History of Petco Park
Located at 19 Tony Gwynn Drive, Petco Park replaced Jack Murphy Stadium as the home of the San Diego Padres. Named after the pet supplies company Petco, this park has been home to the Padres since 2004. Replacing the more spacious Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium, Petco baseball stadium was built for $450 million funded by the San Diego Redevelopment Agency.
The first-ever game was a college game held on March 11, 2004, as former Padres legend Tony Gwynn and the San Diego State University Aztecs hosted a four-team NCAA baseball tournament. During this event, Gwynn’s #19 was retired, and his team also defeated Houston Cougars during the largest attendance ever for an NCAA college baseball game. A month later, the Padres debuted on this field on April 8, 2004, as they hosted the San Francisco Giants. The Padres won this game 4-3 in extra innings in front of 45,000+ fans.
Petco Park Capacity
The capacity of Petco Park has changed several times since the baseball stadium opened in 2004. During this period, the Padres have tinkered with adding and subtracting a small number of seats to better suit their fans. Despite the changes, the capacity at Petco Park has remained pretty much the same, ranging from a low of 42,304 currently to a high of 42,691 during the 2008 MLB season. The largest single-game attendance in Petco Park history took place on March 30, 2014, as the Padres hosted their bitter rival the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of 45,567.
Besides Padres games, the park has also held many special events, the most notable being a Madonna concert in 2008 and American Idol auditions in 2011.
Field Dimensions of Petco Park
Petco Park has been one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in all of MLB. This is attributed to several factors, such as the field dimensions of Petco Park, but maybe more so to the lack of power hitters that the San Diego Padres have had since this park has opened. Averaging approximately 0.8 home runs per game in 2014, Petco ranks 24 out of 30 MLB teams.
While there are not many home runs at this field, the field dimensions cater towards left-handed hitters with a 322 ft. right field foul line, but a long 382 ft. right field, the dimension are a little longer in left field 334 ft. down the line and a 390 ft. wall in the left-field alley. Centerfield is somewhat shorter when compared to other parks at 396 ft. from home plate to the wall.
Petco Park Amenities
- With sandstone and stucco throughout the park, the stadium gives the “beachy” feel of San Diego to the fans. This design is meant to mimic the local cliffs and beaches.
- Petco stadium offers “Park at the Park” seats for $5 per game. These seats are on a grassy field slanted behind the outfield wall and offer a great view of the game for a low price.
- Petco Park has one of the most lenient park tours out of any MLB stadium. Fans in this tour can view many areas that are “off-limits” at other ballparks, such as the press room, dugout, and some of the Padres’ training facilities beneath the stadium.
Petco Park Food
“Where to eat at Petco Park?” is one of the most common questions that we get. Petco Park food has been getting rave reviews from San Diego fans ever since its opening. Let’s take a look at three of our favorite places to eat at Petco Park. Breakfast at the Park - A unique program that the Padres offer before all Sunday home games is their Breakfast at the Park program. Fans can eat breakfast in the “Park in the Park” area, in the outfield, and by home plate for a low price. This is highly recommended for anyone traveling to see the Padres as you can eat early and come back later to enjoy some of the other great food Petco Park offers. Anthony’s Fish Grotto - Those looking for a different kind of ballpark food can’t go wrong with Anthony’s Fish Grotto. One of the most popular seafood restaurants in the San Diego area brings its specialty items to Petco Park. Shrimp, Calamari, and chowder are just some of the great seafood you can get at Anthony’s Fish Grotto. Hall of Fame Bar and Grill - If you like sports bars, you will love the Hall of Fame Bar and Grill. The great thing about this place is that you can reserve a table for part of the game no matter where your seats are in the park. One good idea is to buy some cheap tickets and spend ½ of the game in this great establishment; it’s a win/win for a low price.
Petco Park has a unique look compared to other parks as they try to replicate the San Diego landscape within the stadium. We highly recommend this stadium as it has some of the lowest prices for tickets and food out of all of the MLB parks.