In 1998, the Padres not only won the National League pennant but “won” the vote of 59.6% of San Diego voters to pass Proposition C. The result of the latter victory is the current home of the Padres, celebrating its 10th anniversary this season; Petco Park. Though, it might not be unfair to say the former begat the latter. At the very least, it certainly didn’t hurt. Along with building a ballpark, there were provisions for developing the surrounding land to “revitalize” the eastern section of downtown San Diego. As well, there are provisions applying specifically to the ballpark itself. Last week, David Marver shared a couple of pieces of information from the City of San Diego’s Petco Park memorandum. After looking at the memorandum, it seemed there was information worth discussing here. Let’s do take a look at some of the lighter material, with the idea of coming back to look at more in the future.
A Sports Arena For San Diego?
Section XXXI P started off the discussion, and it’s about the Padres interests in an NBA or NHL team coming to San Diego. According to the section, if the Padres were able to obtain a commitment from either league for an expansion franchise, or from the owner of an existing franchise to relocate to San Diego, they would have the right to negotiate with the city for the right to develop, own, and/or operate a new sports arena (subject to whatever rights the owners of whatever the San Diego Sports Arena is called these days might have). If negotiations with the city don’t lead anywhere, the Padres hold the right of first refusal for any agreements between the city and a third party. These rights actually expire this year, as they need to be exercised within the first 10 years of occupying Petco Park.
A Bowl Game For Petco Park? A Throwback Game At Qualcomm Stadium?
There’s roughly a million bowl games out there these days, and “baseball only” facilities such as AT&T Park, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium are now hosting their own bowl games. Whether it being the idea of moving the Poinsettia Bowl or adding a third bowl game to the San Diego lineup, fans have occasionally pondered the idea of football at Petco Park. Sure, it’s not ideal…but they’ve hosted association football matches, so why not American football? Well, it’s prohibited. Section XXII C states that no professional or amateur football games shall be played at Petco Park. Pretty cut and dry, and likely protecting the interests of several parties in San Diego.
Same section also states that the Padres will play all of their home games in San Diego (whether exhibition, regular season, postseason) at Petco Park. The only exceptions to this are the right to play three annual home games outside of the continental US, as well as one home series (not to exceed five games) in Asia every three years. So, that rules out the idea to hold throwback games/series at Qualcomm Stadium. Though, one would think the upcoming home exhibition games at Fowler Park would be prohibited under the agreement. So, eh.
Speaking Of Qualcomm Stadium…
After the Padres left Qualcomm Stadium for Petco Park, it was within their right to maintain use of the then-existing Padres Store and ticket offices at Qualcomm Stadium. They were to be “appropriately equipped” for “patrons of Qualcomm Stadium to buy tickets to Padres’ games and other Ballpark events”. Not only that, but the team was guaranteed 2,500 parking spots for fans to use on game days at Petco Park so. It reads to me like the idea was to tap into the crowd attending events at Qualcomm Stadium as well as having a convenient location for merchandise and tickets sales on Padres game days for fans wishing to avoid the congestion around downtown on gameday. Actually, that’s a pretty great concept.
There’s more to cover in the memorandum, but we’ll save that for another day. I figured these were some interesting tidbits for a Monday.
The Vocal Minority posts on Mondays. You can follow me on Twitter, for some reason.