The Bill Walton Basketball Festival kicks off tomorrow at Petco Park. The weeklong event was originally set to culminate with the first ever college basketball game played at the San Diego ballpark on Saturday, December 5th. But recent developments have moved the game to the following Sunday, December 6th.
The reason for the date change is to avoid conflicting with the recently-announced Mountain West Conference Football Championship game that will take place at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5th. It will feature a matchup between the San Diego State Aztecs, who went an undefeated 8-0 in the conference this season, and the Air Force Falcons. Tickets for the basketball game that have already been purchased for the Saturday date and time will be honored on Sunday, and tickets for the game can still be purchased at padres.com/bball.
The festival, as announced back in September, will comprise of clinics, basketball camps, open courts, and physical education classes for local schools, businesses and nonprofits, as well as several appearances from Bill Walton himself. Additionally, there will be several basketball games played on a full-sized court that has been built on the Petco Park infield. That includes several middle school games, CIF games, corporate games, and a wheelchair basketball game in addition to the marquee event, the Aztecs vs. the University of San Diego Toreros on Sunday.
Preparations for the festival began last week, as the Petco Park infield was transformed into a basketball court, complete with bleachers for spectators.
The Padres organization already played host to golfers at the beginning of this month when it was transformed into The Links at Petco Park, which will become an annual event at the ballpark. In previous years, there has also been soccer, tennis, and hockey played at the downtown ballpark. With Bill Walton's connection with San Diego and the Padres, it was just a matter of time before basketball - especially in such a big capacity - was brought to Petco Park. It should be a fun week of activities for the community.