No Fees! Free Delivery! 100% Guaranteed!
Select from 55 remaining home games and SAVE 10% - 60%!
|5/21||7:10 PM||St. Louis Cardinals||Save 10%|
|5/22||7:10 PM||St. Louis Cardinals||Save 10%|
|5/29||7:10 PM||Seattle Mariners||Save 25%|
|5/30||12:40 PM||Seattle Mariners||Save 25%|
|5/31||7:10 PM||Toronto Blue Jays||Save 10%|
|6/01||7:10 PM||Toronto Blue Jays||Save 10%|
|6/02||7:10 PM||Toronto Blue Jays||Save 10%|
|6/10||7:10 PM||Atlanta Braves||Save 10%|
|6/11||7:10 PM||Atlanta Braves||Save 10%|
While San Diego is remembered by most for its beautiful weather, sandy beaches, naval ports, and world-renowned zoo, it also provides one of the best destinations for a MLB road trip.
The Padres have been bringing professional baseball to the city since 1969, but the team wasn’t always cemented in San Diego. In 1974, there was talk of moving the team to Washington D.C. until McDonald’s co-founder Ray Kroc purchased the team and vowed to keep it in “America’s Finest City.”
The team was given an appropriate name as it was adopted from the Spanish Franciscan Friars who founded the city in 1769. Apologies for stating the obvious, but for those who have been hiding under a rock, padre is Spanish for “father” or priest of a native region.
Things were not as sunny as the San Diego weather when the Padres first joined the big leagues. The team finished last place in each of its first six seasons and managed only a single winning season (1978) in its first ten years of existence.
The Padres called Qualcomm Stadium their home from the time they joined Major League Baseball until 2003. The team had originally planned to move into the new stadium in 2002, but legal and political problems held up the process. The Padres’ relocation to PETCO Park was a needed change as the franchise ended their stay at Qualcomm with five straight losing seasons. While they did experience some tough times at Qualcomm, they also had their share of success, winning the National League pennant in 1984 and 1998.
Downtown baseball would finally open for business on April 8, 2004, complete with palm and jacaranda trees. The new stadium ended up carrying a price tag of $294 million for construction and over $400 million after including land and infrastructure. Now revitalizing the downtown “Gaslamp” district, the Indian sandstone & stucco building with white paint on steel beams seems worth every penny.
The new stadium is very modern, and has incorporated its past with the inclusion of the Western Metal Supply building. The new stadium offers a seating capacity of 42,500 with an additional 3,500 general admission spots.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
If you are unable to stop in at one of the dozens of eateries in the Gaslamp district, there's no need to worry as there are plenty of options inside the park. The Padres do allow some select food items to be carried into the park, but please review the Food & Beverage policies to ensure that your items are in compliance and you are consuming them in the appropriate areas.
At the forefront of the San Diego offering is the Mexican food. These items include crispy fish taco ($4.00) and the grilled chicken burrito or carnitas street taco ($7.50).
Throughout the stadium you'll find stands such as K Street Grill and Friar Franks. Some of the more common food choices include the nachos ($5.50 or the grande for $7.00), soft pretzel ($4.25), Cracker Jacks ($6.00), and roasted peanuts ($4.25).
Some of the more popular stands include Randy Jones BBQ (pulled pork, sliced brisket for $10.50 with slaw and a pickle) and Anthony's Seafood. Anthony's offers some uncommon ballpark items such as fish (or shrimp) and chips for ($11), clam chowder for $4.75 (or in a bread bowl for $7.75), shrimp avocado salad ($12), and Cajun crispy fish sandwich ($8.50).
If these options are not for you, some additional more exciting options include pretzel reuben ($11), churro ($4), pizza (ranges $6-$7 depending on toppings), Bacon cheddar cheeseburger ($8.50), hot Italian sausage ($6.50), 1/3 lb cheeseburger ($7.50), Monterey chicken hoagie ($7.50), veggie burger ($6), french fries ($4.25 or garlic fries for $6.25).
Many types of 'dog options can be found at the park including a veggie dog ($4.00), Sonoran Dog (bacon wrapped and topped with beans, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno sauce for $12.50), traditional grilled Friar frank ($4.50, add chili and cheese for $1.50), kosher hot dog ($5.75), or the local favorite Tarantino pretzel bratwurst ($6.75 or $9.25 with a pretzel bun).
The menu does also cater to fans that require gluten-free products. The "Friar Fit" stand offers gluten free items including hamburger ($7), hot dog ($4), hummus/vegetables ($4.50), and beer ($8.50),
As many games can get warm, fans can cool down with some dessert items including novelty ice iceam ($5), Minute Maid frozen lemonade ($4), fresh waffle with ice cream ($7), sno-cone ($4), and cotton candy ($3.75). One other item offered are the crepes for $8.50, which can include Nutella, chocolate, bananas, strawberries, and ham and cheese.
As for the beverages there are fountain Coke products for $4.00 (regular) or the Souvenir size for $5.50. Bottled soda goes for $4.50, When the sun goes down, it could get chilly, so coffee and hot chocolate are available for $4.
As for the beer selection, the domestic draft has tiered pricing; $5 small, $6.75 regular, and $7.75 large. Premium drafts do come with a higher cost and other alternatives are available, including aluminum bottled beer ($7) and the non-alcoholic versions are $5. If you are a beer connoisseur, you have to stop by the "Ballpark Brew Stand" which offers over 20 bottled options. If you're not into beer, Petco also offers a wine cart that serves wine for $7.00 a (plastic) glass. Premium mixed beverages are also available for $8.50.
San Diego is synonymous with a relaxed atmosphere, and when it comes to baseball that may turn some fans off. Even during some of the more noteworthy games, the crowd here is a bit tamer than you'll find in many Southern California stadiums. If you want a relaxing day or evening at the ballpark, this place is perfect for you, but if you are looking for an edge of your seat, deafening crowd noise experience, you may want to try elsewhere.
On most nights, you'll see quite a few empty blue seats and be able to roam around the stadium freely. While this is beneficial from an access perspective, you'll rarely hear the roaring applause that you find at many other stadiums.
Perhaps it's due to the less-storied history that the franchise possesses, but the stadium sure does seem to offer some history in the forms of "History of Baseball in San Diego" exhibit, the Division/National League pennants waving near K Street, the five retired numbers above the batter's eye, and the Tony Gwynn statue.
You will notice the park gains a bit of excitement when a Padres' player hits a homerun. When this occurs, a foghorn is sounded and fireworks are set off in center field. More interesting perhaps is that this isn't just any foghorn, this sound is a recording the Navy's USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear aircraft carrier ported in SD.
You'll find the mascot known as the "Swinging Friar" making appearances throughout the stadium, but he does not seem to get the crowd as riled up as would one San Diego Chicken (who by the way is not an official mascot of the Padres). This mascot will be filing for social security soon as he has been with the team since the Padres were in the Pacific Coast League.
The neighborhood is probably my favorite aspect of Petco Park. Sure, it's a bit pricier than most areas, but I consider it the second best pre and post game experience behind the famed Wrigleyville.
The stadium is located at the southern end of the Gaslamp National Historic District and spans 16 acres. The Convention Center and many hotels are nearby, but it's the bars and restaurants that really pump the life into the area.
One of the first places that I would recommend is the Altitude Sky Lounge. The views alone are worth a stop here as you'll get to peer into Petco Park from 22 stories above. The drinks are a little pricey, but the aesthetics are totally worth the visit.
Another place you may consider is the Gaslamp Strip Club. It is more unique in the regard that if your steak is bad, it's on you as you cook your own food at the communal grill. There are some naughty prints on the wall, some interesting dishware, and a fun atmosphere.
If you stop in at Dick's Last Resort, don't complain when the service is a bit shaky. It's an interesting business model as their gimmick seems to revolve around rude treatment of their customers. So if you are the sensitive type, this probably isn't the place for you. Despite potentially getting mocked by a member of the staff, the atmosphere is great and the food isn't too shabby either.
My favorite place to stop is probably the nearby Tilted Kilt, but it's often challenging to get in the door on game days as it is so crowded. Here, you'll find the men in kilts while the women wear mini-skirts with push-up bras. Beyond the appearances, they offer some great selections on draft and large televisions throughout the bar to catch some of the other games.
The biggest positive of this area is that there are countless options in regards to food and drinks. Some of the other options include McCormick and Schmicks, Tin Fish (seafood), Nobu (Japanese), Lou & Mickey's (seafood and featuring one heck of a burger), Donovan's Steak and Chop House, Old Spaghetti Factory, Palm Restaurant, The Broken Yolk Café (breakfast and lunch until 3 PM), Rockbottom Brewery, Yardhouse, Sevilla, The Fleetwood, Grant Grill (try the Mock Turtle Soup), Café Chloe, Proper Gastropub (offers some fun dishes such as butternut squash ravioli with amaretto brown butter or black and tan mac and cheese), RA sushi, Funky Garcia's (unbelievably good prices for authentic Mexican food), and the famous Ghirardelli Ice cream and chocolate shop.
Of course, the more tourist-oriented alternatives are always fun as well. Just a few blocks away, you can catch the ferry over to Coronado, where you'll see the Naval ships, the beautiful bridge, a great view of the San Diego skyline, and the famed Coronado hotel.
If you venture away from the stadium, try and carve out some time for Balboa Park, Old Town San Diego, the zoo, or one of the most unique theme parks you'll ever see in Legoland.
The fans here are a bit tamer than say, the fans of one Los Angeles Dodgers. Okay, so few fans are as rabid as them, but the Padre fans are among the more reserved that I've ever witnessed. There are few stadiums that you can wear the opposing colors and not get immensely jeered or have trouble holding a conversation.
Perhaps it's attributed to the fact that these fans live in Southern California and the lifestyle and weather simply put them in a content and relaxed state of mind. Unfortunately, since the stadium offers so many entertainment alternatives, many of the fans are enjoying themselves in other ways than sitting in their seat and cheering on the home team.
The new downtown location of the stadium allows fans from all areas of Southern California to easily access the stadium. The stadium is found between 7th and 10th Avenues, south of "J" Street. If you are staying in Los Angeles, take the I-5 South and take either the 10th Ave or Imperial Ave exits. From the east, you can take the 94 West and take the "F" St exit. From the south, you can take the I-5 North to the "B" St exit.
The area surrounding the park contains over 27,000 spaces and you can find parking as low as $8.00 and as high as $20.00. If you get there early, parking won't be a problem, but if you get there late on a day where the crowd is heavy, it could be a nightmare. The good news is that the authorities run a pretty tight ship on safety around the ballpark, so most spots are in relatively safe areas.
The Padres do offer a "Tailgate" lot for $15, despite most downtown stadiums not allowing such a practice. Tailgating is always a rule-filled game in Southern California, so make sure you read up on all of the official rules, before trying to enjoy yourself too much.
The local light rail/trolley is another option for Padres fans with a station just two blocks from the park. This service touches all local regions and even allows those accustomed to Qualcomm Stadium to still get to the game. Qualcomm offers 5,000 free parking spaces that allow you to take the trolley to Petco and avoid all of the headaches that come with downtown traffic. The Coaster is another rail option to get fans to the game.
As a few members of the fanbase may reside in Coronado (or maybe an out-of-towner is staying at the Hotel Coronado), fans can take the ferry or a water taxi over to San Diego for $3.50 or $7.00, depending on the service.
The San Diego airport is also relatively near downtown. If you do have a lengthy layover, you could get to Petco via cab for less than $20.
Once inside of the stadium, you'll notice the three-tier grandstand, with even the upper deck being relatively close to the playing field. Many of the seats are placed in a diagonal direction, facing the action.
The concourse is open air; exposing you to all of the elements. In most (if not all) ballparks in America, this could lead to a problem on select days. San Diego weather is rather predictable and always beautiful, so this feature is a big plus 99 percent of the time as you see the vines, trees, and beautiful blue skies all around you.
One of the more positive features of the ballpark is the re-entry policy. All fans can exit and re-enter the stadium as long as they get their hand stamped and have their ticket stub nearby.
This park offers some of the best standing-room-only options in all of baseball. As you walk through the concourse, you'll find standing room rails in many places. Also available is the top of the Western Metal Supply building or the elevated grass berm beyond the outfield. Never have I been so satisfied with a standing room ticket than I was at Petco Park.
As you walk the concourse, you'll notice well over 250 televisions, so even if you need to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat, you can keep an eye on the action.
Unfortunately, only the wealthy fans can get to some of the perks of the ballpark. The suites in the Western Metal Supply building and the luxury suites in the towers carry an expensive price tag, but so do the seats above the bullpen. A staple of most ballparks is being able to sit near the bullpen and watch the pitchers warm up, however the average fan can't get too close in San Diego.
When the stadium is full, you can expect one of the slowest exits you'll ever experience. I felt as if it took at least 20 minutes from the time I left my seat to the time I stepped out of the stadium. The pedestrian ramps were especially slow, so if you have to be somewhere in a hurry, don't count on it.
My last piece of advice here would be to find a friend that owns one of the nearby condos. During the game, I noticed many of the nearby residents out on their balcony with friends, grilling, and taking in the game. Selling these condos must be a breeze when the landlord can say, "Oh, by the way if you step out onto your balcony, you can see live major league baseball!"
During my multiple visits to Petco, I've enjoyed every moment of it. I realize a lot of the residents spend a lot on real estate or entertainment options, but I feel like this is a can't-miss option that I wish I could experience weekly. Aside from the blockbuster games, it is rather simple to get a seat for less than $20.
While the stadium does seem to cater to the wealthy, the team offers alternatives that make this inexcusable to miss a game every now and then. The Padres offer a slew of promotions that allow you to sit in most parts of the stadium for a game.
For $10-$20, you can get the standing room tickets where you'll get many options of where to stand whether it be along the railing on the first or third base sides, the grassy berm, the "beach," or the top floor of the Western Metal Supply building.
If nothing else, a game here can start off a good night in the Gaslamp District.
The first game played in this stadium was actually not by the Padres, as on March 11, 2004, an NCAA game was held here. It did have Padre Influence however as Tony Gwynn coached the San Diego State Aztecs against Houston.
On Sunday games, the Padres wear camouflage uniforms to honor military personnel. During the 4th inning of these games, the Marine Hymn is also played to show appreciation for these individuals.
If you look near the press box on the first base side, you'll spot a star on the wall to honor broadcaster Jerry Coleman. The star is a reference to his famous home run line "You can hang a star on that one!" My personal favorite however, was his exclamation of "Oh Doctor!" Not far away, you can see "RAK" in honor of former owner, Ray Kroc.
The statue of Tony Gwynn can be found in the Park at the Park. Standing 10 feet high, this statue is an action shot of Gwynn swinging the bat (what he did best of course). "Mr. Padre" was even allowed to choose the image of himself that would be immortalized in the statue.
Speaking of the Park at the Park, here you'll find plenty of beautiful green grass, the statue, a huge screen to watch the game on, a wiffleball field, and sometimes even a live band.
The "beach" in right-centerfield is another unique item you won't find at other parks. The big sandbox is strictly for children, and is a great addition as it allows the kids a chance to see the action, although many of them are more concerned with building their sandcastles.
You have to love the home field advantage in regards to the bullpens. The Padres have a beautiful bullpen beyond left-center field that has a great view of the playing field. Not just anyone can get into the seats above the bullpen, so the relief pitchers do not have to deal with a lot of distractions during the game. Now the opposing bullpen on the other hand is nothing more than a mound, a plate, and a bench in foul territory. Many of the Padre faithful sit immediately behind the opposing players. These players have to keep their eye on the game at all times because there is little foul territory protecting them from batted balls.
The Western Metal Supply building was once thought to be a roadblock in the construction of Petco and has quickly become one of the signature sights of the stadium. The bottom floor claims to house one of the largest gift shops in all of the MLB at 7,000 square feet. The second and third levels are suites, the fourth is the Hall of Fame Bar and Grill, and the top offers some standing room vantage points.
In 2009, Petco became the first and still the only stadium to become delayed by swarm of bees. On July 2, a chair in left field was home to a family of bees. A 52 minute delay ensued until a beekeeper was called in and exterminated the bees.
Some of the other extras would include the replica of a battleship on the first base side, the vines hanging off of the walkways in the concourse, the majestic views of the San Diego Bay & Coronado Bridge from the upper concourse, and the step fountain at the entrance behind home plate.
Despite the parameters of the FANFARE scoring, I constantly refer to Petco as one of my favorites in regards to MLB stadiums. The beautiful stadium, the relaxed atmosphere, phenomenal food options, and post game entertainment options all sit very well with me.When stacked up against the other San Diego sporting options including the Chargers, SD State Aztecs, and University of San Diego Toreros, I find Petco Park to be the most fulfilling experience.
If you are a first time visitor, get there very early to ensure yourself time to check out all of the scenery both in and around the stadium. I have been to the stadium several times and still have not had the opportunity to experience it from all of the vantage points that I'd like to.
This is one of the most beautiful open-air stadiums in all of baseball and probably the one least likely to experience a rainout. Do yourself a favor and plan Petco as your next stadium visit!
While San Diego is remembered by most for its beautiful weather, sandy beaches, naval ports, and world-renowned zoo, it also provides one of the best destinations for an MLB roadtrip.
The Padres have been bringing professional baseball to the city since 1969, but the team wasn't always cemented in San Diego. In 1974, there was talk of moving the team to Washington D.C. until McDonald's co-founder Ray Kroc purchased the team and vowed to keep it in "America's Finest City."
The team was given an appropriate name for its heritage as it was adopted from the Spanish Franciscan Friars who founded the city in 1769. Apologies for stating the obvious, but for those who have been hiding under a rock, padre is Spanish for "father" or priest of a native region.
Things weren't as sunny as the San Diego weather when the Padres first joined the big leagues. The team finished in last place in each of its first six seasons and managed only a single winning season (1978) in its first ten years of existence.
The Padres called Qualcomm Stadium their home from the time they joined Major League Baseball until 2003. The team had originally planned to move into the new stadium in 2002, but legal and political problems held up the process. The Padres couldn't move to the new PETCO Park soon enough as they ended their stay at Qualcomm with five straight losing seasons. While they did experience some tough times at Qualcomm, they also had their share of success, winning the National League pennant in 1984 and 1998.
Finally downtown baseball would open for business on April 8, 2004, complete with palm and jacaranda trees. The new stadium ended up carrying a pricetag of $294M for construction and over $400M after including land and infrastructure. Now revitalizing the downtown Gaslamp district, the Indian sandstone & stucco building with white paint on steel beams, seemed worth every penny.
The new stadium was very modern, but incorporated its past with the inclusion of the Western Metal Supply building. The new stadium would offer a seating capacity of 42,500 with an additional 3,500 general admission spots. Jumping into the modern era, the stadium would offer 5,000 club seats and 58 luxury suites.
It took six years, numerous legal battles, a San Diego Padres pennant, and massive voter support to get Petco Park, the Friars' current stadium, from the ballot to the heart of San Diego's downtown.
Now, as I, and millions of satisfied visitors and San Diegans can attest, it was worth the wait.
Beginning construction in 1998, the stadium was scheduled to open in 2002. Lawsuits, injunctions and other legal troubles stemming from unsatisfied politicians pushed the inauguration back to 2004, when it finally opened. I've sat in several sections at the park, with different price ranges. The result is pretty much the same each time, despite a relative closeness to the field from any seat, the action is always visible, always clear, always complete.
Petco Park was designed to evoke nostalgia in every baseball fan that walks through its gates, aiming to give the city of San Diego a taste of tradition in the vein of old parks like Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, and other turn-of-the-century structures.
The fact that one has to walk into Petco Park (it has no immediate surrounding parking structures around the stadium itself), past local bars, restaurants and apartment buildings, gives it that retro flair. Unlike the stony coliseum a few miles east in Qualcomm Stadium, Petco Park is not closed off, allowing local traffic and passers-by to take a good peek into the field itself.
Beyond the centerfield wall, one can find the "Park at the Park", a grassy area beyond the right-centerfield fence that is technically accessible to all who have purchased a ticket, but is specifically available for seating for a price of $5. It's a wonderful, off-beat, and very "Southern California" idea that attracts its fair share of people.
Of course, the stadium is also state-of-the-art, and is packed with modern amenities. VIP skyboxes tower over the highest stadium section seating, the Western Metal Supply Co. building itself has a private section for parties and other events, the walking area around the seats boasts nearly 250 HDTVs for patrons to enjoy, and multiple LED video boards. Whenever I missed something, I could count on looking up at the screen for the replay.
The park's unique arrangement allows for multiple restaurants, concessions and bars to be part of the stadium itself, and these are almost all located outside of the seated, "dome" area of the park, instead populating the surrounding buildings and areas within the stadium. This seemed a little annoying to me at first, as I'm a firm believer that things should be close to the field of play so you don't miss a lot of the action. However, this is compensated by the fact that there are numerous, and I mean numerous roaming vendors selling everything.
Despite the sometimes suspect product out on the field, Petco Park will keep me coming back for more. Like I said before, it was worth the wait.
Loved this place! Absolutely beautiful ballpark. Easy to get to. Great atmosphere. Great food. I had the hot chocolate and mini-doughnuts ... from the vendor. Well worth it when the temp drops rapidly in the evening. The only disappointment was the lack of fans for a first place team at the time. Should have been packed. If you have the opportunity, take the ballpark tour. Definitely worth it!
100 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
660 K Street
San Diego, CA 92101
310 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101