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Interview with Peter Shaulis from the West Wing LA

           

Most sports teams have a regional fan base. A select few have fans living around the country or even around the world. Most notably, the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Yankees, and the Dallas Cowboys draw in crowds from across the nation. In Los Angeles, you would expect to find San Diego Chargers or Oakland Raiders fans. Besides fans of those teams, there is a Baltimore Ravens presence in the city of Angels as well. Below is an interview with the West Wing LA’s President, Peter Shaulis.

 

Shannon Stern:When did West Wing LA start and why?

Peter Shaulis: We started in August of 2010 during the preseason game with Carolina. Seven us of showed up to watch that game. We came together as 3 or so small groups that were separately watching the games in different parts of town. In an attempt to get more people to watch the games and therefore afford us the big TV's and sound at the bar, a Facebook page was created. Once the Facebook page was established, we were able to mine the pages for fans, reach each other, and join forces.

SS: Why the name "West Wing LA?"

PS: I knew we needed a "brand" name much like the Ravens Roosts back in Baltimore. The West Wing just seemed to fit and after a quick survey of the fan group, we made it our official name (switching from the original Facebook title "Baltimore Ravens Fans in Los Angeles").

SS: How many people come to watch the games each week?

PS: At the Parlor, it varies depending on the opponent, but in general we average about 100 - 200 fans and during the rival games and playoffs we come closer to 300+. Due to the overwhelming turnouts at the Parlor (people were waiting up to 45 minutes in line) we opened a second location at South in Santa Monica that averages 20-25 people a week and is growing.

SS: Are you fans of all Baltimore sports?

PS: In general, yes. There was A LOT of support for the Orioles this year, and fans have shown up for the Maryland games and even the Caps games. But, at our heart, we mostly are diehard Ravens fans.

SS: Have the teams and/or players noticed West Wing LA?

PS: Yes. Most of the team is aware of us, as is the Ravens organization. The organization has been very helpful and the players have been supportive. A few of the players, staff, and reporters have been guests on our podcast which can be heard here: <http://t.co/qBi9nlrO>

SS: What has been the best thing since starting West Wing LA?

PS: So many great things have come from this, but for me, bringing all of these fans (and now friends) together to give us all a slice of home every week is the best thing. This year in particular we have even become a destination point for tourists. Every week, we have had Baltimore tourists stop in at the Parlor to get their dose of Baltimore, even 2660 miles away.

SS: What are your hopes for the future?

PS: We just want to continue to grow our group and our boundaries. We strive to be the best representation of the Ravens organization and fan-base outside of Maryland. We try to emulate the hometown organization with annual events like food drives, toy drives, road trips, and crab feasts.

 

The West Wing LA’s Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/thewestwingla.