Petco Park

Petco Park is the 12-year old home of the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team that can seat 42,445 fans.

I’m going to preface this article with two personal tidbits about me. First, I’m not a huge baseball aficionado. In my life, I’ve been to two games at the old Comiskey Park and one at its replacement, U.S. Cellular Field, in Chicago; one at the now imploded King Dome in Seattle; one at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park; and now the game at Petco Park. That’s it.

The other thing? I’m frugal. Look up the word in the dictionary to see a photo of me in the definition.

So, then, what would possess me to go to last night’s game with the Padres against the St. Louis Cardinals? Well, curiosity, a desire to expand my horizons, and a complimentary ticket that certainly helped.

My first impression of Petco Park was, “Wow. Pretty cool.” The entrance plaza along Park Blvd. was inviting and the staff were friendly and welcoming. The signage to my seat wasn’t the best, so I asked one of the staff members and they pointed me in the right direction.

My seat was in Section 310 of the Upper Level on the west side of the stadium between home plate and third base; it had a commanding view of the entire field. For a late afternoon game, that location was ideal, as the sun was behind us. Of course, that meant we were in the shade and I’m thankful that I brought my jacket. Between the shade and the breeze, it got chilly.

Around the 5th inning, I decided to explore the stadium a little more. Besides, I hadn’t had dinner and figured I’d find something to eat.

There’s quite a variety of things to eat at Petco Park. Most of the restaurants and food stands seemed to be on the field level of the stadium, although there were smaller versions of the same on the upper level. Some of San Diego’s drinking and dining institutions—Hodad’s, Phil’s BBQ, Stone Brewing, to name a few—had a presence in the park. There was even a small market that sold more healthful items, such as fresh fruit. The frugal part of me went through sticker shock at the pricing of many of the items at any of the locations—$5 for a soda? $2.50 for an apple? $10-$13 for a beer? Seriously?

Around the 8th inning, I skipped out to beat the post-game rush and make the two block walk back to the 12th & Imperial Transit Center to catch the trolley home. (All three trolley lines converge at the Imperial Transit Center making it very easy to get to the park and not have to worry about parking and its cost.)

Don’t get me wrong. Petco Park made a very positive impression on me. It’s well-designed and has plenty to offer fans, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have gone. Will I return? I don’t know. I’m going to have to Google to find the results of last night’s game…  Baby steps…

What You Need To Know

Location: 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: Varies

Cost: Varies

Phone: (619) 795-5555

Website: padres.com

Tips: Dress in layers, bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and, of course, your Padres hat. Once the sun sets, it can get quite cool in the stands, especially if you’re in the upper level seating where it can be a bit breezy, too. Oh. And bring money, too. Lots of money. Use public transit to get there—it’s easy.

Gallery

Click to see full-sized photos.

Visited: 23 April 2016

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