Since 2004, Padre fans have had one of the best ballparks to watch games and create new memories each summer. However before Petco Park’s opening, that was not always the case. With an aging Jack Murphy Stadium and having to share it with the San Diego Chargers (NFL), the Padres needed a ballpark of their own. Larry Lucchino, who helped the Orioles build Camden Yards, became President of the Padres in 1995 in part to help the team get a new ballpark constructed. In 1996 the club officially announced plans to build a ballpark and after making it to the World Series in 1998, the voters of San Diego approved a bond to allow construction of a ballpark in downtown San Diego. Originally, the 42,445 seat stadium was scheduled to open in 2002. However, in October 2000 funding for construction of the ballpark ended and was halted for more than a year. Over a year later in November 2001, the City of San Diego approved a $166 million bond in order for construction to resume. In January 2003, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. purchased the naming rights for $60 million over 22 years, thus the ballpark was named Petco Park.
On April 8, 2004 the Padres played their first game in a ballpark they could truly call their own against the San Francisco Giants. Gone are the days when they had to share a stadium with another team. The $411 million ballpark has a Southern California appearance with its white steel and sandstone facade with palm/jacaranda trees placed along the perimeter. Leading up to the entrance of the ballpark, fans pass by a palm court and water walls. Once inside the ballpark, all fans have an excellent view of the grass playing field. All of the 42,500 blue seats are close to the field and are angled toward the pitchers mound. The three tier grandstand extends from the right field foul pole around to homeplate and to the left field foul pole. At the left field foul pole is a San Diego landmark, the Western Metal Supply Building is part of the left field wall and foul pole.
Tenant: San Diego Padres (MLB)