SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — How safe do you feel eating at Petco Park? Or if you've chosen to support the Chargers, StubHub Center?
A newly published analysis by ESPN's Outside the Lines investigated thousands of food-safety inspection reports from health departments that monitor professional sports venues across the U.S.
The analysis looks at routine inspection reports from 2016 to 2017.
According to ESPN, about 28 percent of the venues registered high-level violation in half or more of their food service outlets. The violations cover temperature, pests or bugs, poor condition of food, equipment failures, employee-related issues, and more.
The study's worst is in Charlotte, N.C., where Spectrum Center — home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets — posted a 92 percent violation rate, followed by Michigan's now-closed Palace of Auburn Hills (86.11 percent), and Texas' American Airlines Center (83.08 percent.)
The highest rated stadium was Oakland's Oracle Arena — home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors— with a 1.12 percent violation rate.
San Diego's downtown ballpark ranked fifth among MLB venues and 24th among all venues analyzed by ESPN.
Of the park's 168 outlets inspected, 28 recorded high-level violations, according to ESPN's study. The study found the park registered on average 0.09 high-level violations per inspections.
Some of those violations, for example, including pest-related issues— two of which occurred in 2016 inspections.
On Aug. 18, 2016, an inspector found bird droppings on top of an ice bin and on Sept. 20, 2016, rodent droppings were discovered on the floor and top of a concession stand's ice machine. That ice machine was taken out of service for the rest of the season, according to the study.
The San Diego Padres told 10News they are "confident that our ballpark will continue to be one of the safest" in baseball:
“We strive for excellence with our food and beverage service at Petco Park. Violations are unacceptable; and, it is our policy to immediately address any issues directly with our concessionaire to ensure they are corrected and do not occur again. We are confident that our ballpark will continue to be one of the safest in all of baseball, as evidenced by ESPN’s published rankings today," the statement read.
The home of the Los Angeles Chargers came in seventh in the NFL and 22 among all venues in ESPN's study.
Of the venue's 39 outlets inspected, 6 recorded high-level violations, the study says, and 0.06 violations per inspection, on average.
Some of the violations recorded included employees not properly wearing hair restraints on July 15, 2017, and food not properly protected from contamination on April 29, 2017, the study says.
In a statement to 10News from Levy, hospitality partner at StubHub Center, the company noted their violations compare "highly favorably" to the average number of violations at any restaurant:
“We welcome the local Los Angeles County health department and employ third-party sanitation experts to ensure a safe environment for our guests. Any time a concern is identified, we immediately correct it and welcome the health department to return to confirm that we are in full compliance. While we take every violation seriously and strive for perfection in our scores, we are pleased to note that the number of violations per inspection at the stadium compare highly favorably to the average number of violations found at other dining establishment areas in the county.”
To read ESPN's full study, click here.