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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Petco Park: San Diego Padres Stadium Guide - Yahoo! Sports

Petco Park became home to the San Diego Padres in April, 2004, when Petco Park replaced Qualcomm Stadium. Located in Downtown San Diego, Petco Park combines the beautiful architecture of the stadium with magnificent, stunning views of San Diego.

Petco Park: Basic Information

Petco Park Events says that when Petco Park opened, it quickly became known as "The World's Best Ballpark in America's Finest City." A seating capacity of 42,445 and dimensions of 334-L, 367-LC, 396-C, 385-RC, 322-R, design features and fan amenities ensures that every fan, no matter the fan's taste or budget will have an exciting, memorable experience when visiting Petco Park.

Purchasing tickets for games at Petco Park

Ticket options for games are designed to meet every fan's needs and budget, including special savings options and special events. Single game tickets range from $5 for park passes to $84.50 for Field VIP seating.

Padres Mini Plans offers an outstanding ticket option for fans who may not be able to attend all games of the season, but would like the option to attend four games. With the Padres Mini Plan, fans select and then purchase tickets to attend any four home games of the season with the Pick 4 Pack. Other savings on tickets are available to fans taking advantage of the Saturday Plan or Giveaway Plan, which features a different promotional item given to fans at each of the games.

Season ticket options allow fans to maximize their savings. In addition to access to the best seating inventory, season ticket holders also gain exclusive year-round access and features the largest discounts on tickets. Season ticket options includes a 21-game option, half-season tickets and tickets for the entire season. Plan prices range from $183.75 for Upper Pavilion seating under the 21-game option to $3,726 for Field VIP seating for the entire season.

Special ticket pricing makes group outings at Petco Park a great option. Two different seating options are available for groups, which includes Monday-Thursday games and slightly higher prices for weekend games, played Friday-Sunday.

Specific dates are set aside to honor the different branches of the United States Military, with special ticket pricing and other amenities to members of the military.

Petco Park features three college gamedays during the 2012 season, with tickets available at just $9 in advance and $10 the day of the game.

To add excitement to purchasing tickets to games played at Petco Park, there will be a special ticket deal every week, announced on Sundays. The Deal of the Week offers additional savings to fans. For example, for the Padres game on Saturday, June 2, 2012, Right Field Upper Reserved seats are available at only $10 each.

With the many ticket options available to fans, Petco Park certainly seems to have taken all fans under consideration offering options that can fit into any fan's budget.

Seating options at Petco Park

There are a vast array of seating options available at Petco Park, which can suit any fan's seating needs and budget. Petco Park recommends that fans plan ahead and purchase their tickets early to guarantee the best price and the best seat locations.

No matter where fans are seated, easy access to restrooms, numerous food service options, ATMs, locations to purchase fan merchandise and to ask questions or obtain information from Petco Park Staff is readily accessible.

Petco Park offers not only a standard seating chart online for fans to utilize when planning their visit to Petco Park, but offers the Petco Park Amenities Map, as well. Fans are able to click on an option to the right of the map and easily locate sections where necessities and fan favorite options are located.

For example, clicking on restrooms will produce a drop-down that indicates the sections where fans can easily locate the many women's, men's and family restrooms throughout Petco Park. Clicking on "merchandise" will show fans which stores and shops are available and which sections fans can find sources to purchase fan merchandise.

Transportation to Petco Park and Parking Options

There are numerous public and private transportation options available to get to Petco Park. For fans traveling by car, several major thoroughfares will take fans right Downtown San Diego to Petco Park, including Interstate 5, Pacific Highway, State Route 163 and State Route 94/Martin Luther King Freeway.

Fans in cars have several parking options at reasonable prices. More than 9,000 parking spaces located in Downtown San Diego are designated as Petco Park fan spaces. Pricing for parking in any of these spaces ranges from $5 to $15, depending on distance from the ballpark. Padres Preferred Parking is just adjacent to Petco Park and is priced at $15.

Parking lots and garages for fan parking open 1 ½ hours prior to the game on weeknights and 2 hours prior to the start of the game on weekends. Petco Park recommends that on weekends or special event days that fans plan on utilizing public transportation or another alternate means of reaching the ballpark due to the high traffic.

Public transportation includes getting to Petco Park by the local MTS bus service or trolley service. Also available are the COASTER trains, available from coastal areas. Fans may even opt for a ferry ride to Petco Park for the nominal price of $4.25 per person one-way or even by water taxi for just $7 per person.

Tailgating

Petco Park recognizes the fun of tailgating and welcomes tailgaters at the Tailgate Lot, which an accommodate any size group. Fans are expected to follow all tailgating rules, including bringing only gas grills, as no charcoal grills are permitted. Fans must use their grill and conduct other tailgating activities directly behind their own car. Additional information on tailgating is available at the Petco Park website.

Unique fun and events at Petco Park

Petco Park is well-known for holding a variety of fun events for fans as well as events that benefit charities such as Operation Smile and Shoes4Soles.

On July 15 and 16, the Padres' Wives Mystery Bag Fundraiser allows fans to purchase a "mystery bag" for $40 each. Each mystery bag is guaranteed to contain one baseball which has been signed by either a Padres player, MLB star or Hall of Famer. All proceeds benefit Operation Smile.

Fans can also make plans to go behind the scenes at Petco Park by making reservations to participate in one of the Petco Park Guided Tours. There are many other fun activity options for fans of the Padres at Petco Park.

Food and more food is available at Petco Park

Fans are not limited to just a few options for food while at Petco Park. Food to satisfy the pickiest eaters can be found very easily. While there are several options for pizza, BBQ, tacos, sandwiches, snacks, salads and, of course, hot dogs. Gabe Ulla considers food standouts at Petco Park to be Baja Bistro, which offers fish tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican Food options. Also recommended by Gabe is the Mercado Food Plaza, located in section 108 and Breakfast at the Park, which allows ticket holders to stop by for breakfast at 10 a.m.

Drink options for Petco Park fans

There are dozens of bars within walking distance of Petco Park that are really good options for drinks. Fans can enjoy a rooftop view of Petco Park from 22 stories up when visiting the Altitude Sky Lounge, just 1 block west. Bub's at the Ballpark is a fun, upbeat location 1 block north of Petco Park. Another bar located within walking distance is East Village Tavern. Situated just 3 blocks north, East Village is a sports bar, which features bowling lanes. Take a break at Stingaree, an upscale nightclub just 2 blocks north of the ballpark.

The beautiful architecture, great seating and ticket pricing options, ballpark amenities and cultural diversity in and around Petco Park makes attending a Padres Game at Petco Park a fun and memorable experience.

Donna Hicks is a former San Diego resident and Padres fan.

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