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Happy Belated Birthday to Petco Park!

The Padres’ stadium turned 16 on Wednesday

This is a tad overdue but better late than never!

On Wednesday, April 8th, the home of the San Diego Padres turned 16 years old.

The $450 million stadium was originally set to open prior to the 2002 season but found it’s stuck behind several legal and political obstacles. At first, an already-passed ballot got nullified (the one that approved the city’s portion of the stadium financial package) which forced the decision to go to a vote for a second time. Secondly, they ran into issues with the Western Metal Supply Co, which was deemed a historical landmark. They had to agree to revitalize and include it into the plans for the area around the stadium so they could get things moving once again.

Due to the above events, Petco didn’t open until 2004. The first game inside the new stadium wasn’t actually a Padres game at all. It was an NCAA baseball invitational hosted by San Diego State University and their head coach, Padres legend Tony Gwynn.

The first actual Padres game was played on April 8th, 2004. The first fan to actually enter the stadium....happened to be a San Francisco Giants fan. Luckily, the Padres won 4-3 in extra innings and the day was saved.