The Padres finished the season at 74-88, 18 games out of first place.
  • The Padres finished the season at 74-88, 18 games out of first place.
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"This is perhaps my favorite time of year," says Petco Park general manager Dick Andersen. "Baseball season is over, and it's time to sit back, take stock, and once again savor the sweet smell of success. I'm proud to say that 2015 was our best year since 2007. Nearly 2.5 million customers came through our gates last year, a jump of nearly 400,000 over 2014. You just can't argue with those kinds of numbers."

Andersen credits the jump to a number of shrewd off-season additions prior to the season opener back in April. "First and foremost, I have to give credit to this season's new star, the Daktronics Videoboard. A lot of people questioned our decision to go out and get such a big-ticket item. They said that we were a small-market operation, and it didn't make sense to decorate the outfield with the third-biggest board in the major leagues. But again, the numbers don't lie: 123 by 61 feet, giving us over 7,500 square feet of high definition screen. People coming to see a ballgame value that kind of virtuoso display, especially when it's combined with top-flight performance. Sometimes, you have to take a risk. This one paid off."

But of course, Videoboard isn't the only reason to come to Petco. "A smart general manager knows he has to pay attention to the big picture, and not just the one up on that screen — ha, ha. We brought in Pizza Port to give us additional depth in the craft beer department. Plus, the locals love that the Port has its roots right here in San Diego. It's just one more reason for San Diego to go to Petco. Ditto the Deep Eddy Vodka Hideaway, and The Point in left field." The latter serves beers from Ballast Point in a bar-rail setting.

"That bar-rail setup was also a component in our other big shift this year," notes Andersen. "Throughout the park, we removed traditional seating setups in order to make way for more flexible social spaces. It just didn't make sense to have everybody stuck in rows, facing the same way. We realized that's not why people come to Petco, and reacted accordingly. The results speak for themselves."

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