SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After getting swept by Colorado, the Padres return home to Petco Park as they welcome back fans at full park capacity.
Starting Thursday, Petco Park will operate at 100% capacity. In April, during the official start of the Padres season, Petco Park was operating at 20% capacity which means only a limited number of fans could be there to cheer on the Padres in person.
Thursday, that will all change as they open things up to 100% capacity in what they’re calling “San Diego’s Opening Day.” This redo will have all the traditional opening day events with the presentation of the American flag, a military flyover, and fireworks. The Padres say this has been a long time coming and the players are just as excited to have more of the Friar Faithful back in the stands.
How Petco Park's capacity adjusted based on state tier system:
"I’ve talked to some of the players and they can't believe how loud it is with just 15,000 fans in the stadium, so imagine 44,000 fans at the Reds games imagine how loud that's going to be," said Chris Connolly, senior vice president of marketing for the Padres.
Earlier in the season, not all of the vendors were open. But starting Thursday, all of the restaurants will be operational and you will no longer have to rely solely on your mobile device to order food. You still cannot bring outside food or drinks except one sealed water bottle and bags have to be less than 4x6, about the size of a fanny pack. They do not have to be clear.
And to prepare for the return of even more fans, vendors like Cravory Cookies are stepping up their inventory, excited about this return to normalcy.
"We definitely tripled, quadrupled our order today. Like they said, they may have 44,000 people in the stadium. A ton of opportunities to get ice cream sandwiches at the ballpark,” said Collin Smith, of Cravory Cookies.
Matt and Tashmier Moore said they left at 5 a.m. in anticipation of soaking in all of the excitement and festivities that "San Diego’s Opening Day" promises to bring.
"We didn’t get to experience this two months ago, and you get to experience this now," said Moore.
Fan giveaways also start this week, with a Padres “Aloha” shirt given out to everyone in attendance on Saturday. Over the next few months, other promotional giveaways include beach towels and a Ferando Tatis Jr. bobblehead.
Thursday night's game starts at 5:40 p.m.