Monday, May 16 – Giants 2, Padres 1. Petco Park is wonderful! Its wide concourses, good viewing everywhere, lawn seating behind center field, water views from the upper level, huge food variety, and an outfield patio craft beer area combine to make this a terrific venue for fans.
Access: From my downtown hotel, I took a trolley car to within a short walk of Petco. Going back, I left from a different station and had only a brief wait.
Seats/pricing: The ticket seller told me the best bargain was in the third deck behind the plate. Sold, for $31.00 Although the ticket said Row 3, it actually was the first row.
View: The lawn behind center field and then downtown buildings make a nice view from the stands. The Western Steel Company building that was built into the park rather than being demolished adds a touch even more distinctive than the warehouse wall at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. The views of Mission Bay are from the upper concourse.
Food: Tremendous variety ranging from sushi and Mexican fare to fruit, salads, and other market offerings at the Seaside Market.
Amidst all this, however, I was steered to the burger at Hodad’s, a San Diego institution with booths at Petco. Excellent.
Beer: The craft beer stand on the patio behind center field is the most noteworthy location, with draft pulls at $13.00 for a 20-ounce cup. There are plenty of other locations at the same price for craft and $9.50 to $12.50 for domestic and premium brands in sizes from 14.9 to 24 ounces.Crowd: 24,433. Most noteworthy was the large number of Giants fans who either made the trek south or live in the area. The scoreboard shows fans repeatedly. In addition to the typical kiss-cam, dance-cam, and fan-cam episodes between innings, Petco offers piano-cam, where fans tickle imaginary piano keys with their fingers.
Men’s Rooms: Clean.
Neighborhood: Plenty of bars and restaurants within immediate walking distance. Within the park bounds adjacent to the lawn area are a well-equipped play area for kids and a whiffle ball field.
Arts and visuals: The sculpture of Padre icon Tony Gwynn above oversees Petco from the back of the lawn viewing area.
Baseball Moment: Madison Bumgarner’s complete game victory, marred only by Matt Kemp’s ninth inning homer, dominated the evening. Brandon Crawford sparked the Giants offense.