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Ballpark Game Plan: San Diego Padres & Petco Park

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Field: Petco Park

Official Site:

Year Completed: 2004

Capacity: 42,445

Covered: No (Rainout policy)

Mascot: The Swinging Friar

The Game We’ll See: Wednesday, July 26: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres (see all 30 here!)

Parking & Transportation:

Petco Parking ranges from $10 to $35. Preferred parking can be purchased in advance. Petco Park recommends that guests plan to arrive early and choose a parking location based on where they will be heading after the game (north, south, or east).

Alternative Transportation: Trolley Park & Ride is available.

Oversized vehicle: Not called out specifically.

Stadium Tours:

Pregame tours are 90 minutes long and start 3.5 hours before the first pitch. The price includes entry to watch batting practice and/or warm-up exercises (at discretion of teams). Tickets must be purchased in advance, and cost about $75 per person. The VIP Tour has closer view of batting practice and is $200.

General Information:

Bags: They must be single compartment bags measuring 7” x 10” or smaller.  Since there is no mention of a storage service, it would be best to leave other bags in the car.

Food & Beverages: The stadium allows fans to bring in factory-sealed bottled water in a plastic bottle. It must be still, clear, unflavored, and 1 liter (32 oz) or less in size. Soft-sided juice or milk are also permitted. Outside food is permitted, with some restrictions.

Cashless transactions: All transactions are cashless.

Signs: Petco permits signs if they are no larger than 4’ x 8’.

Foul Balls: Fans may keep foul balls. Just don’t interfere with play (of course!).

Gates: Gates generally open 90 minutes prior to first pitch.

Umbrellas: Small, collapsible umbrellas are allowed in Petco Park. Please use them respectfully.

Cameras: While non-professional cameras and video cameras are allowed, lenses may not be longer than 6”, and no extra detachable lenses are permitted.

Where to Sit:

According to Baseball Road Trips, the back rows of the third base side of field infield (sections 112 and 114) have full shade and great views. If you want shade, check out the official ballpark shade map. Upper row seats in sections 300 – 312 get partial shade.

Ball Park Savvy recommends behind the plate and left field line. For a good value, consider section 315 in the upper deck in the lowest possible row. For a splurge, watch the game in the Toyota Terrace.

Avoid the left field fence because the scoreboard and big screen are behind you.

If you buy your tickets through StubHub or the team, you can upgrade your seats at the park through the MLB Ballpark app.


  • The trademark dish at the stadium is Rubio’s Shrimp Burrito.
  • The Baked Bear makes an ice cream sandwich that is a treat on a hot day. It’s in section 124.
  • Fans in the Ballpark Chasers Facebook group rave about the bacon-wrapped Barrio Dogg, Tri-Tip Nachos at Seaside Market, the Randy Jones BBQ (which was started years ago by the Padres’ former Cy Young pitcher), and Hodad’s Burgers.

First Time Visitors:

Visit a Fan Services booth for a first timer’s pin.


Permitted. Head for the dugout as soon as the gates are open. Most likely to be opposing team autographs.

Other Stadium Tips & Highlights:

Visit the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame on the first floor of the Western Metal Supply building.

Retired numbers appear on the Upper Deck Façade behind Home Plate. They include:

  • 6 – Steve Garvey
  • 19 – Tony Gwynn
  • 31 – Dave Winfield
  • 35 – Randy Jones
  • 51 – Trevor Hoffman
  • 42 – Jackie Robinson (retired by the MLB)
  • Initials of RAK, long-time owner Ray Kroc, also appear behind Home Plate

Advice from Friends:

Ellen Govan suggested that we take the 2-hour Old Town Trolley Tour, if we have time. Admiral Bill Center suggested we visit the USS Midway, which was his home in the Navy for several years. It is a short walk from the ballpark. Kirk Greene suggested a trip to Balboa Island. Russ Kimball recommended The Kilowatt Brewing Company. Jim Gayton recommended Roberto’s in Claremont for the best burrito around! And Eddie Pasatiempo recommended the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame, which is attached to the stadium.