Thursday, June 23, 2005

I had the opportunity to see a Padres game at the new Petco Park in San Diego. What a great stadium! But the best part was the price and seating.

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As you can see from the ticket, it only cost $5 for a park pass. This means you can sit on a grassy knoll adjacent to the stadium and watch the game on a large screen, but you can also walk around the stadium. We met some friends that were visiting from back east, who use to live in San Diego, and had gone to a game the night before and gave us the low down. There is a restaurant, more like a bar, on the 5th floor of the stadium, and if you sign up for either the first half or second half of the game, you can sit out on their balcony, which is what we did. Visually, it was a perfect spot for watching the game. The nice thing was that you can angle the chairs and weren't sitting really close to anyone else. Also, the bathrooms were very close and there was a server to bring you drinks.

My only complaint is that the food and drinks are really expensive. For example, our draft beer was $7.75 a glass. A mesquite grilled chicken breast sandwich was $6.50, without any bar-b-que sauce. That was the biggest disappointment.
I had to slap a little mustard on it. Down near the park area, there was a bar-b-que beef sandwich that included chips, but that was $8.50, and if you wanted coleslaw or beans, it was $2 extra. Also, roasted peanuts were $4.50 a bag! I thought the 1/2 pound slugger hotdog was a bargain at $6.50, at least I felt like I was getting a meal. But still hungry, I venture off into the Mercado which is just a fancy word for food court.

I was surprised to find a Rubio's and Anthony's Seafood Grotto Express. There was also a fancy dessert cart and a peanut vender that sold cashews, macadamias, and cinnamon glazed almonds that tasted more like coconut. There is also a huge sports store, but the prices were strange: $46.40 for a pair of Padres swim shorts, $5.57 for a small souvenir bat. I felt like I was in a high end Walmart. Overall, I spent $39.50 on food. Sure glad I'm not a heavy beer drinker or it would have been more.

Towards the end of the game, the people were beginning to get really ugly. These girls were flicking peanut shells off the balcony, and finally one of them spilt a beer. The girls left, but when security came up, they asked the guys that were with them to leave. Of course, since the guys had been drinking they started to protest. One guy butted his head against the security guard who proceeded to grab the guy by the throat. We started hearing "assault, assault" but there was a supervisor watching the whole thing and saw the head butt. It was when they were in the restaurant that the same guy got violent and they had to handcuff him. It was all very exciting because I was getting bored with the game. The Padres were down by 2 and it was the bottom of the 8th and it didn't look like they were going to win.

Parking downtown was at a premium. I suggest getting there early enough to get a street spot at least 5 blocks from the stadium. We waited almost a half hour trying to get out of the parking structure. The cost was $10, but some lots closer to the stadium wanted $17 and even $20 bucks a spot. Overall, it was a fun experience.

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