The Bar: View From The Bleachers

This is where we gather from time to time to talk about something big in the Padres world or just the Padres or just baseball. It’s a roundtable discussion. Except, you know, no round tables. This is a Public House…so we’re at the bar.


We were recently asked to contribute some tips about Petco Park for Big League Stew‘s upcoming “insider’s guide” article. In the process of brainstorming our ideas the general consensus was that the Bleachers section in right field sucks (for lack of a better, more family-friendly term) and is the worst location to watch a ballgame in Petco.

If, by some chance, the Padres were to announce the Bleachers were going away — and they listened to our ramblings — that got us to thinking…

What would like you to see replace the Bleachers section in Petco Park?


Melvin – The Sacrifice Bunt

I’ve always wanted a garish, ugly, monument type thing to celebrate home runs with, what Walt Disney called a “weenie”.

I’m thinking a huge cannon that shoots a live person (wearing a cape of course) from right-center field across the ballpark. You could take it further and have the cannon be part of a giant battleship that families would walk around and explore, filled with Naval history and activities. The battleship would also have squirt guns you could control a la Shamu’s Happy Harbor, but within range of squirting unsuspecting people replicating the other excellent attraction at Sea World.

David – The Vocal Minority

The cannon will be used exactly once, after the human cannonball is killed when they fall short of their target due to the heavy air. “Petco’d” takes on a new meaning within the human cannonball community.

I would like to see it replaced with almost anything else. Even if they just made it another grass hill, that would be fine. It’s amazing how that place is locked down more than the expensive seats, and it’s the worst place to sit in the park.

SDPads1 – RJ’s Fro

That sounds like the perfect spot for the Parkview Little League statue.

Yeah….have it be “Monument Alley” and move all of the Padres HOF plaques, that no one is allowed to see currently, in there. Quit hating on the history!

Also add beer please.

Ghost of Ray Kroc

Anyone remember this?


Spirit of the Seas

The Port of San Diego actually considered putting this out in the middle of San Diego Bay.

So why not go the “Crazy Ol’ Man Loria” route and put a monstrous, gaudy statue to celebrate home runs? After each Padres home run, the blowholes of the dolphins/whales/whatever can shoot water in the air. The shrill pitch of dolphin and whale calls will ring out. Neptune’s trident can shoot off fireworks and lasers can shoot from his eyes. It would be an orgy of ugly.

If Dante had designed “World of Color” at Disney’s California Adventure, he would have included something like this.

Woe, Doctor!

This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve said it, but I’m a proponent of a massive, animatronic Swinging Friar that lights up in some crazy neon light show with smoke and lasers. The bat would act as a massive beer cannon. But I always wanted that to creep out of the batter’s eye like a rabbit out of a top hat.

As for the bleacher seats? I’d be happy if they just turned it into a grass berm so you can sit on it like you do the rest of the Park at the Park, and not patrol it like they’re protecting something equivalent to field level seats.

Padres Trail

Christopher Long mentioned on Twitter the Giants had a Build-A-Bear Workshop at ATT, which they’ve now closed.

The Padres should replace the “Litter Box” (because you KNOW downtown stray cats use it) with the Workshop.

Design it to look like the Presidio or the Mission, with large bears adorning the facade wearing classic Padres uniforms.  If a Padre hits a bear with a HR ball all kids under 12 in attendance win a free bear.  The Presidio would light up when a bear is struck like the famous Comiskey exploding scoreboard.

Ray – The Sacrifice Bunt

The main problem with the bleachers, in my opinion, is that they’re the most visible section of seats and they are always empty, which then makes the stadium look empty. So I don’t think it should be replaced by more seats, lest they create the same effect.


I’ve always wanted the Padres to have a big thing of bells (like the 35th anniversary logo) that would go off every time they hit a homerun. However, seeing as current management wants nothing to do with the “Padres” theme, what about some sort of “Hang a Star!”… thing. It could shoot out along the new screen on the right field wall and then light up in right center.

Woe, Doctor!

I…love it?

Seriously, though – nail on the head when you said it just looks like an abandoned section when they cut to it on TV. I understand the original appeal, but the fence modifications don’t even have the seats facing the right direction. It looks like an afterthought at best, and a serious design flaw at worst.


I wonder if the bleachers are a part of the “three year plan” with the park, like the new scoreboard and such. We probably should have asked Tom Garfinkel about that on Preview Night.


I like Ray’s idea. They already have something like that when a Padres pitcher gets a strikeout. The LED boards have a K “traveling” from left to right fields, ending at the Konica/Kyocera/Circle K/Krusty’s Komedy Klassic (or whatever sponsor whose company prominently feature the letter K they have this year) display.

I would like them to keep the beach area for the kids. But take out all the seats and concrete and make it a smaller grass hill. Maybe with a couple of slides into the beach area.

Never mind. That’s a horrible idea. I can just see it now. Homeless people pissing on the slides on off-days…

Avenging Jack Murphy

I took my niece, nephew, and daughter to the bleachers once and we had a great time. There’s grass between the benches and the kids can crawl around. Pretty cool. There’s a giant sandbox. Also pretty cool. But the sight-lines are on another level of being terrible. We missed a ton of action. And also let’s be honest: putting your kid in a sandbox where there is the potential for meteors of mass destruction to land and alter human life is just bad parenting. Bad parenting!

I actually have a serious idea here and it’s based on a trip to the south side of Chicago when I visited U.S. Cellular Field a couple years ago. Above the batter’s eye at The Cell there is a party deck. It’s cool but I’m not advocating that something like this be added. Unless Tom Garfinkel wants to add another party deck above the green batter’s eye (The Green Flash Party Deck!) I just remember that I could walk up on either side of the batter’s eye and get a decent view of the game. It was friendly.

I say raze the bleachers. Fill the area with concrete and create an area where fans can walk up and see the action. Plant a couple of trees and give some shade for the standing room only crowd. If a HR is hit into one of the trees and gets stuck give something away. I don’t know, a free Hodad’s slider for everyone!

The Park in the Park is already perfect for families with children. Get rid of the bleachers.

Left Coast Bias

I like the idea of the beach being a place kids can go to play but the whole area is terrible. Since Legoland is in San Diego, how about getting Lego to make a mini version of a San Diego icon. Downtown skyline, Belmont Park, something like that. It’s something kids would enjoy still, it’s San Diego specific and it would be unique. And maybe pull the National Guard back from guarding it.

Or a beer garden. Just make it a beer garden.


Good call. Raze it, put the Ballast Point Beer Garden there.

Mel – Sac Bunt

Beer Garden…for the kids of course.


This should be the Padres advertising slogan for 2013:

Whatever. At Least We Have a Beer Garden Now!

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  • Root beer garden. For the children.

  • Axion

    it will always be reserved for a Shamu tank, to me.

  • The problem with putting a beer garden there is that, like the bleachers, it’ll just serve to highlight how interested the fans aren’t in Padres baseball. A bunch of people with their backs to the action probably isn’t the look the team’s going for.

    • Axion

      I don’t think they care what you do inside the park as long as you show up.

    • Do they even care? It’s not like ownership is doing anything to increase interest in actual Padres baseball.

      • I’m sure they at least want to look like they care.

  • I’ve changed my mind: let Luke Yoder do his thing with it and turn the entire sandbox area into a real garden. A forest of produce.

  • I know Arizona and Miami have them, but they’re pretty awesome and the climate here is suitable for it: swimming pool.

    • As the Dbacks West, I’m sure we’re considering it.

  • Melvin

    Seriously though, is the thing where you pay 25 cents or whatever and blast water on unsuspecting people on the rapids ride not the best attraction at Sea World?

    • VM David

      After the Penguin Encounter, yes.

      There we go, penguins in place of the bleachers.

    • Totally worth the price of admission, Mel.

    • Axion

      Get a fountain drink from the Shipwreck cafe. There’s a bridge in the seating area where the rafts have to pass under, and a big distracting waterfall. There is also a restroom, with a sink, that you can use, to fill (and refill) your fountain drink cup, dropping cupload after cupload on rafters below; and they rarely see it coming.

  • Found this interesting *disscusion* from 2009 about our park’s original designs, including the bleacher section. I would love to see a berm go all the way down to the top of the outfield wall. That way fans could sit on the grass and literately see over right field.