Totally ignoring the subpar onfield performance of the Padres this season, management has undertaken a few fan unfriendly policies to wring every last dollar out of Petco Park. The team has proudly pointed out the first come, first serve seating on the Western Metal Supply porch since the park’s inception. It’s always pointed out on the ballpark tours. Unfortunately, in a cash grab move, the Dee regime has turned these into $40 ticketed stool seats, eliminating one of the more fan friendly policies. Luckily for the educated fan, there are a plethora of secret benefits that still exist in Petco Park to squeeze a little extra value out of your ticket.
In the old days, the glory of the Toyota Terrace was only to be seen by terrace ticket holders. This was changed under the Garfinkel regime for the better, opening it up to all fans. The Pier is tucked away next to the escalator up from the Gaslamp Gate. It used to be the sushi bar, now it’s a place for tacos and drinks with a decent bar to sit at. It also features a first come first serve patio with table seating and a nearly identical view as the Western Metal Supply… And it’s free. Fight The Man.
Sure the team has made every effort to improve the concession and beer program and take the focus off the field. To some degree that works, but as a season ticket holder, I’m at the park too often to blow $20 on a Cardiff crack sammie and a beer. Luckily, Petco has a permissive outside food policy, and conveniently across the street sits better than half decent taco shop, Lolita’s. It’s now a regular maneuver for me to duck out at the Park Ave gate around the 4th inning, walk across the street to Lolita’s, and bring a $4 burrito back in time for the next inning. This maneuver also works with other nearby places, and especially well with The Kebab Shop since you can put your order in online at your seat. Ditto for calling in an order to The Dragons Den across the street for some Singapore noodles or sushi.
When the aforementioned Lolita’s catches up to your digestive system a few innings later, no need to use the regular bathrooms to drop the kids off like a peasant. Hidden in the stairwells are the xanadus for dumping. Clean, spacious and private.
Mothers Nursing Room
For those with little humans that need nursing, no need to do it in your seat. There’s a mothers nursing room on the field level concourse at guest services next to the Mercado. It’s got a bottle warmer, a couch, wipes and privacy. It’s critical to ensure a good time with a baby.
The Seat Upgrade Arbitrage
I’m not sure how widely known the MLB At The Park app is, but it’s got its own hidden secret. Buried within is the Upgrade feature. Basically, if you have a ticket into the park, even a Park at the Park ticket (which I found out now cost more than just getting a ticket from Stubhub as another example of new fan unfriendly policies), you can go on the app and upgrade your seat. And it’s a great deal, like so good it doesn’t make sense to buy a field level ticket anymore. Just upgrade. On a recent weeknight game, a field level seat behind home plate was going for under $20. Omni Premier Club was $17. It’s capacity controlled, so it makes sense to do it early – upgrades open 4 hours before first pitch. At that point you are looking at roughly $30 for field level behind home plate. That is a steal.
Value in Seats
In general, I find the Toyota Terrace to be drastically overpriced. Same with the outfield seats. For my money, the best value is in the upper deck, Section 300-306. These seats are above home plate and provide an outstanding view of the action. Not only are there no obstructions to your straight on view, you can actually see the pitches, and this season the Stone Tasting Room is right across the concourse.
These are a few of my accumulated secrets of Petco. As long as the team is imposing new fan unfriendly policies, it’s your duty as a capitalist American to wring all the value you can out of your ticket. Now, back to MS Paint Padres related dongs.