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By Wikipedia

PETCO Park is an open-air stadium in downtown San Diego, California. Opened in 2004, it replaced Qualcomm Stadium as the home park of the San Diego Padres. The stadium is named after the pet food retailer PETCO, which is based in San Diego and paid for the naming rights (since the retailer spells its name in all capital letters, the spelling "Petco Park" is not correct).

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 19 Tony Gwynn Way
San Diego, California 92101
Broke ground Summer 2000
Opened April 8, 2004
Replaced Qualcomm Stadium
Owner City of San Diego (70%);
San Diego Padres (30%)
Surface Grass
Lease 30 years
Construction cost $450M;
(over $300M from taxpayers)
Architects HOK Sport;
Antonie Predock (design);
Spurlock Poirier (landscape);
ROMA (urban planning)
San Diego Padres (2004-present)
Seating capacity
46,000 (2004)
Left Field Line - 334 ft
Left Field - 367 ft
Left Field Alley - 402 ft
Center Field - 396 ft
Right Field Alley - 411 ft
Right Field - 382 ft
Right Field Line - 322 ft
Backstop - ? ft

The construction cost of over $450 million was partially funded by the Centre City Development Corporation, the San Diego Redevelopment Agency, and the stadium is intended to be part of a comprehensive plan to revitalize San Diego's aging downtown, particularly the East Village area east of the Gaslamp Quarter. The stadium is located across Harbor Drive from the San Diego Convention Center.

PETCO Park differentiates itself from other Major League ballparks built in the same era by eschewing "retro"-style red brick and green seats. The stadium is clad in Indian sandstone and stucco; its exposed steel is painted white and the 42,445 fixed seats are dark blue. The design is meant to evoke the sandy color of San Diego cliffs and beaches, the blue of the ocean, and the white sails of boats on the nearby bay.

Fly to PETCO Park!
If you have Google Earth installed, click here to be "flown" to the site of PETCO Park. (If you do not have it installed, get it from Google. It allows you to view virtually anywhere on Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.)

Architect Antoine Predock's design pulled restaurants, administrative offices and other amenities away from the seating bowl itself into other buildings surrounding the bowl. As a result, the ballpark's concourses are open not only to the playing field but also to the surrounding city. Unlike most outdoor baseball parks, in which the batter faces in a northeasterly direction, in this ballpark the batter faces due north, and fans in the grandstands are treated to a view of San Diego Bay and the San Diego skyline beyond the left field seats, and a view of Balboa Park, which contains the San Diego Zoo, beyond center field.

An excellent example of adaptive reuse, the Western Metal Supply Company Building, a hundred-year old structure that had been scheduled for demolition to make way for PETCO Park, was saved and incorporated into the design of the ballpark. The building was renovated and contains the team store, private suites, a restaurant and rooftop seating. The corner of the building serves as the left field foul-pole.

The Park at the Park, a grassy berm sloping above the outfield fence, is open during game time allowing fans to sit and watch games for a small price. When no games are being played the Park at the Park serves as a free local park for area residents.

A 30-by-53 foot LED video board, dubbed FriarVision, offers high-resolution replays and graphics, even in direct sunlight. Atop FriarVision in the left-field stands is a 34-by-80 foot Matrix scoreboard displaying animation and cheer graphics, lineups, stats, and game info. Along the upper concourses are LED fascia video boards showing animation and graphics. The one along the first-base side is 3 feet by 236 feet while the third-base side is 3 feet by 252 feet.


A week after the opening of PETCO, April 15, 2004.

Photo by Kerryl Cacho (Navy)

Fans in concession stands, in bars, restaurants or wandering the stands can watch the action on 244 high-definition TV monitors and an additional 500 standard-definition TVs. More than 500 computer-controlled speakers throughout the park deliver the sound as a "distributed signal," eliminating the audio delay from a central bank of speakers, such as the system at Qualcomm Stadium. Four stationary cameras, one roving camera and use of six Cox-TV cameras provide videos for park's screens.

04/08/2004 Giants 3, Padres 4 (10 innings)
Umpires Mike Winters, Dana DeMuth
  Brian Runge, Kerwin Danley
Managers Bruce Bochy, Padres
  Felipe Alou, Giants
Starting Pitchers David Wells, Padres
  Dustin Hermanson, Giants
Ceremonial Pitch President Jimmy Carter, Bud Selig
  S.D. Mayor Dick Murphy
Attendance 41,400
Batter Ray Durham (fly out)
Hit Brian Giles (single)
Run Khalil Greene
RBI Sean Burroughs
Single Brian Giles
Double Sean Burroughs
Triple Brian Giles (04/11/2004)
Home Run Marquis Grissom
Grand Slam Adam Dunn (07/31/2005)
IPHR Jimmy Rollins (08/04/2004)
Stolen Base Adam Eaton, Sean Burroughs
Sacrifice Hit David Wells
Sacrifice Fly Ryan Klesko (04/10/2004)
Cycle (None)
Win Eddie Oropesa
Loss Matt Herges
Shutout Randy Johnson (04/16/2004)
Save Trevor Hoffman (04/10/2004)
Hit by Pitch David Wells hit Yorvit Torrealba
Wild Pitch Kaz Ishii (04/14/2004)
Balk Sergio Mitre (05/15/2004)
No-Hitter NONE
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet

The official address of PETCO Park is 19 Tony Gwynn Way, in honor of the eight-time National League batting champion who wore that uniform number (19) during his entire major league career with the Padres. In the first game ever played at PETCO park, on March 11, 2004, the San Diego State University Aztec baseball team, of which Gwynn is the head coach, notched a victory.

On September 29th, 2005, MLB Announced that PETCO Park would host the Semi-Finals and the Finals of the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

PETA's Hidden Message

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has had a running battle with PETCO for several years regarding the purported mistreatment of live animals at PETCO stores.

When the Padres announced that PETCO (which is based in San Diego) had obtained naming rights to PETCO Park, PETA was unable to persuade the Padres to terminate the agreement.

PETA, whose messages often have the subtlety of being hit in the head with a brick, then attempted to broadcast its message by purchasing a personalized brick used in constructing part of the stadium. It's first two messages ("In memory of all the animals who have suffered and died in PETCO stores nationwide" and "Boycott PETCO") were rejected by the Padres as unsuitable.

Undaunted, PETA elected to get its message across using subliminal advertising in the form of an acrostic. It successfully purchased a brick with what appears on the surface to be a complementary message: "Break Open Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Championship Organization!" However, if one takes the first letters of each word, the resulting acrostic reads "BOYCOTT PETCO". Neither PETCO nor the Padres have taken any action to remove the brick, stating that if someone walked by, they would not know it had anything to do with the PETA/PETCO feud. Indeed, without superfluous paragraphs like these on Wikipedia and elsewhere, you'd never know Petco was thought by some to be so abusive to the products they sell.

Related books on PETCO Park:
Baseball in San Diego: From the Padres to PETCO by Bill Swank.
The Sweet Spot: The Story of the San Diego Padres PETCO Park by Andy Hayt (Editor), Barry Lorge (photographer).

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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'FriarVision' scoreboard in left field at Petco.

DOD Photo

Year by Year statistics: for PETCO Park

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