It’s Easy To See Why SD Fans Love Attending Games At Petco Park
I went to the Padres game on Sunday and it’s so easy to understand why so many fans go to the games, even when the team is 30 games out of first place and more than 15 games under .500 in September, as they were on this day.
Petco Park is a very good experience.
It’s kind of like going to a small street festival rather than to a baseball game. I walked in and a mariachi band was playing in a courtyard. A grassy area behind the outfield has a place to sit on the lawn, picnic style and get this, you can bring in your own food. Behind this is another grassy spot where I’ve seen a concert and beer tents before games; I witnessed this from the balcony of the Fairfweather bar adjacent to the stadium, which looks down into the “back” outfield area.
There’s even a special seating area for people who bring their dogs and a sandbox for kids.
There’s so much to do at Padres games other than actually watching the Padres that paying attention to the game is only part the activity.
That’s all good because, well, besides the Padres are not being traditionally very good, baseball is not exactly a fast-moving, exciting sport. There’s a lot of yawning that takes place at the games, and that includes the players. One of my most enjoyable aspects was watching the outfielders – in particularly the left fielders – of the teams.
They have practically nothing to do when they are in the field. The each get, what, four or five balls hit in their direction in nine innings? The break more of a sweat running to and from the dugout than they do in any defensive game activity.
The good thing about this at Petco is that one can wander about the stadium grounds without worrying about missing any action. I looked at the giant model of the USS Midway aircraft carrier (the real thing is permanently docked just a few blocks away), cruised behind the outfield wall and checked out the vantage point from a few other locations.
My favorite place was a standing area in front of the Western Metal Supply Building. There, you don’t have a seat but rather grab a beer or cocktail from one of the vending areas that is right there, put it on a chest-high table and lean as if you are watching the game at a bar. The view is down the third-base line. Walk over a few steps toward the outfield and you can peer into the visiting team’s bullpen. That is really cool.
Beers and cocktails are not cheap, they are American ballpark and concert prices. That is to say a beer will set you back $12-15 and cocktails $15. I do wish one could get drinks at games and concerts cheaper than this because it’s double the price of what you pay at many bars. That’s why tailgating is so big for people who live the PubClub.com lifestyle.
And since I brought it up, a couple of busy pre-game Padres bars are Bub’s At The Ballpark; Social Tap, which backs up to the grassy outfield area and is kind of like a beer garden; and the roof at the aforementioned Fairweather Bar.