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Padres President Tom Garfinkel Interview on XX Sports Radio

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XX Sports Radio: Tom Garfinkel Interview Part 1(MP3)

  • "Baseball has the most affordable tickets in sports"
  • The Padres spent a lot of time talking to fans.  There was a clear message that parking prices were too much.
  • Ticket pricing evolves over time.  You could tell just by looking which seats people preferred.
  • The right field seats were really popular until it became an "All you can eat" section because it was too expensive for people at $37.  They moved the "All you can eat" section and lowered the price to $25
  • Laura Broderick, VP of Brand Marketing is very focused on the end to end brand experience.
  • Garfinkel ran into some fans (eastbaysd) at the Golf Tournament and they asked him to show the pitch count for people in left field. He made it happen, just for them.
  • There are two things that Garfinkel and Moorad have in common. 1.) Very passionate and focused on winning. 2.) He is very focused on customers
  • They've had 6 season ticket holder summits, an Open House and a Fan Fest.  Fans are responding.  "Without them we couldn't do anything."
  • Garfinkel wants less sign clutter in Petco Park.  He wants the advertisers to become partners and help create an experience for the fans.  "If they are adding to the experience instead of interrupting it, it's better for the fans and better for the sponsors coming in." They cut in-game advertisements in half.

Part 2

  • Hoyer in the interview process said that having a HUGE ballpark is a way to create a competitive advantage.
  • "We're not in a hurry to change the uniforms."  It's a polarizing issue. "We want to celebrate our heritage." There will be small tweaks.
  • In the Throwback Thursday fan vote the Brown 78 uniforms won and 84 came in a close second.
  • Someday Petco Park will have a Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame plaques are not accessible to fans.
  • They will announce the finalized "everyday low price strategy" for concessions instead of promotions.
  • Last year the Padres committed to drafting and developing young players.
  • The in-game entertainment was stale and predictable, that's going to change this season.
  • Tom impersonates somebody named Omar.
  • Bud Black and the players deserve a lot of credit. 

Part 3

  • Fans aren't happy with the concession volunteers.  They need to be trained better.
  • Tom thinks it's a great idea to have an allergy free zone.  Gluten free food will be at the park this season and a peanut free zone.
  • "We want to promote all of our players" not just the five most popular guy.  They are focusing on the name on the front of the jersey.
  • The Padres have been very aggressive about contacting former Padres season ticket holders.

Part 4

  • Baseball teams have to make difficult decisions.  "We can assure you of, that we'll make decisions that make us the best baseball team in the short term and future too."
  • "Dick [Enberg] has got the spirit, work ethic and energy of a 25 year old"
  • "Jerry is an important part of the Padres organization." Jerry will travel less.
  • It's not about the style of broadcaster that he likes, it's what the fans like.
  • Currently Cox has exclusivity for the next 2 years. "Our goal is to make games available to as many fans as we can."
  • "The plans right now are to keep the ballpark dimensions the way they are"
  • "We'll have more season ticket holders this year by opening day than we did last year." Over 9000.
  • Garfinkel is very proud of Padres employees.