When the Arizona Diamondbacks were in town on May 6, 2009, the Padres and D’backs drew an announced crowd of 13,646 — a record low for Petco Park (capacity is 42,445). The average for this past weekend’s June 5-8, four-game homestand, against division rival Arizona: 22,832.
“It’s disheartening to see so few people coming out to support their [home] team,” complains a loyal Padres fan. “The two teams we just played, it felt like there were more Cubs and Phillies fans than [Padres] fans in the stadium.”
Where are the Padres fans?
“I think they’re staying at home, worried about saving their money,” a stadium worker points out. “There’s a new owner, [the Padres] finished last in the NL West a year ago. There’s a lot of uncertainty. People are hesitant to come.”
Average attendance per game has decreased during the past three seasons: 34,445 in 2007, 29,970 in 2008, and 25,085 so far this year.
“I was in Philly two weeks ago,” says Jerome Chan, manager at Mondo Gelato, a gelateria adjacent to the ballpark. “[The Phillies] drew 42,000 people on a Tuesday.... The Padres need to win, that will spark sales and let San Diegans forget about the economy.”