Petco Park – San Diego Padres

by | Sep 5, 2018 | Andrei Ojeda, MLB | 0 comments

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Going Yard at The Gaslamp

Prior to calling Petco Park home, the Padres played in Mission Valley from 1969-2003 in Qualcomm Stadium. During that stretch, the Padres would win three National League West titles and two National League pennants. Petco Park officially opened on April 8, 2004. In spite of several changes in the playing field to help assist productivity in offensive numbers, Petco Park still remains pitcher friendly.

The Yard at The Gaslamp has experienced an array of fan friendly enhancements, including a new video board in right field, a display paying tribute to local San Diego High School baseball programs, a Padre Hall of Fame and a newly celebrated statue paying tribute to Hall of Fame pitcher Trevor Hoffman

Food & Beverage 5

There is no shortage of dining options at Petco Park. There are your usual ballpark options such as the Friar Frank, the half-pound Big Slugger Dog and bratwurst, as well as Coke products. Local favorites include Randy Jones BBQ, Phil’s BBQ, and Hodad’s. The burgers served up at Hodad’s are some of the best in MLB. A single bacon cheeseburger with all the fixings piled high is big enough to satisfy even the biggest appetites. Another option for the heavy eaters is the BBQ Broham sandwich at Phil’s BBQ, a pulled pork sandwich piled high on a bed of cole slaw with BBQ sauce.

Cardiff’s Seaside Market has a cart located in the lower concourse on the third base side serving up some tasty Burgundy BBQ tri-tip sandwiches as well as a generous helping of Burgundy Pepper tri-tip nachos. In addition, Cardiff’s also has a marketplace along the right field lower concourse the serves up gluten free hot dogs and pizza, as well as quinoa and kale wraps and strawberry and goat cheese salads.

Petco Park offers a wide variety of local craft beers and microbrews. Among the options are Ballast Point, Karl Strauss, Mission Brewery, as well as your typical ballpark variety of Anheuser Busch/Budweiser products. If there’s one brew that you must try at Petco if only to soak in the local brew experience, it’s the San Diego Pale Ale .394. The brew is a simple Pale Ale that pays tribute to Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn and his highest season batting average, .394, accomplished in 1994.

Atmosphere 4

San Diego has long been known for its military presence. Military exhibits are on display behind the lower right field stands should you choose to arrive early and view the exhibits. A statue of former legendary broadcaster Jerry Coleman, a Marine Veteran as well, is located inside the right field entrance gates.

San Diego and folks from Southern California in general have always had a laid back reputation and many choose to view the game in the same fashion. Adding to the So-Cal atmosphere is a grass hill beyond the outfield. Known as Picnic Hill, fans can bring their blanket and simply lay back on a nice sunny afternoon to catch some rays as well as the on-field action.

One of the newest additions to Petco Park is a bi-level deck behind right center field. The deck, used mostly for group outings, is modeled after San Diego’s piers, located in front of Picnic Hill in the space that was once occupied by the children’s sandbox. A scaled down version of the sandbox is now located behind The Waterfront along the K Street walkway.

The Park at the Park is a good way for the casual fan to spend a day at the Petco Park. While a popular location for the casual fan for those who want to spend an outing at the yard and lay back along the grassy hill. Park at the Park tickets do not limit fans to just the grass hill as they are free to roam other areas throughout the park.

Neighborhood 5

Since the Petco Park’s opening in 2004, the energy around the surrounding neighborhood has continually increased as more residency as well as pre and postgame entertainment options continue to develop. The Gaslamp is the place many fans venture to with its wide variety of bars and restaurants. Bub’s at the Ballpark and The Tin Fish are some of the nearby favorites among the fans. Bar Basic, with its brick warehouse vibe as well as its Mashed White Pie, is also another neighborhood favorite a stone’s throw away from the yard. If you are coming for an afternoon game, Lucky’s Lunch Counter is another good pre-game dining destination, serving huge sized deli sandwiches as well as breakfast plates. Whatever your pre or postgame mood is, there is definitely no shortage of drinking and dining options.

Fans 3

With the local nine struggling this 2018 season, the fans have still been very supportive. The Friars have ranked close to the middle of the pack in attendance this season. The atmosphere at Petco can reach a fevered pitch particularly when the Giants, Dodgers or Cubs are in town, with those teams having a significant fan base here as well. While there can be plenty of trash talk between the varied supporters, it is well maintained and kept all in fun and good natured.

Access 5

The downtown location of Petco Park allows for easy access, with parking lots scattered throughout the area. If you park in one of the further lots toward Broadway St and save some dough, the walk to the ballpark is approximately only 15 minutes. If you and your buddies want to do a little pre-game tailgate, Tailgate Park provides fans a small lot to grill, socialize and consume beverages before heading inside the yard. The experience at Tailgate Park is a bit scaled down. Among the restrictions from your usual tailgate, the use of charcoal is not allowed on the premises as only gas cooking grills are allowed on the lot. The cost to park at Tailgate Park is $20-$30, depending on the game and day of the week.

The SDMTS trolley is another option for Padres fans who wish to avoid the hassles of driving to the game. Many fans like to use the park and ride options, especially those in the Old Town or near Qualcomm Stadium.

Return on Investment 4

On most nights, you can get a “Park Pass” starting at $16.50. The pass allows fans to roam throughout the park without any restrictions. This is a great way to experience one of the many viewing areas throughout the yard. With reasonable parking in the area and affordable concession prices, you definitely get your money’s worth at Petco Park. With the home nine struggling through another long season, advance planning is hardly necessary.

Extras 5

The newest celebrated addition to Petco Park is a statue of Hall of Fame relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman. The statue is located behind the left-center field bullpens at Hall of Fame Plaza, facing the the Tony Gwynn statue, more than 50 yards apart at the Park at the Park beyond the outfield concourse in center field, thus, giving the thought that Trevor is throwing to Mr. Padre. The statue of Tony Gwynn has been a very popular meeting spot for years and no doubt the Trevor Hoffman statue will make for another popular pregame meeting spot as well.

The Padres Hall of Fame, also located in Hall of Fame Plaza is another recent addition. Opened prior to the all-star game in 2016, the Hall features a timeline of Padres and other baseball history in San Diego, as well as other photos and artifacts, and an interactive video display that allows fans to witness their favorite Padre moment. Outside the Hall of Fame at the Plaza are plaques displaying players in Cooperstown who donned the Padre uniform at some point in their career.

The Western Metal Supply building, Petco Park’s signature feature, is nicely incorporated into the yard, located by the left field corner, with rooftop viewing available throughout most game days.

The Breitbard Hall of Fame, located on the field concourse inside the Western Metal Supply Co. Building has a display of 153 plaques honoring athletes that left an impact on San Diego, both native San Diegans and those who played for a San Diego organization.

In section 114, San Diego’s high school baseball and softball teams have a new presence. The “San Diego Section” features hats from San Diego County high school teams that compete in CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) play. The display is also accompanied by two interactive screens where fans can search schools and professional players from those schools.

Bringing the little ones to the yard? A miniature playground and a wiffle ball field is there for your little ones to enjoy. The Park at the Park also operates as a public park during the day and on non-game days. If you should find yourself at an afternoon game, the playground remains open after the game for you and your young ones to work off some of that extra energy from the few innings worth of cotton candy and cracker jacks consumed.

A plaza of retired numbers can be viewed at the plaza inside the home plate gate. The 3 foot high numbers once stood atop the batters backdrop before being replaced by an ad for a gaming casino

Final Thoughts

Now in its 15th season, Petco Park remains one of the top ballpark experiences in baseball. Yes, it’s been another long season for the home nine and like most struggling clubs the raucous atmosphere can be absent. With one of baseball’s top farm systems, the future looks bright for the Friars as they head into their 50th anniversary come 2019.

Petco Park, rather than entirely following the retro theme of the post Camden-era yards is more a reflection of San Diego. Petco Park provides a local organic atmosphere that makes good use of travertine tiles and sandstone, as well as the white beams that adorn the concourse and the use of navy blue seats, adding to the local feel. Like most yards today, Petco works hard at changes and enhancements to improve the fan experience. Even with the recent enhancements, Petco Park still maintains much of its look from its opening in 2004. Petco Park has played an integral role in revitalizing the local neighborhood and will continue to entertain baseball fans for many more years to come. If this is your first time coming to Petco Park, you may want to make a couple of visits here to allow you to fully experience what the ballpark has to offer from all its various vantage points.


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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2018-09-24 10:52:20
By: Legacy Review

Total Score

Petco Park is one of those stadiums that you have to enjoy. They have a beach area, a giant park, and have been able to capture the vibe of the city inside the ballpark. It is funky and at the same time progressive-- its energy is powered by the sun. Now, if they have can only get a winning team.

Date: 2018-09-04 15:47:29
By: Legacy Review

Total Score

For the most part, Petco Park has stayed away from being retro, instead designing the yard as more a reflection of San Diego.

Date: 2018-07-31 21:01:41
By: Marc Viquez

Total Score

A beautiful ballpark with all the trimmings and you are in San Diego, California!

Date: 2018-02-09 13:04:59
By: tejasduck4

Total Score

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