There's a few major changes that you'll see at Petco Park this coming season, but before I tell you about them, you should first consider getting to know the structural design of the ballpark with your very own blueprint keepsake. Tom from Ballpark Blueprints reached out to me and asked that I share his site and in turn he'd give away three blueprints of Petco Park.
I gave them away on Twitter to the first three that asked for them. Not a terribly creative contest, but it was surprisingly simple. Anyway the story of how Tom started his independent business with a high school buddy reminded me of a little Padres blog you might be reading right now, so how could I resist? I only wish it were a brown print. Bring back the brown!
Onto the changes!
New HD Scoreboard
The Padres announced at the end of last season that we would need to say our goodbyes to the piece of crap old jumbotron and get ready to meet a fancy new HD scoreboard. In November they dropped all the pertinent specs. It's 61 feet tall and 123 feet wide, the third biggest in the MLB. They didn't tell us how thick it'd be though. I thought flat screens were all the rage, but I was wrong. In any case, we're likely to see it in business for the first time at Padres FanFest this weekend and then playing scenes from Top Gun throughout the season. I can't wait! Maverick and Goose in HD!
With the new scoreboard came an excuse to mix up the seating in Left Field. They lowered the wall and added two rows of 171 total new seats. The former standing room only area next to the Western Metal Supply, where you could stand behind the fence is now the Sea Level Suite and not a good place to go if there's ever a tsunami.
How about this view over the new 5 ft wall in left field? Sea Level suite is now available pic.twitter.com/8GK3gkbsyi— Mike Dee (@PadresMikeDee) March 31, 2015
Up underneath that big b_tch of a scoreboard they've added bar stools for drinking and an open area for socializing and rudimentary games of grabass. I already like this area. I'm thinking it's the new teen hangout.
Two rows of barstools now the front of the upper level in LF. What a view! pic.twitter.com/upi50lbhl7— Wayne Partello (@WaynePartello) March 31, 2015
They said they'd lower the wall to 7 feet but Dee's tweet above says 5 feet. There's really no telling what kind of changes they've made if we're relying on Twitter for information. Supposedly the walls have moved in 34 inches too, which will mean buttloads of homers!
Men at Work - Getting the new left field ready for 4/4 pic.twitter.com/obsfRrNzgK— Mike Dee (@PadresMikeDee) March 18, 2015
Just when you thought the Padres couldn't possibly put up anymore signage in the park they do.
Outside the park you'll see new faces on banners and they'll smile right back at you, if you just give them the chance.
The MLB is mandating that all ballparks be equipped with metal detectors this year. Thanks Obama.
"The installation of walk-through metal detectors at all Petco Park entry gates is part of a proactive plan to strengthen security across Major League Baseball,"
They say we won't need to remove items from our pockets or take off our belts and shoes but I'm going to do it anyway just to be on the safe side. One can never be too careful in these dangerous times. I was down at the ballpark a few nights ago and peeked through the gates and saw no sign of the detectors so maybe they're portable. So futuristic!
Because the Ballpark Village was approved the Padres are losing one of their lots, which means that the parking that does exist will go up in price, naturally. And they call it progress.
The city agency that oversees downtown agreed unanimously to the project that could open in 2016-17 on the 3.5-acre parking lot east of the ballpark, bounded by Park Boulevard and 12th and Imperial avenue
I refuse to pay for parking, still haven't yet after all these years. Sometimes I'll walk miles, but I won't pay for parking.
I got an email from a PR firm today that says that Deep Eddy Vodka signed a three year deal with the Padres. They'll also be branding a seating area. I can't figure out where this will be located but the UT says they'll serve Zenbu sushi along with their cocktails.
Deep Eddy will also be opening the Deep Eddy Vodka Hideaway at Petco Park, a branded seating area and bar that will deliver a down-home, casual vibe and will be open for all fans to enjoy.
I'm not much of a drinker but I could go for a tall glass of casual vibe right now.
Corey Brock also tells us that Pizza Port is bringing its brew to Petco Park as well.
People seem really excited about it, which makes me want to pretend to be really excited about it too, even though I don't know what we're so excited about.
Then I found out Pizza Port is the official Pizza of Petco Park and I got it. They've also brewed a new beer called Petco Park Pale Ale to be sold at the ballpark.
Padres chief hospitality officer Scott Marshall said the craft beer and pizza spot will have five locations throughout the park.
@pizzaportbrewingco is proud to announce it will be serving #TastyGrubAndGrog at #PetcoPark this year. We are officially the Pizza Of The San Diego @padres! Pizza Port Ocean Beach had brewed a pale ale to celebrate this monumental occasion. All #pizzaport locations will be tapping Petco Park Pale Ale tomorrow. This is a 5.7% tradional pale ale with a slight American hoppy twist. Petco Park Pale Ale will also be severed at the park. Thank you to all of the Pizza Port supporters. Pizza Port would not be where it is today without you. See you at Padres Opening Day. Cheers! #petcoparkpaleale #pizzaportOB #pizzaportbrewingco #padres #GoodBeerBringsGoodCheer #petcopark #sdbeer
As good as the food selection is at Petco Park, I'm amazed that the Padres can't sell us a tasty hot dog, when I can open a pack of Hebrew Nationals and cook them on a grill in minutes to spectacular results. The old dogs were awful and not worth the $5.50 they charge for them. Somehow they're still the most popular item at the ballpark. Fortunately this year the team has a new vendor, but we'll see if it makes for a better meal.
If the Friar Franks (hot dogs) taste different this year, Marshall said it’s because the local Tarantino Gourmet Sausage company will be providing meat for the hot dogs (and continue to sell its already popular sausages).
The UT says that Sun Diego will have kiosks around the park to sell Padres flavored surf/skate gear.
This season, surf and skate retailer Sun Diego will debut kiosks around the park. Marshall said fans can pick up flip-flops in Padres colors as well as sunglasses, dresses and other fashionable Padres-themed items.
The Padres will also be selling yoga clothing of all things at a place called Padres Studio 47. No idea where this is located but I'll find out by following women in yoga pants until they take me to it.
Fox Sports San Diego
A much better location for everyone involved.
I'm sure I missed some things, but I'll add them to this post when you remind me.