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Friday, February 3, 2012


GUEST BLOG/By Anthony Tangredi--Everyone has secrets, but not many of us let strangers come visit them. But, if you’re eight year old Petco Park you have no secrets because there’s an hour and a half public daily tour that reveals seldom seen nooks and crannies of San Diego’s Major League stadium.

The off-season behind-the-scenes tour costs $11 per adult; $8 senior citizen; $4 kid 14 & under; $8 season ticket holder and $9 military rate. Tour meets in front of the VIP gate near the main box office on Park Blvd.

Tour starts with a stop in the party suites located inside the Western Metal Company that makes up part of the left field wall. A night in one of these suites will cost your group about $2,000. The tour then leads you into the more luxurious corporate owned suites on the Toyota Terrace level. These suites are decorated by their owner and offer gorgeous views of the ballpark along with other personal amenities. While on the Terrace you visit Writers’ Row, the press area and check out the media area, including the play-by-play TV/Radio booths.

To most the best part of the tour is walking through the Padres dugout. Walk down the tunnel that connects the clubhouse to the dugout. This is where the players first emerge for the game and embrace the crowd. Once in the dugout you can look at the bullpen phones and sit on the bench just like a pro would. Tourgoers can walk along the warning track, behind home plate and over to the visiting team’s dugout.

On the rare occasion the tour might lead you into the clubhouse, but no promises are made that you will see it. For team clubhouses are guarded tightly and very few people in the general public get to see them.

Tour ends in the immaculate Sony Dugout Club, an exclusive, private section where food and big TV’s are always included. The main feature of the club is its main dining room, which shares a glass wall with the Padres indoor batting cage. Many players stay in town year round so you might have the chance to watch someone taking batting practice. And, no autographs are offered even if the regular season is underway.

Tour info & times. January - March, 2012:
• Sunday - Friday: 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.
• Saturday: 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Please note that no tours will be held on Saturday, February 11th, 2012 due to Fan Fest.
Please note that there is no 2:30 p.m. tour offered on days with evening home games at 7:05 p.m. In addition, there is no 12:30 p.m. tour on days with 5:35 p.m. start times.
No tours offered on days with 1:05 p.m. or 12:35 p.m. home games.

About the Writer--This blog post was written and researched by Anthony Tangredi, a senior at St. Augustine High School, before a staffer at San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine offered a few rewrite tips. Anthony was participating in a month long internship offered during the school’s Intersession, a period set aside between first and second semesters to provide work experience for credit.

About the Photographer: Black and white image of Petco Park, snapped during a tour, was taken by Aaron Balin, a Sophomore at St. Augustine High School as part of the Intersession Digital Photography class.

Image: Tour photograph by Pat Healy.

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