Sunday, August 20, 2006

Seth go to Petco!

I got a call from my friend Matt who lives in San Diego the other day and he invited me to go to a San Diego Padre baseball game with him. I looked at my schedule and lo and behold, I was free!! So I jumped at the chance to visit another Major League stadium. I had been to the old Quallcom a.k.a Jack Murphy stadium in San Diego a few times and it was not a very baseball friendly park. It is a much better venue for football. Anyway, the new baseball stadium is nestled in the historic "Gaslamp" district in downtown. What a cool place. There are tons of cool restaurants, clubs, and bars surrounding the park. By about 5:00, when we got there, the surrounding area was a buzz. We had some beers in a bar about two blocks from the park and by the time we left it was wall to wall people heading to the park. What a good vibe. It reminds me of the vibe at PNC park in Pittsburgh or SafeCo field in Seattle. The stadium itself is very pleasing to the eye. It has all blue seats and a lot of tan tiles and steel. There are two large towers that serve as light-towers but also house luxury suites. The towers hearken back to features of the old Padre's stadium when the team was part of the Pacific Coast League (minor league baseball) back in the 1940's and 1950's. Our seats were on the field level, first base side, a bit outside the baselines. Like many of the new baseball only stadiums, this one has its perks and quirks. There are a ton of luxury suites, an upscale area called the Toyota Terrace (right behind home plate), a couple of five star restaurants, and enough angles in the outfield wall to give Euclid a headache. A couple of the coolest things in the park include a place just outside the outfield wall called "The Park in the Park". It is a grassy area with a bit of hill for people to sit and watch the game, or throw the ball around. The is even a mini baseball diamond the kids can play on. My favorite part of the stadium is the old Western Metal Supply Co. Building. This building was on the property when construction started. It has some historical value to San Diego and the designers incorporated this building when they made the plans for the stadium. One corner of the building serves as the left field foul pole (quite a cool feature). The bottom floor is home to the Padre's team store. The roof is a group party area complete with its own bleachers, and the middle three floors are luxury and party suites. One really neat feature is that from the team store you can walk out at field level and watch the game from the left field corner. I stayed about an inning and watched the game from there. What a great way to honor the history of the area. We had a great time at Petco Park and I cant wait to go back. Enjoy some pictures I took:

Our Seats were about twelve rows down from here.

The Western Metal Supply Building.

Me on the field level just outside the Padre's team store.

From behind the fence by the team store.

Behind right field in "The Park in the Park".

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