San Diego Should Be Buzzing With The Playoff Series Vs. The Dodgers, But It’s Not In The Gaslamp Quarter
The San Diego Padres are in the NL Division Series playoffs against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers – the Dodgers! – and you just know the entire city is fired up about it.
The problem is that there is little evidence of this spirit anywhere around the stadium and in the Gaslamp Quarter.
I know, because I did a “boots on the ground” walk around the area and found a few fans but mostly a sedate scene that resembled a mid-week regular season game against, say, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The first place I checked out was the tailgate parking lot. The Padres were promoting this as a place to come in and see the game on three big screen TVs, kind of like watching a drive-in movie. Great concept, but the lot was far less than half full and at least at the beginning of the game I heard no cheering and saw no evidence of any fans. It looked like, well, a parking lot, just with three big screens.
Yes, I understand all the social distancing protocol but with all the COVID-19 restrictions there simply was no lively spirit anywhere in the area.
Failing to find any fun there, I walked along J Street, hoping to find a lively bar. Or what counts for lively in this era. The bar Basic had some people seated on the sidewalk and on the street while watching TVs but one could pretty much hear a pin drop there.
Further down, Social Tap had people inside and outside – all socially distanced – of course – and no vibe. Bub’s At The Ballpark actually had a line but it, too, lacked enthusiasm. And it had half as many LA fans as Padres fans.
I did not check Fairweather because I was on a recon mission and did not want to get thrown off course by its rum drinks and fun bartenders.
Instead, I turned up Fifth Ave.
There, I did see two places with signs of life, Barleymash and American Junkie. The former had the sound pumping and with its great sound system it actually felt like a playoff game.
My suggestion would be to go to one of these two places for the most fan spirit.
It is really a shame, of course, that COVID-19 has put the team and fans in this position. Heck, the Padres and Dodgers are not even playing in Petco and Dodger Stadium; they are halfway across the country in Arlington, Texas.
There are playoff games in Petco, tho. It’s the Yankees and Tampa Bay. With nobody in the silent stands.
By the way, this in now way is meant to harsh the Padres fans. They are more patient than the should be and no doubt in any other circumstance they would be the best fans in the playoffs. This is really just the reality of this bad COVID situation.
Imagine how excited everyone would be right now if this were a normal season. It would be aweosme! Instead, it’s, well, like having no ComicCon.