In Ballparks around the world, it is time to pay attention to the final venue of the 2017 World Baseball Classic: Petco Park in San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres. This modern ballpark is situated right next to the famous Gaslamp Quarter.
The construction of the ballpark started in 2000 and the ballpark opened its doors in 2004.
The construction of the ballpark cost a sloppy $450 million. The ballpark was expected to open in 2002, but the construction was halted due to political reasons and because of a specific landmark building that stood on the projected site. This building was the Metal Supply Co. building which was declared a landmark in 1978 and could not be demolished because of that. Eventually the building was included in the ballpark.
The ballpark replaced Qualcomm Stadium that the team had to share with the San Diego Chargers. That ballpark was located outside San Diego.
The ballpark is perfectly located near down town (Gaslamp Quarter), the convention center and near a public transport terminal. The San Diego trolley has a stop near the ballpark.
The majority of the ballpark is covered with earth like colored tiles, which gives it a warm look despite the modernn architecture. The ballpark started with a capacity of 42,445 but in 2008 it was expanded to 42,691. From 2013 the number of seats slowly went down to the current 40,162 seats.
2017 will not be the first time that Petco Park will host a round of the World Baseball Classic. In 2009 it also hosted group 1 in the second round of the tournemant. In2006, during the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Petco Park even hosted the final that was won by Japan as they beat Cuba 10-6.
The first baseball game ever played at Petco Park was on March 11, 2004. It was the first game of an NCAA invitational tournament, hosted by San Diego State University. The San Diego State Aztecs beat Houston. The attendance of this game was the largest ever to visit a college baseball game.
Here are several photos to give an impression of this beautiful ballpark.