Brent Bernasconi

Goings On for Padres Opening Day

Petco Park Left Field Panorama

Petco Park Left Field Panorama (Photo by SD Dirk)

I am glad to be the first to tell you that the San Diego Padres’ opening day is today! Okay, you most likely already knew that, so here are just a few of the things you need to know about what is going on:

Game Details:
At 3:35 pm, the San Diego Padres take on the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park. For those of you lucky enough to have a ticket, make sure to pick up your free opening day t-shirt.

The game of course is the main event, but Downtown will be buzzing right up to the first pitch. KYXY 96.5 will be broadcasting live from the Tin Fish, located just feet away from PETCO. Over on J Street is the East Village Opening Day Block Party. Families and fans can enjoy entertainment from live bands and DJ Kaotik, taste samples from local restaurants, enjoy a micro-brew beer garden and much more. The best part? The block party is free.

Food and Drink:
Almost every restaurant in Downtown/East Village will have food and drink specials leading up to and after the game. If you are hankering for a Hodad’s burger but don’t want to leave opening day excitement of Downtown and drive to Ocean Beach, this website claims the downtown location is open. If it is, please let me know! (You know, after you enjoy a burger.) For the baseball and craft beer fans, the recently resurrected Mission Brewery is having a soft opening at its new downtown location. Make sure not to get too full, you still need room for those cracker jacks you will eat during the game.

Getting There:
The best way to visit PETCO Park is by public transportation. It saves you gas and parking fees. If you have to drive, there are plenty of parking structures near PETCO Park. SignonSanDiego has a great article about how to get to opening day.

Now, if only I can find a ticket to today’s sold out American pastime!


5 to Try This Weekend

  • It’s prime time for pride time because the 34th Annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade and Festival takes place this weekend. On Saturday at 11 a.m. the pride parade sweeps the streets from Hillcrest to Balboa Park with over 180 celebrating floats. Then on Saturday and Sunday, the party continues with the pride festival in Balboa Park featuring multiple entertainment stages, musicians, bands, comedy and dance performers, art exhibits, music and great food. The parade is free and single day tickets to the festival are $20. 
  • The Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition takes place this weekend in Imperial Beach with a street festival
    hopefully this sand guy won't sneeze

    hopefully this sand guy won't sneeze

    pre-party on Saturday and the official competition on Sunday. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., teams of professional and amateur “sand carvers” get down and dirty as they create some of the most extraordinary sculptures out of sand and water. The sand masterpieces will be available for viewing until 4 p.m., before the tide comes in and Mother Nature shows those sand carvers what she really thinks about their work.  

  • If you like visors (what? how random!), head down to PETCO Park to help the San Diego Padres celebrate their 40th anniversary this Saturday as they play the Colorado Rockies. The games start at 7:05 p.m. and all fans in attendance will receive a complimentary Padres retro visor as a thank-you gift… See, I was going somewhere with that. 
  • This weekend is opening weekend for the World Premiere of The First Wives Club at the Old Globe theatre. Bound for Broadway you can catch it here in San Diego first! Daytime and nighttime performances are available and ticket prices vary. “And remember girls, don’t get even, get everything!”
  • This Saturday, check out the Old Town Saturday Market on Harney Street, one of the largest weekly artisan fairs in San Diego. Here, you’ll find handmade pottery, jewelry, clothing, blow glass and more. There will also be live music and festive entertainment. Ole!
Guest Blogger

Tour Petco Park

I kind of like visiting Petco Park when nobody is around — no baseball players messing up the field, no fans standing around making a big racket and blocking the impressive vistas of beautiful San Diego all around the stadium.  I can’t tell whether that’s a provocative statement or not; just a thought I had during my tour of Petco Park.  The home of the Padres was the groundbreaker in downtown San Diego’s neo-renaissance in the early part of the century (opening in 2004).  It’s another impressive landmark here in San Diego, and as with many of the attractions here, the closer you look, the more impressive it is.

What can you expect to learn on a tour of a mere baseball stadium?  A lot more than I expected, as it turns out.  On my tour, I was exposed to fascinating facts and trivia regarding the world of baseball, sports journalism, city planning, and Petco Park’s unique architecture; not to mention some good baseball gossip.  I would love to go into some of my tour guide’s act here, but this is one instance when you really have to be there.

"All right, team, let's hustle out there and buy some swag!"

"All right, team - let's hustle on out there and buy some swag!"

Walking around in the Padres’ house when the Padres aren’t home really emphasizes the vastness and versatility of the structure, which could easily double as a small city complete with restaurants, parks, museums and a sandy beach.

"The Beach"

Bleachers On the Beach

Yes, a park and a sandy beach! Ever tried “Park In the Park?”  $5 will get you into a game and onto a nice patch of grass as well as grant you more access to the stadium than you might think.  Bleacher seats cost $9 and include access to a sandlot in right field.  It’s a great option for moms and dads who don’t want to spend the game wrangling kids back into their seats.

The park is wide open to views of the playing field, and if you’re a wanderer like me, you can enjoy a game from almost any vantage point in the joint.  (The many premium lounges, suites and boxes will cost you, though.)

Walk-up tours are available to the public Tuesday through Sunday.  Adults are $9, seniors $6, children under 13 $5, and active military $8, with discounts for groups of 25 or more.

On evening game days, a game ticket plus an Early Bird Tour ticket will get you inside the park an hour before the gates open so you can get to know your ballpark before the game.