The Padres’ Class-A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm, will be upgrading their stadium for the 2017 season. The team, along with the City of Lake Elsinore, announced yesterday that they will be installing new seats as well as incorporating a number of viewing areas around The Diamond prior to the start of the regular season, which is set for April 6th.
The current stadium seating will now be split into six different sections, assumably with various pricing levels (although according to this, single-game ticket prices will range between $10 and $18, so still very affordable). The sections will be as follows (via StormBaseball.com):
Home Plate Premium (Section 101-103, first 12 rows)
Specialty seat with padding and a prim
Home Plate High Tops (Sec. 101-103, remaining rows)
Enjoy a beverage or cocktail like you're at a bar… behind home plate!
Home Plate (Sec. 104-107)
Dugout (Sec. 108-113)
Field (Sec. 114-117)
Outfield (Sections 119, 121, 123)
Three sections with original stadium seating.
Additionally, they will add a new private viewing area with what they’re calling “Dugout 4-Tops.” Here visitors will have the option of reserving tables, each with four padded chairs and complete with “waitress service and an unbeatable view of the action.”
According to Storm general manager, Naj Narayanan, these seating upgrades are just the first of many phases of upgrades coming to The Diamond. Padres fans should be used to this, as Petco Park has gone through various phases of upgrades itself over the past several years, including new seating and viewing areas as well as field renovations and upgrades to the surrounding concourse of the ballpark. However, unlike the Padres, the Storm are starting their renovations the season after hosting an All-Star Game, instead of in the years leading up to it.
The Storm are known for facilitating a welcoming and fun environment for fans, and these new seating arrangements and the revelation of future planned upgrades will only help pad their reputation. After finally making it out to my very first Storm game towards the end of last season, I was really pleased to find that reputation upheld. Between the affordability of the game, the talent on the field, and all of the activities going on around the stadium, it’s really a great way to spend an evening. After this announcement I’m even more excited for the upcoming season, and the years to come.