|Petco Park - San Diego, CA
Home of the San Diego Padres (NL West)
Petco Park opened in 2004, replacing Qualcomm Stadium as the home of the San
Diego Padres. Construction began in 2001 and cost over $450 million. The cost was
partially funded by the Centre City Development Corporation, the San Diego
Redevelopment Agency, and the stadium is intended to be part of a comprehensive
plan to revitalize San Diego's aging downtown, particularly the East Village area east of
the Gaslamp Quarter. The stadium is located across Harbor Drive from the San Diego
Petco Park differentiates itself from other MLB ballparks built in the same era by
eschewing "retro"-style red brick and green seats. The stadium is clad in Indian
sandstone and stucco; its exposed steel is painted white and the 42,445 fixed seats are
dark blue. The design is meant to evoke the sandy color of San Diego cliffs and
beaches, the blue of the ocean, and the white sails of boats on the nearby bay.
The Park at the Park, a grassy berm sloping above the outfield fence, is open during
game time allowing fans to sit and watch games for a small price. When no games are
being played the Park at the Park serves as a free local park for area residents.
A 30-by-53 foot (9 x 16 m) LED video board, dubbed FriarVision, offers high-resolution
replays and graphics, even in direct sunlight. Atop FriarVision in the left-field stands is
a 34-by-80 foot (10.4 x 24.4 m) Matrix scoreboard displaying animation and cheer
graphics, lineups, stats, and game info. Along the upper concourses are LED fascia
video boards showing animation and graphics. The one along the first-base side is 3
feet by 236 feet (1 x 72 m) while the third-base side is 3 feet by 252 feet (1 x 77 m).
Fans in concession stands, in bars, restaurants or wandering the stands can watch the
action on 244 high-definition TV monitors and an additional 500 standard-definition
TVs. More than 500 computer-controlled speakers throughout the park deliver the
sound as a "distributed signal," eliminating the audio delay from a central bank of
speakers, such as the system at Qualcomm Stadium. Four stationary cameras, one
roving camera and use of six Cox-TV cameras provide videos for the park's screens.
The official address of PETCO Park is 19 Tony Gwynn Way, in honor of the eight-time
National League batting champion who wore that uniform number during his entire
major league career with the Padres. In the first game ever played at PETCO Park, on
March 11, 2004, the San Diego State Aztec baseball team, of which Gwynn is the head
coach, notched a victory.
The stadium offers fans the chance to purchase bricks outside of the concourse and
dedicate them. Soon after this, PETA bought a brick and protesting PETCO's treatment
of animals, tried to sneak a secret message into the engraving. It said, "Break Open
Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Championship Organization!" The first
letter of each word spelled out the message, "BOYCOTT PETCO." The Padres decided
to leave the brick there, saying not enough people walking by would notice the secret
On March 18 and 20, 2006, the ballpark hosted the Semi-Finals and the Finals of the
first World Baseball Classic.
Western Metal Supply Company Building, a hundred-year old structure that had been
scheduled for demolition to make way for PETCO Park, was saved and incorporated into
the design of the ballpark. The building was renovated and contains the team store,
private suites, a restaurant and rooftop seating. The corner of the building serves as the
left field foul-pole.