SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- Padres fans have waited over a year, but the day is finally here. It's opening day!
But with San Diego County still in the red tier, there is an extremely limited number of seats at Petco Park, forcing ticket prices to surge. Some season ticket holders were even denied Opening Day tickets.
Susie Butcher is a Friar Faithful. A Padre Madre. A 36-year season ticket holder.
"I mean, I love watching them on TV, but I have to be there in action," Butcher said.
With COVID-19 shutting everything down, last year was the first year she missed opening day. But this year, she is back in the stands. Butcher was chosen as one of 8,500 people to attend Opening Day on April 1, 2021. Due to COVID restrictions, the park can oly open at 20% capacity.
"It's a couple sections over from where I'm normally seated, but at least I'm going to be there," Butcher said happily.
But not everyone is so lucky. Rodolfo Miranda just became a Platinum member this year. But he cannot be at Opening Day.
"The sales rep told me I can't get the Opening game with the Gold membership. I have to buy Platinum, so I went ahead and bought the Platinum, which is $5000," Miranda said.
He said the upgrade cost him an additional $2,000, which he was happy to pay for, because he says the representative guaranteed Opening Day tickets. But a few days later, he was told his membership would not cover Opening Day.
"It's nobody's fault that COVID is happening, but why would they lie?" Miranda asked.
Miranda now has the option to look for resale tickets online. But many took to Facebook, posting that they cannot afford the price-surged tickets.
According to Stubhub, Upper Pavillion seats start at more than $200, while some field-level seats are listed at $2,000 apiece.
In response, the Padres sent ABC 10News this statement:
"To the extent that any new 2021 members felt they would get access to opening day tickets, either because somebody in our organization gave them that impression or because they assumed it because in the past those plans had access to opening day when we were at full capacity, we own that. We're talking to all those people right now. And we're going to do our best to make it right. Unfortunately, with the state limitation of 20 percent capacity there are not enough tickets available for all members for opening day."
The team said they had to prioritize Opening Day tickets to members with tenure, like Susie Butcher.
"I'm excited. I'm really excited about going!" Butcher said.
Miranda said he is disappointed that he will have to cheer from outside the park.
"I'm probably just going to go downtown and watch it at a bar down there, you know? Close to the stadium, close as I can get. I'll just wait for April 2, which is going to be my Opening Day," Miranda said.
A Padres representative told ABC 10News that for those new members who could not get Opening Day tickets, they are offering a refund or reduced payment plans for the balance of the season.