3 p.m., Jan. 17
Padres's Attendance Was Better When Losing at Qualcomm
Remember when John Moores said the Padres couldn't survive economically playing at Qualcomm Stadium? This year, the team has an excellent record and is in first place in the National League West. Attendance is averaging a mere 22,381 a game. Now consider the last five years at Qualcomm, from 1999-2003. The team had losing records every year. Average attendance: 28,407. The lowest year was 2003 at 25,063. There could be many reasons. One is the higher prices, both tickets and concessions, at Petco than at Qualcomm. People of lesser means have been driven out of San Diego pro baseball games. Another is the recession. A third is the inconvenience of going to a game downtown. Fighting the traffic isn't worth it; Qualcomm is so easy for parking. A fourth may be the fact that Petco is a pitchers' park and fans don't like low-scoring games. Another possibility is that fans don't believe that the Padres, who have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, are for real. Any ideas among readers?