I had heard a number of times that Petco Park is one of the nicest stadiums in baseball. This was one of the modern parks that I most wanted to see. Finally, I got to see a game there. After seeing games at PNC Park, AT&T Park, and Busch Stadium (a few of the nicest modern parks), I had some optimistic expectations for Petco, and I was thankfully not disappointed.
The outside of Petco Park is made of all tan/brown stone or brick tiles. The coloring perfectly matches much of the architecture in southern California. Also on the exterior were a number of balconies with flowers or bushes growing over the edges. Again, this perfectly blended in with the architecture in the area and helped give the stadium a bit of a “Mexican” feel too it.
When you are going to enter the park, I highly recommend entering behind the left-center stands. This takes you into the area behind the outfield where they have the Park in the Park. This is a really cool area that is all grass and hilly. Fans can purchase tickets to sit in this area where they can picnic, play catch, and have fun during the game, all while having a view of the field in front of them. There is even a mini little league field where kids can play whiffle ball. For fans who don’t have a great view of the playing field, there is a large video screen on the back of the batters-eye that shows a live feed of the game being played. This Park in the Park is one of the most unique, but nicest features I have seen at an MLB stadium.
Going along with the Park in the Park theme, the stadium designers added another cool feature behind the outfield fence. Just beyond the right-center wall, there is a large area of sand. In this are, kids can play in the sand during the game, and there are even beach chairs in place so that people can sit barefoot in the sand and watch the game (you need a specific ticket for those “beach seats.”) Behind this sand area are numerous rows of backless seats. The interesting part about this is that the ground, if that’s what you want to call it, is all grass in this area as well.
The main-level concourse here is great. It is very spacious and allows you to have a view of the field at almost all times. One negative about the concourse is that it is very confusing and “zig zagging” at times, especially in the left field area. It is tough to describe in writing what I mean, so I guess you’d just have to see it to understand. That is the only complaint that I have regarding the concourse, however.
The food selection at Petco is very good. They have everything from hot dogs, to brats, to Mexican food, to barbecue and seafood. I personally went with a BBQ beef brisket sandwich, which was very good.
The seating here is excellent. I sat in the lower level down the right field line and had a great view of the entire field. Based on what I saw while walking around the park, pretty much every seat is a good seat except the ones in right-center that I described a little earlier. Those seats somewhat block your view of part of center field and left field. One of the most unique things about the seating were some of the sky-boxes. There were sky-boxes built into the light towers down both the left and right field lines, which was pretty cool.
The scoreboard, which sits in left field, was not too big, nor too small. It provided me with all the the information that I wanted while watching the game, and I always like a lot of statistics. It also provides replays and other videos throughout the game.
The fans in San Diego were not great, but they weren’t bad either. They were definitely into the game being played, but they were also frequently sidetracked by doing the wave and batting beach balls around. I hate when fans do that stuff, so that was a big negative to me.
All in all, this was really a very nice park and lived up to expectations. While I wouldn’t rate it quite as high as PNC Park or AT&T Park, this is one of the best stadiums in baseball. I would really encourage you to see a game at Petco Park if you’re ever in San Diego.
I will have reviews of both Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium coming in the next couple of days.
For my MLB stadium rankings, click here.