Southern California is beautiful this time of year, and San Diego is no exception. This past week, for the first time ever, I finally made it to Petco Park and watched the San Diego Padres take on the Texas Rangers. Public transportation is great. Being from a smaller town I’m not used to having it, so when it’s available I take advantage. This time it was on the Coaster train from Oceanside to San Diego, and then a little jaunt over to the trolley, which practically rolled right into the park! There was no charge for the trolley, which should be an incentive for game-day fans. Unfortunately, I ended up with two game tickets, but since I was by myself I kept the other ticket so I’d have room to set all my paraphernalia right next to me. I soon found out that wasn’t necessary.
The seats in the entire row next to me, the row in front of me and the row behind me were practically empty, with the exception of a smidgen of patrons. This was a Wednesday game, 3:30 start time and the weather was beautiful. The park was beautiful. It’s just really sad to see all those empty seats in a ballpark.
So I’m pondering why Petco Park and a lot of parks nationwide are having so much trouble getting the fans to attend. There was a large military presence at this particular game. I wondered if they had been comp’d and, if so, how much money the park is actually making or losing on each game. This is the 18Th ballpark I’ve visited and I’ve seen it before. And it doesn’t necessarily coincide with whether the team’s winning or not. I remember back in 2010 the Padres had a really good team and lead the Division most of the year, but still weren’t able to fill the park.
I really like Petco Park. I had the feeling I was on top of the action, no matter where the play was going on. The Padre mascot paraded around the field in his traditional flowing garb and was totally entertaining. But I enjoy watching the game and one thing I found a little irritating was the great big field scoreboard so busy showing the fans and antics going on in the stands they rarely took time to show the stats of the game. This was much to the delight of the fans I might say, but when I’m busy taking lots of photographs, usually 100-125 each game, I sometimes lose track of the count, outs, innings. It would be nice to be kept in the loop on these things. At home with the telly this is never an issue. I’m usually keeping score anyway but for sure the game stats, box scores, etc., are usually there on the screen at regular intervals.
About the game ~ the staff and fans at the ballpark were great. Great sportsmanship from both sides and the ones who were there, were knowledgeable and understood the game, always a plus. San Diego actually lead for a while. Yu Darvish, the Rangers’ pitcher, left the game a little earlier than he would have liked, and Josh Hamilton wasn’t able to smack one out of the park for a change, so it appeared that maybe the Padres might be able to pull this one out. But in the end the Texas Rangers who are having an amazing season (it’s the pesky World Series that gives them trouble) won the game.
On the trip back to the condo, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to that beautiful ballpark if the owners were to sell and move the team to another city. It happens. What a waste that would be for the San Diego Padres fans. And I wondered, if the local fans knew this could happen, if they might be more inclined to show up for the games.
Just wondering ….. a beautiful ballpark is a terrible thing to waste.
- Padres will consider moving in the fences at Petco Park (aol.sportingnews.com)
- San Diego Padres and the Northgate Parking Garage (timothyburgess.typepad.com)