Opinion

The Star’s 30-second ballpark tour: Petco Park

By RUSTIN DODD

The Star's 30-second ballpark tour: Petco Park

The Star's Rustin Dodd offers a glimpse at ballparks across America. This week: Petco Park in San Diego.
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The Star's Rustin Dodd offers a glimpse at ballparks across America. This week: Petco Park in San Diego.

There is nothing like your first trip to a new ballpark. This has been true for 100 years, and it will be for 100 more.

The Royals will visit 18 road ballparks this season — 14 in the American League, four in the National League — and The Star has set out to offer a 30- to 45-second tour of every stadium … and a glimpse at where each venue ranks in baseball’s hierarchy of stadia.

Our fourth stop on the list is Petco Park, San Diego’s downtown jewel.

[Previous tours: Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Tropicana Field, Yankee Stadium]

And we’re off.

The Ballpark: Petco Park

The Capacity: 40,209

The Year it Opened: 2004

The Location: San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

The Star’s Ranking: 10th

The Breakdown: Located in downtown San Diego, Petco Park offers one of the best settings in baseball. The weather is perfect. The backdrop — downtown buildings and high rise condos — is solid. The ballpark features a grassy berm to lounge beyond the center-field fence.

Once inside, the ballpark itself, which features an exterior of Indian sandstone and stucco, doesn’t do much to be memorable, though the craft beer and food options are reportedly on point. The Western Metal Supply Co. Building in left field, which was part of the neighborhood before the stadium’s construction, is a nice aesthetic touch. But the show here is the weather and the city.

The Nearby Hangs: The Gaslamp Quarter is home to tons of bars and restaurants and hotels. But it can feel a little slick and touristy. If you’re in got a game, I’d recommend venturing out to one of the nearby beach towns. That said, Star Bar is an excellent old downtown dive. Around the park, you can try Lolita’s. For breakfast, try Donut Bar.

Rustin Dodd’s Full Ballpark Rankings

1. Fenway Park

2. AT&T Park

3. PNC Park

4. Camden Yards

5. Safeco Field

6. Wrigley Field

7. Dodger Stadium

8. Kauffman Stadium

9. Target Field

10. Petco Park

11. Coors Field

12. Citi Field

13. Minute Maid Park

14. Marlins Park

15. Yankee Stadium

16. Guaranteed Rate Field

17. Rogers Centre

18. Chase Field

19. Nationals Park

20. Miller Park

21. Citizens Bank Park

22. Comerica Park

23. Great American Ball Park

24. Globe Life Park

25. SunTrust Park

26. Busch Stadium

27. Progressive Field

28. Tropicana Field

29. Oakland Alameda-County Coliseum

30. Angel Stadium of Anaheim

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