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Padres President Garfinkel talks about soccer "controversy"

Tom Garfinkel gives me a hot dog
Tom Garfinkel gives me a hot dog

XX Sports Radio: Tom Garfinkel Interview (MP3) with Scott and BR

  • Garfinkel gives the reason why they planned a soccer event during the season. "It's a big opportunity for San Diego and I think it's an opportunity for the Padres as well." The Hispanic market is very under indexed. Many soccer fans will come from the Hispanic community and the Padres have an opportunity to market the Padres team to them and introduce some them to Petco Park
  • "We wouldn't have done it if we thought it would in any way hurt the integrity of the field or got in the way of us winning baseball games and that's our first priority."
  • The grounds crew will take down the mound and cover the infield with grass, it's a pretty easy process. The conversion back to baseball is a little more difficult. The Padres asked if they could do it after the season, but this was the only time that Chivas could do it.
  • Head Grounds Crew guy, Luke Yoder, said that building the mound back is not a big deal. Teams do it all the time. It's a little more difficult to get the edges back between the dirt and the grass. Garfinkel approved the hiring of extra ground crew members upon Yoder's request. The crew will have 9 or 10 days to get the field back to baseball.
  • The Padres had a 6000 seat concert series planned on the field while the team was away called "The Western Metal Theater". They had three acts scheduled. The Comic Con event caused major burns on the grass rather then the discoloration that they had expected. The soccer field is a different issue because there will be no heavy equipment used.
  • "We could make $100 Million dollars off it and I wouldn't do it if thought it would cost us a chance to win baseball games."
  • "I talked to Heath this morning, Heath and I are fine. Heath is great. Heath says a lot of things and sometimes people pick things that they want to pick out of things. They ask him questions to get him to say things that they want him to say and print things they want to print. It's probably my fault for not talking to him first. I talked to Buddy, Darren, I talked to Jed and mostly Luke."
  • "If it caused any safety issues we just wouldn't do it."
  • "Heath is not in trouble. I called him in to talk to him. I should have called him before he heard it first from a reporter."
  • "We have the potential to make some money. If we do it will go right back into the baseball team. If we make money then the city makes money too. It's not a significant amount of money, it's not why we're doing it."
  • The Padres have looked into playing football on the field but based on the current configuration it wouldn't fit.