PETCO Park is the home of major league baseball team the San Diego Padres. The park is located at 100 Park Boulevard in downtown San Diego, and was constructed to replace Qualcomm Stadium. Groundbreaking for the stadium began in the summer of 2002, and the park is named after PETCO, an animal and pet supplies retailer based out of San Diego, California.
The park was constructed at a cost of $450 million, and was designed by the architectural firm of HOK Sport, Antonie Predock (Designer), Spurlock Poirier (Landscaping) and ROMA (urban planning). The park has a seating capacity of 42,445 patrons, and the surface is composed of natural grass. PETCO Park is owned by the City of San Diego (70%), and the San Diego Padres (30%).
The stadium was constructed as part of a plan to revitalize the aging areas of downtown San Diego, California. The park was constructed by the San Diego Ball Park Builders, and was funded by in part by the Center City Development Corporation, and the San Diego Redevelopment Agency. The first baseball game ever played at PETCO Park was on March 11th, 2004.
PETCO Park stands out amongst other baseball parks built during the same time period; it goes against the "retro'' theme parks filled with red brick and green seats. The stadium is designed using sandstone and stucco, with exposed steel painted white, and the seats are dark blue. The neutral earth tone colors chosen are meant to be reflective of the San Diego cliffs and beaches, blue for ocean and white for the sails of the boats in the nearby bay.
The concourse of the stadium is open to the playing field and other surrounding buildings. Unlike in many other baseball parks in which the batter faces northeast, at PETCO Park, batters face north and guests are treated to beautiful views of the San Diego bay and skyline, as well as Balboa Park located beyond center field. In 2006, the San Diego Union Tribune awarded an Orchid award for its unique design.
The stadium has an area called "Park at the Park,'' which is a grassy berm which slopes just above the outfield fence. The area is open during game time, and allows fans to sit and watch the game for a minimal cost. When there is no game held in the park, the location is open as a free local park for residents in the area.
PETCO Park is impressive in every way, combining the latest, modern amenities with breathtaking views of San Diego. The stadium is an architectural beauty that celebrates the ocean, sky, cultural diversity and unique spirit of California. PETCO Park is a wonderful way to spend the day enjoying a ball game in an attractive, comfortable and family friendly park.