TWC was in downtown San Diego for a meeting just before Christmas and my guy was a couple of hours late so I strolled a few blocks from the Wine Bank on Fifth Avenue near Croce's to have my first look at Petco Park, which is one of the most visible projects of San Diego's Corporate Welfare Department. Irrespective of the 60 million taxpayer dollars recovered by licensing the name for 22 years, Petco Park is the stupidest name for a ballpark ever. Auuuggghhhh!
The stadium continues the retro-look trend while incorporating some features that you'd not expect, including one section in left field where one can sit at a bistro table and picnic.
Lending character to Petco Park is the Western Metal Supply Company warehouse, which the architects have integrated into the stadium’s left-field corner. The 95-year-old warehouse contains the Padres team store, two floors of party suites, and a fourth-floor restaurant terrace with great views of the field, plus standing room on the roof. Petco also features the “Park at the Park,” which includes a grassy picnic hill where budget-minded fans can watch the game for $5 apiece. When no events are going on, the public can use the Park at the Park for free.
If first impressions count, this ballpark might be a ten. We'll see how she looks in the morning when the martoonis have worn off. More rah-rah from the beneficiaries of the generosity of San Diego's taxpayers here.
Sidebar: San Diego snagged this guy's cigar shop for about 3-4 million under market to give it to Mariott for a hotel. Fortunately a jury has subsequently redressed the financial aspect of the taking, but the proprietor really just wanted to sell cigars and be left alone.