Tag Archives: San Diego

Pondering the Padres at Petco Park ~

San Diego Trolley

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.

Military Presence Everywhere

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.

“Petco Park, San Diego”

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.

“A Whole Lot of Empty Seats at Petco”

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.

Capitalism Alive and Well in Baseball!

“Courtesy of Money Ball”

Last week I was perusing the San Francisco Giants website looking for tickets.  I  settled on two $46 tickets in the Premium Lower Box section, went through the hoops and hit the button only to find that the $46 tickets were now miraculously $150!   Here’s the Disclaimer that was shown on the page:

“Market pricing applies to all tickets. 
Rates can fluctuate based on factors affecting supply and demand.  Lock in your price and location today!”

What the heck is that all about?  I mean if you list something for a certain price shouldn’t that be the price you pay for it?   I’m just as much in favor of capitalism as the next guy, probably more so, and I’m not an attorney,  but shouldn’t this be considered false advertising?

I understand having different prices for different games.  For example,  a June 4th game between the Giants and the Dodgers is priced at $56 for a lower box seat but a game on August 3 between the Giants and the Padres is only $32 for the same seat.   I get it.  Nothing wrong with that.  But to buy a ticket advertised at a specific price and then find out “at checkout” that it’s three times the price you agreed to pay for it 10 seconds ago?  I don’t think so.  I wonder if other teams are doing this.  Ticket prices  should be published at the beginning of the season and remain the same throughout that season, or at least until you get a chance to click the purchase button.

“AT&T Park not the only game in town” Photo Courtesy of Gerald Carpenter

Needless to say, I cancelled the order I was working on and instead I’m flying down to San Diego in June to watch the Padres and Rangers at a price we agreed upon.  Okay, I realize with the air fare, hotel, meals, etc.,  it’s going to cost me a fortune.  But this is a protest purchase you know?  And it’s the principal of the thing.  I mean how many times do I have to keep paying for Zito’s salary?  Enough already.

One bright spot in the week.  We received an email from the Oakland A’s a few weeks ago offering $12 Field Level tickets on Mother’s Day.  And that’s exactly what they cost.  These were great front row seats, beautiful weather, friendly fans, and extremely friendly vendors and staff, and a beautiful pink rose to boot!  Needless to say, we’ll be back.

And we’re flying to Seattle and attending a Mariners game week after next.   If this is perceived as being disloyal, so be it.  I love my San Francisco Giants but I love baseball even more and I’m going to the games one way or another.

Like I said, it’s the principle of the thing.