renovation of the existing arena and Club 3500.
Hahn serves on the board of directors for Outsource Manufacturing, The San Diego Police Foundation and The Head North Foundation, and is a member of Rotary International Club No. 33. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University, earning a B.S. in economics in 1990. Hahn resides in Rancho Santa Fe with his wife, Kristin; daughter, Alexis; and two sons, Ernie III and Carter.
What brought you to Rancho Santa Fe?
My wife and I had been in Carmel Valley since 1991. We got the chance to move to RSF in 2005 because a house we visited during a party (and loved) in 2002 was up for sale. We knew the owners and told a relative of theirs that if the home ever came on the market, we would be interested in dealing directly with the owner before it went out to the general public. That’s what happened in 2005, and we were excited to get more land and have a little more space in a single-level, ranch-style home.
What makes Rancho Santa Fe special to you?
We are close to my mom and dad, who also live in RSF, and both of my grandmas are close by, along with my sister and her family. We love the community and the space we have with our family so we can have our time as a family between all of the other craziness of life.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?
The traffic leaving Hacienda Santa Fe in the morning needs attention. It backs up past the Crosby, and I know there is a better way it can be handled. They have talked about roundabouts and other solutions, but they really need to get at it. It is not fair to the neighbors who live off other quiet roads that are now inundated with traffic and speeding motorists, who during the morning hours are looking for shortcuts to fight this traffic. Also, it creates dangerous situations.
Who or what inspires you?
Smart, happy, positive people who want to make relationships that flourish. Trying to live up to the standards that have been set by my grandpa, dad and mom, and family that push me to try and make every day better than the last. People that get it!
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
I’d invite my dad, mom, grandpas on both sides, my wife and me. I would spend all night asking both grandpas about their businesses and what it was like for them and what they think about now. Both grandpas have passed. I would ask Grandpa Ernie about San Diego today, and ask for his help in bringing the community together to resolve so many of the issues. No one has been as good at doing these things as Ernie was, and I would have some good red wine, some good music, and I would love every moment. I really miss both of them.
Tell us about what you are currently reading.
I do not read as much as I should, but I’m reading “Death of Kings.”
What is your most prized possession?
My kids, my family. When it comes to material things, I have a great Frank Sinatra poster signed from his 1993 show at the arena and something special from Ted Williams, signed ... some great memorabilia from my 18 years at the arena, as well.
What do you do for fun?
I am a hardcore surfer of 30 years, and I surf around 150 times a year at Black’s Beach. I love to play golf with my dad when I have the time, and I spend time with my friends and family at a variety of different functions. Love to host events and have some mad Ping-Pong and Wiffle Ball games that I keep under wraps.
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
This one is easy — my kids. We have three great children that I take a lot of pride in, whom Kristin and I love with all our hearts.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Treat others as you would treat yourself ... and have some fun while you are doing it.