As a young girl growing up a Dodgers fan living in Los Angeles, I knew one stadium and one stadium only. Dodger Stadium. Home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I knew that stadium like the back of my hand. I knew all the best seats in the stadium, where the concession stand was to get Dodger Dogs, where to get the small helmets with vanilla and chocolate ice cream inside, the best places to sit during Friday night fireworks and the press box where the legend, Vin Scully, was announcing play-by-plays. It was my favorite place in the world (besides Disneyland) and every visit felt like my first time stepping into the stadium.
As I got older, I realized that Dodger Stadium wasn’t the only stadium out there. No kidding, Karissa! It sounds silly, but Dodger Stadium was everything to me and it held a special place in my heart. I started realizing that it’s time for me to start venturing out and visiting other MLB stadiums.
Petco Park was the first to be crossed off that list.
I moved out to San Diego for school and realized the Dodgers were going to be playing the Padres. My friend and I decided to buy tickets and head downtown for the game.
Stepping into the stadium, I realized everything felt new and up-to-date. It was everything I would expect a 21st century ballpark to look like. We took the escalators to get to our seats and came across a beautiful view of Coronado Bridge. You don’t see anything like that at Dodger Stadium. We continued walking to our seats and I began to notice the different types of food they were selling. They had foods like Phil’s BBQ, Ballast Point, Baked Bear, Buona Forchetta, miscellaneous seafoods, Peet’s Coffee, a winery, brewing companies and much more. The possibilities of food and drinks were endless. All I was expecting to eat at the game was a hot dog and nachos. I thought it was amazing how many different food options we had to choose from because I had never seen anything like it at a ballpark.
I think my favorite part was when we got to our seats. I was taken away with the spectacular view of the baseball field and downtown San Diego. I had never really looked at pictures of Petco Park, so I really did not know what to expect. But I definitely did not expect that. I remember feeling speechless because of how beautiful it all looked.
The one thing that stood out to me the most was the crowd. I did not feel that same energy and excitement that I feel at Dodger Stadium. When I am at a game at Dodger Stadium the feeling is electric, and people are constantly on their feet cheering on the Dodgers. While at Petco Park I felt things were more relaxed, and people were just sitting back enjoying the game. There is no shame in sitting back and enjoying a game, but I missed that pure excitement and energy that I get every time I go to Dodger Stadium.
My first experience at Petco Park was so memorable. It is a beautiful park that everyone needs to visit once in their life. The surrounding views of the park are breathtaking. I have gone back several times and even bought myself a Padres hat. I am excited to venture out and eventually visit more ballparks. However, nothing will ever compare to my love for Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium.