San Diego Padres unveil plans to bring fans back to Petco Park

Team ready for when county moves to red tier
Petco Park fire closes food court restaurant
Posted at 8:11 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 15:58:29-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego Padres on Tuesday unveiled their initial plans to get the Friar Faithful back in the stands at Petco Park this season.

On Monday, the team sent an email to season ticket holders that broke down the options they plan to offer. Season ticket holders will get the first crack at which games they want to attend, and their seats will be based on tenure and the type of membership they have.

Season ticket holders will also have an option to opt out, if they choose to do so.

Last week, California officials eased restrictions needed for counties to move into a less-restrictive tier in the state’s color-based “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” system.

If the state vaccinates 2 million people in specific ZIP codes, the case rate metric to move into the red tier from the purple will be 10 new cases per 100,000 residents, which is where San Diego County is as of Monday.

Also last week, the state said that counties in the red tier will be allowed to have fans at sporting events starting April 1 -- which happens to be Opening Day for the Padres.

The state on Tuesday released its latest COVID-19 data that will keep San Diego County in the purple tier for at least another week. Despite this, the Padres are still making preparations to potentially have fans at the ballpark for Opening Day.

If the county is in red by April 1, the Padres’ plans will include controlling crowd size.

Team Chief Executive Officer Erik Greupner said, “We may start with reduced capacity of 20 to 25 percent, but that will likely increase maybe towards the back end … move to full capacity, including in the postseason.”

Three weeks ago, the Padres sent a survey to their 7,000 season ticket holders. At the time, 70 percent said they wanted to opt in for the season and attend games, while 30 percent said they would choose to opt out.

However, as of Tuesday morning, ABC 10News learned more season ticket holders are choosing to opt in, which could mean less single game tickets for the public.

The Padres said that could change, and they are literally using every inch of Petco Park to safely seat people.

ABC 10News learned fans will be seated in pods of no more than six seats that are at least six feet apart. Masks will also be required for all fans.

As for the amenities at the ballpark, the Padres will make the necessary adjustments and also add health and safety measures such as hand sanitizers.