Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 11:07AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:20PM
San Diego Padres
San Diego, Calif. :: Opened: 2004 :: Capacity: 42,445
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Average Ticket Price: $20.83
Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $97.00
How expensive is stadium parking? FREE: 5% $5-$10: 19% $10-$15: 40% $15-$20: 30% More than $20: 3%
Is public transportation a viable option? Never: 0% Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 23% A good option to avoid rush hour: 19% Pretty easy if you know the system well: 43% The only way to go: 14%
How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game? To the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 5% Slow, but usually steady: 21% Moves well outside of rush hour: 23% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 38% A smooth ride at all times: 11%
From the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 8% Slow, but usually steady: 25% Moves well outside of rush hour: 23% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 34% A smooth ride at all times: 8%
How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women? Bring a map: 1% It depends on your section: 9% Never more than a short walk away: 19% A satisfactory amount: 22% Plenty: 35%
How long is the wait to use a bathroom? Always available: 58% 1-5 minutes: 38% 5-10 minutes: 3% More than 10 minutes: 0%
How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options? Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 8% Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 5% A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 18% A nice variety but locations are spread out: 45% You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 22%
How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you? $5-$10: 14% $10-$20: 61% $20-$30: 20% $30-$40: 2% More than $40: 1%
How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game? Nonexistent: 2% So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 7% Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 35% Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 12% A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 41%
Fans seem to be of two minds regarding Petco. For some, "it's a beautiful park throughout," from the "beautiful sandstone exterior" to the "weird and beautiful California plants" everywhere. For others, though, the park is "very blah" and more akin to a department store with all of its "random ramps and stairways that seem designed just to slow you down and make you walk by more concession stands." Bring plenty of money as prices are on the high side for the largely "basic ballpark fare." "There is nothing that says 'San Diego' other than fish tacos." In theory, the historic brick Western Metal Supply Co. building in left is supposed to provide some local flavor, what with its outdoor beer patio overlooking left field, team shop and Hall of Fame Bar & Grill. A better option is the $5 ticket that will get you into the Park at the Park, allowing you to tour the park and watch the game from a grass-covered hill just beyond center. With a playground, Little League infield, Wiffle ball field and "plenty of room to play catch, it's a perfect location for families." Elsewhere, the stands are filled with a "quiet" crowd that supports visiting teams often as much as the home club, the product of a city filled with a steady stream of tourists and transplants.
Petco is steps away from San Diego's trendy Gaslamp District, "loaded with restaurants at all levels of formality and styles of food." "Having 40,000 people leave the ballpark after a Padres game and walk straight into the Gaslamp is pretty cool." Despite a variety of places to have a drink and do some people-watching, the Gaslamp has a "a heavy tourist vibe." Bring your credit card, because "the vast majority of places are mediocre and expensive."
2006 record: 74-68 (all statistics through Sept. 10) Players worth the price of admission: Adrian Gonzalez (.287 Avg., 21 HRs, 66 RBIs), Jake Peavy (4.31 ERA, 190 Ks), Trevor Hoffman (1.87 ERA, 37 saves)
Here's what we don't understand: After years of delays, you build a spiffy new ballpark, tie it in with local history via a unique old building next to the park, offer plenty of family-friendly sections and activities and even build a playoff-caliber club. Then you go and shake down the fans for every last penny at the concession stands. What, the ticket prices aren't high enough? Did the Padres need to feel a kinship with their higher-priced baseball brethren in San Francisco? For a park that, for all of its comforts, carries a strong scent of corporate America, it would have been nice if a day at the stadium were priced with the families in mind instead of the fat cats sitting in the luxury boxes.