Andrew Cashner. Gone. Matt Kemp. Gone. Melvin Upton Jr. Gone. Fernando Rodney. Gone. James Shields. Gone. Twelve out of thirteen draft picks from the first ten rounds of the 2016 Amateur Draft signed. Over $60 million in international signings so far, and that’s just since July 2nd.

One thing that all of these trades, draft picks, and international signings say to me is that Lake Elsinore is going to be the perfect place for Padres fans to watch baseball on a regular basis. And, it’s looking like it’s going to be that way for a couple of years, at least.

I’ll be honest, I should have written at least part of this earlier in the season. But the influx of talent to the lower levels of the minor leagues made it relevant again.


Convenience

Catching games at the Storm are a great alternative if the Padres are not in town. The Diamond at Lake Elsinore is about 70 miles away from Petco Park, which means it’s about an hour away without traffic, two hours in bad traffic. It’s within driving distance, as opposed to jumping on a plane and flying to such exotic locales as El Paso, TX, San Antonio, TX, Fort Wayne, IN, or Pasco, WA.


Affordability

Tickets this season started at $12 for reserved seats along the left and right field lines with a top price of $16 for Prefered Box Seats, which are the first few rows between the dugouts. And you can pretty much get any seat the day of, with the exception of a few weekend promotional games.

And, as you’ll see next, you can usually get tickets even cheaper than that.


Promotions

Every day has a promotion, every homestand. Some are better than others. But they’re all good. This season’s were as follows:

Lake Elsinore Storm 2016 Daily Promotions

Lake Elsinore Storm 2016 Daily Promotions

Good Karma Mondays

Name your ticket price (minimum $5) and half the proceeds will go to a designated local charity. $3 margaritas too!

Taco & Tallboy Tuesdays

$3 tacos from El Ranchito Taco Shop Lake Elsinore and $3 tallboys, plus 2-for-1 tickets.

WTF WINS-days

What’s The Fun? Come to the game and find out! Lucky fan(s) have the chance to win grand prize(s) each game. Plus, IF WE WIN, YOU WIN! Get a free ticket to a future Storm game if the team wins (must be present post-game).

Last season, this was a double promotion day: Wackie Weenie Wednesday, which included free hot dogs, and Wine Wednesday, with local wineries selling glasses of their wine throughout the ballpark. No word if those promotions will return, but I hope they will in some form.

Thirsty Thursdays

Enjoy $2 16oz beers (bigger than ever!) and $2 sodas. This year also features $4 craft beer specials every Thursday home game.

Fireworks Fridays

Stick around after every Friday home game for the biggest fireworks show in Southwest Riverside County!

All-Star Saturdays

Celebrate our All-Star Season with special presentations and STORM GIVEAWAYS all year long.

This one was a special promotion to commemorate the California League/Carolina League All-Star Game, which was held in June at The Diamond. However, much like the Padres “Baseball Night in San Diego,” this is when they normally do giveaways like Storm caps, t-shirts, or bobbleheads.

Salute To Soldiers Sunday Fundays

All military personnel will receive four free tickets per military I.D. Also, Kids Day at The Diamond returns on Sundays, giving Storm Kids Club members a chance to paint the plate, introduce batters as the PA Announcer and take part in Thunder’s Fun Run. All kids are invited to run the bases after the game. In addition, bring in a religious bulletin for a buy one, get one free box or reserved ticket.


Padres Prospects

There’s a reason why Padres Public started doing the What’s Brewing on the Farm weekly pieces recently. And that reason is the future. The lower minor leagues, of which Lake Elsinore is part, are stacked with talented prospects that could be Padres within a couple of years.

A few examples from this season:

What about the new players they just traded for, you ask?

And there’s even more guys with promise at Tri-City and Ft Wayne, some of whom should be coming through Lake Elsinore at some point next season. Like Hansel Rodriguez (Tri-City), Anderson Espinoza (Ft Wayne), and 2016 first round draft pick Cal Quantrill (Ft Wayne).


Face it, the big league Padres are not going to be all that great for a couple of years. Does this mean you shouldn’t go to Petco Park and watch Travis Jankowski or Wil Myers? No.

But, especially when the Padres on on the road, the future is an hour away in Lake Elsinore. And it’s not too late to catch a game or two this season. So, I recommend you go up there, get to know these kids.

Take advantage of the opportunity to see them when they’re still there, before they get to the big leagues.

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  • ballybunion

    If you’re planning to watch a particular prospect over the next year or three, you might have to time it perfectly. Some of the college players, especially pitchers, may just make cameos on their way to San Antonio and El Paso. For instance, I expect Quantrill and Lauer to be just passing through at some point next year. With all of the international 18 year olds starting in the rookie leagues and some needing more development time, the parade will extend to years three, four and five. Elsinore will be a catbird seat to watch Padres prospects for more than just the next two years, and Preller isn’t going to stop signing prospects!

    • No doubt it will take some planning, especially on pitching prospects. But it’s close enough to make that almost a last-minute decision. I went up there to watch Cashner rehab starts this season and 2014, which is a whole different blog post.