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The Ultimate Padres Tickets Buyer’s Guide

February 19, 2014
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What do you need to know before you buy Padres tickets? Petco Park turned 10 years old in 2014, making it one of the newer stadiums in MLB. Since 2013, Petco Park has had a seating capacity of 42,524, giving you plenty of options to find just the right spot to watch the game. It’s even been said that there¬†aren’t any bad sections¬†in Petco Park. You’ll find all you need to know about where to sit and what to prepare for when catching a baseball game in San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres.

Expert Resources

What to Bring

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Image via Flickr by JayBuffington

Before you even get your Padres tickets, you should take into account the local weather and environment. Petco Park is an open-air stadium that has no retractable roof or air conditioning system. San Diego is in a climate zone that borders between semi-arid and Mediterranean. Although the average high year-round is in the 60s and 70s, seats without any cover or shade can become quite hot, and temperatures over 100 are not unusual. Sunscreen would also be wise in these situations. Conversely, cool air coming off the Pacific Ocean can make things chilly, especially during night games, so also pack a light jacket or long-sleeved shirt just in case.

Seat and Section Numbers

You will have an easier time visualizing where your seats will be if you understand the method seat and section numbers follow in Petco Field. Directly behind home plate you’ll find section 0, which more or less serves as a kind of dividing line for the rest of the sections in the stadium. Sections to the left of home plate (that is, sections along the 3rd baseline) are even-numbered. Sections going along the first base line are odd-numbered, so try not to get confused when you don’t find section 112 between 111 and 113.

Seats tend to rise numerically the further they get from the previous numeric section. So, for example, if you have a ticket for seat #1 in section 105, you’ll be seated right across the aisle from section 103. Likewise, if you have the last seat in section 105, section 107 will be right across the aisle, instead.

The Park Pass

The cheapest way to get a seat at Petco Park is through the $5 Park Pass. Limited to only six passes per customer, the Park Pass goes on sale two weeks before any given game and gives access to the Park at the Park, a grassy knoll where fans can lay out in the sun and enjoy the game. The Park at the Park also has plenty of room for kids to run around and play, including a mini whiffle ball field.

It’s also a short distance from The Beach, a huge sandbox a short distance away that is great for keeping unruly kids busy during the game. There’s also a massive television nearby to give fans a better view of the game since they’re the furthest away from the action.

The Bleachers

The next cheapest seats are the bleachers at $10. Just above The Beach and next to sections 137 and 235, the bleachers are everything you’d expect bleachers to be, flat, backless seats that are completely exposed to the elements, so they might not be good for people who are prone to heat stroke or back pains. However, they do offer a good view of outfield action and higher-than-average chances of catching home run balls. Also, be sure to check in the frequent deals Petco Park offers for bleacher seats, such as student discounts and family packages.

Upper Reserved

The Upper Reserved section of Petco Park is comprised entirely of the 300-level section of seating. Tickets for these sections are generally $13 to $20 per game (depending on how close you are to home plate) with plenty of multi-game package options if you plan to frequent the Padres’ games. There are usually plenty of these seats available even during same-day sales. Aisles are plentiful between these sections, making travel to and from your seat relatively simple. In addition, all of the sections are tilted to face the pitcher’s mound, so you won’t have to worry about uncomfortable craning of your neck to catch the action.

What these seat lack in closeness is more than made up for in their view. Try to find an odd-numbered section here during evening games to get beautiful, sweeping views of both the stadium and San Diego during a rosy west coast sunset.

Right Field Lower Reserved

These are the series of seats between sections 129 and 137. These seats are in a great spot if you’re hoping to catch a home run ball since the right field line between the sections and home plate is only 322 feet. Seats in these sections start at $21 a game and are good choices for fans looking to head away from the game with a home run ball.

Field Pavillion

The Field Pavillion seats are partially covered sections 120, 121, 122 and 124. They’re fairly decent seats for their initial $24.50 price tag, but tend to clear out as fans decide to move to other areas of the park. However, they’re a good choice if you want to be close to the interior sections of the stadium and have quick access to bathrooms and other amenities.

Left Field Boxes

Situated in sections 126 to 134 and 226 to 230, these seats are in high demand because of their proximity to outfield action and high frequency of catchable balls. They start at $24.50 and $27.50 depending on whether you’re in an upper or lower section, but aren’t always available because many season ticket holders will reserve these seats months in advance.

All You Can Eat Seats

If you work up an appetite but hate paying the high price for ballpark concession stand food, sections 123, 125, and 127 (the All You Can Eat sections) are for you. As the name implies, you’re entitled to a limitless supply of hot dogs, popcorn, bottled beverages and certain other ballpark foods. Considering their $29.50 price tag and the high markup for ballpark food, these seats are a great value. Their only drawback is being situated behind the first base foul line all the way in the outfield.

Toyota Terrace

The Toyota Terrace forms a ‘U’ shape around home plate and occupies the second “floor,” if you will, of the stadium’s seating between sections 224 and 223. Ticket prices vary substantially depending on how close you’re situated to home plate. The great draw of these seats is that Toyota Terrace ticket holders will gain exclusive access to the restaurants and bars situated around these sections. Keep in mind, unlike the All You Can Eat seats, food and drink are not included in these tickets’ prices.

Field Boxes

The Field Box sections form a ‘U’ shape that just about stretches from third to first base and are generally some of the best views in the stadium. Tickets usually start around $45.50 a game, which is a good price considering the clear view you’ll have of infield action.

Field Box VIP

The VIP sections are located directly and almost-directly behind home plate and start at $71 for single games. Sections 105, 107, and 109 are directly behind the Padres’ dugout, while sections 110, 108, and 106 are behind the opponent’s dugout. Being close to each team’s dugout offers a unique experience in that you’ll get to overhear player reaction, share their viewing angle and maybe even get to interact with them in some way (if you’re lucky).

Coaches Box

These seats are only a few feet away from the third base dugout and are literally at field level. In fact, the front rows of these sections (9 and 10) are actually closer to the action on the field than the players in the dugout. To get some idea of how close you are, the only people separating you from the players a few feet away are ushers, security guards, and batboys. These seats aren’t readily available online, and rumor has it that you have to have some sort of in with the sales staff or a similar clandestine connection to secure these seats.

First Base VIP Box

Located in front of sections 109 and 111, the First Base VIP Box offers unlimited food and drink (including certain alcohol). Fans who have season-long tickets to these boxes can get exclusive access to player autograph session, invitation-only events, VIP Park, and various other perks. The only way to get these tickets are part of season-long packages, so be sure to consult with Score Big to get more information if you hope to purchase these.

Dugout Seats

Directly behind home plate at field level, these seats are the ultimate experience. Not only do you get unlimited (and high quality) food and drink delivered right to your seat, but also the chance to see a pitcher’s pitches in extreme detail. Understandably, tickets for these seats run upwards of $290 a game.

Whether you want a high-end experience, a fly ball souvenir, or a cheap outing, there are seating options for every kind of fan.

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