Petco Park doesn’t get a lot of mentions when talking about the best new ballparks, but maybe that has something to do with the West Coast factor – people outside of SoCal don’t watch that many games out there due to the time difference. I really enjoyed Petco and thought it fits right in with its San Diego surroundings.
The park’s exterior is nice but it wouldn’t rank quite at the top of the list for aesthetics. The large concourse behind the outfield section appears to be the main entryway for the majority of fans and it is a nice feature. The location is ideal, with plenty of nearby parking and the ability to enjoy the Gaslamp Quarter immediately after the game.
The interior is where Petco is a real winner. Concourses are wide and have a very open feel (many are open air), and there were many different concession options with virtually no lines despite a large crowd. From the first base line we had a great view of the game as well as the warehouse in left field and skyline beyond.
A Tip of the Cap
- Building the park around the Western Metal Supply warehouse in the left field corner
- Wide, fan-friendly concourses
- A relaxed atmosphere in which you can sit back and enjoy the game
- Use of blue seating instead of the standard green for newer ballparks
- Great architecture
Swing and a Miss
Not sure any one thing stuck out that I didn’t like…I guess the video board and scoreboard didn’t blow me away given what is now in many of the newer parks.
Trip to the Mound
First base line seats were fantastic. Bring a fleece or light jacket – don’t be fooled by the constant sunshine. When the sun sets and the marine layer moves in it can get surprisingly chilly in a hurry. Especially when the game goes 12 or more innings!
Overall Rating: A
- Setting (A+): Easy access before the first pitch and easy access to the Gaslamp Quarter after the last out. Downtown setting is a great backdrop.
- External Appearance (A-): Inviting and well kept; for some reason seems to lack a grand entrance.
- Internal Appearance (A+): Feels like SoCal and San Diego – beautiful and relaxed. A good looking ballpark in every direction you turn.
- Atmosphere (A): Good crowd with a fair amount of Giants fans mixed in. Got loud during Padres’ rallies and when the hometowners pulled it out in extra innings.