The Coast News Group
Petco Park opened in April 2004. Stock photo
Columns Inside Information

18 years & 4 months ago

The good vibes spread like wildfire. Every time you walk into the stadium, you feel so much better. You can feel the rush of excitement emanating from the fans who cherish it.

Say hello to Petco Park.

Petco Park opened in April 2004, replacing Jack Murphy Stadium as the home of the Padres and entering the upper echelon of new baseball stadiums then sprouting up across the United States — 10 MLB stadiums opened between 1998 and 2004.

The stadium quickly became one of the most iconic new venues, hosting various sporting events in addition to baseball — from soccer and rugby to golf and basketball.

In 2015, San Diego State’s men’s basketball team played the University of San Diego at Petco Park. Last year’s Holiday Bowl was slated for Petco before UCLA withdrew, citing COVID-19 issues.

Petco Park has also been all-world regarding booking live musical performances — The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith, Elton John, The Eagles, Billy Joel, The Beach Boys and Garth Brooks. Geez, even American Idol held auditions at Petco Park. Everyone wants to get in on the action.

There is quite a bit to see at Petco Park other than a Padres game or a great concert. The stadium is filled with nooks and crannies, making it special. The design is almost immaculate. There’s not a bad seat in the house.

Take a walk around next time. There are so many exciting and inspiring areas that reflect our great city.

Local vendors and restaurants sell concessions with tons of variety — an operation unlike any other. If you want it, they likely have it and serve it with a smile. Everyone contributes to the success of our world-class stadium.

Views include the downtown skyline and its architecture with a backdrop of Coronado and the lit-up bridge. Nothing spells San Diego as big as that.

I find it hard to believe there could be a prettier montage circling the park. The city of San Diego exudes class, and Petco Park amplifies and exemplifies it. 

If you build it, they will come. And they have in droves this season. Petco and the Padres have had some big crowds this year.

The Padres are in the top five in home attendance among all Major League Baseball franchises, sitting behind only the Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees and Braves.

In 55 home games, the Padres have welcomed just north of 2 million fans, an average of nearly 37,000 a game. It’s electric and comforting being there.

The customer service at Petco might be the best in any sport. People love their jobs, and people love Petco Park. It’s a match made in heaven.

It gave me goosebumps Monday night when the announcer gave the attendance as 40,686.  Another Padres sellout against the San Francisco Giants, whose fans were well represented in the crowd.

The Padres lost 1-0 but have won over the city at their majestic home.

San Diegans have seen their beloved Chargers leave for Los Angeles. Ditto the Clippers. But they aren’t going to let the Padres go unnoticed.

They love their favorite sons. And those sons are playing in the best ballpark in the country — Petco Park.

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