Petco Park has got to be one of the best places to watch a ballgame in this country, not named Great American Ballpark.
Nestled within the buildings on the south side of downtown San Diego, the home of the Padres was just a few blocks from the hotel my newlywed wife and I were staying at for our week out west. We walked through the Gaslamp District (San Diego’s OTR) to get to it and entered on the north side. There, greeting you as if you were to begin some sort of maze, were three choices.
You could either veer right to ride an escalator up to the main concourse, you could go left and tour through the Padres’ Hall of Fame, or you could split the difference and check out the left field terrace. Being the huge baseball nerd that I am, my wife and I entered the Hall of Fame.
Comparatively, the Padres’ Hall of Fame is much smaller than the Reds’. In fact, the entirety of it is, essentially, the first room that you come to in the Reds’ Hall of Fame. In the middle of the circular room there are replicas of team memorabilia while on the wall is a timeline that begins with the founding of the franchise and leads to now. Even had stuff about Ken Caminiti in there, to the chagrin of steroid era detractors, I’m sure.
When you exit the Hall of Fame, it spits you right back out to where you must again pick a fork in the road. With it being Tuesday, the Padres have a killer Taco Tuesday promo: $2.50 tacos, all throughout the park. So, we walked up to the left field terrace and grabbed a couple of carnitas tacos. I’m no food critic, but I do love food, and these tacos were phenomenal. We then got back to navigating the park, which isn’t a continuous circle, like Great American. The entrance we came in would be like if you came in at Gapper’s Alley in GABP and on one side you went straight to left field, and nowhere else, while the other side led you to the rest of the park.
The main concourse was packed with food and drink vendors. There were a lot of options, including tri-tip steak sandwiches and tacos. You may or may not be aware of tri-tip, but basically it is a tender cut of steak that they sell out west, and it is quite good. So, with a tri-tip sandwich and a Giant Killer (a special adult beverage for their series with San Francisco) in tow, we made our way to our seats, down the third base line.
Side note: I’m a Hawaiian shirt guy…yeah, I see you rolling your eyes…and there aren’t that many of those around Cincinnati. Decided to wear one to the Padres game, and I was not alone. At Petco, if you aren’t wearing a jersey, you’re wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and that is a scientific fact. Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled post.
The Padres’ Clayton Richard and the Giants’ Dereck Rodriguez were in the midst of a pitcher’s duel, so we decided to go explore some more. Petco doesn’t have one long bar with numerous taps, but what it does have are multiple one-off vendors with their own taps. Places like Coronado Brewing Co., Mission Brewery, and even a brewery called Pizza, each had their own cart pouring beer from the tap. I got the “Guava Islander” from Coronado Brewing Co. and it was decent.
On the upper concourse is an area like the Fioptics District at Great American. It has panoramic views of the bay and the skyline while also giving you a good view of the game. The area is on top of the Western Metal Supply Co., by the left field foul pole. Had it’s own bar with hot dogs and stuff on the menu. Good place to catch a game, supposing the ticket prices are the same as the Fioptics District.
Overall, the game atmosphere was slightly different from Great American. I don’t recall there being an organ, or there might have been a slightly more electronically sounding one, if any. The feeling was a little more innocuous compared to Great American. The game day staff do a really good job, here in Cincy, keeping the crowd engaged and Petco just seemed slightly more hands-off, even though their rivals were in town.
I still love my home away from home away from home in Great American, but seeing another ballpark kind of has me itching to go to others. Might just end up writing about them here, at Locked on Reds, too.
Check us out on Twitter @LockedonReds and @jefffcarr
Could he? Would he? May he? Things looking slightly up for the Reds prospects of getting Dallas Keuchel.
New Podcast Episode!
Download, download, download! You know…on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or Stitcher. And leave a review! I would love your feedback!
New Year, New LOR
Here is the first episode of your new Locked on Reds podcast hosted by me, Jeff Carr!