What to Know
- The San Diego Padres swing into the MLB season with the Home Opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park on April 1
- Mobile ordering and in-seat delivery are the biggest change to concessions at the ballpark this season
- Face masks will need to be worn inside Petco Park -- except when eating or drinking at your seat
Some San Diego Padres fans may be able to return to Petco Park this season in limited capacity and with COVID-19 safety rules in place, but when guests walk through those gates, ballpark concessions will be a whole new ball game. Here are some of the pandemic-era changes foodie Friars fans can expect.
The San Diego Padres communications office told NBC 7 that when the MLB 2021 season starts at Petco Park on April 1, concessions will be operating at roughly 30% capacity, so not all of the food and drink stands that fans are used to seeing inside the ballpark will be open right away.
So, Which Food Options Will Be Available at Petco Park?
The club said it believes these concessions will be open in April 2021:
- Ballpark Eats
- Pizza Port
- Buona Forchetta
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Pandemic Changes: Mobile Ordering, Contactless Payments, Food Delivery to Your Seat
The Padres communications office said concessions at Petco Park will only be available for mobile order pickup or in-seat delivery, depending on where you are sitting. Beverages can be ordered and delivered to your seat at all seating areas within Petco Park.
Fans should download the MLB Ballpark app ahead of their visit. Once in the app, click on the “SD” in the bottom navigation bar and select “Mobile Ordering.”
All mobile orders will be available for pickup at a stand; the club said Mobile Hawking will provide mobile ordering and delivery for all beverages including soda, water and beer.
When guests are walking to and from their seats, they must remain at least 6 feet away from fans from other households.
Mobile order in-seat service will also be available in traditional in-seat service areas of Petco Park, which include the Terrace Level, Compass Premier Club and Left Field Porch.
Besides menu items from the four vendors listed above, the Padres communications office said ballpark favorites like Seaside Market’s Tri-Tip Nachos (chopped up tri-tip over chips served with cheese sauce, drizzled BBQ sauce, sour cream, and green onions) will be available for delivery straight to your seat.
Fans will be able to link their preferred payment method to the MLB Ballpark app so that part of ordering is cashless and contactless.
All concessions workers will be required to wear masks and face shields at Petco Park, and will also undergo health screenings at the start of their shifts, including temp checks.
COVID-Era Sanitation at Petco Park
The Padres communications office said a “Petco Park Clean Team” will be working at the ballpark all season, tasked with continually monitoring and cleaning Petco Park during games. The ballpark will also be cleaned and sanitized before every game.
The latest Petco Park visitor guidelines can be found here.
Tickets to Padres Home Games
Due to reduced capacity, the only way to buy tickets to Padres home games for the 2021 season – at least for now – is by placing a $200 per seat deposit for Padres membership on the Padres website. A Padres rep will follow-up within two business days.
If capacity limitations for live sporting events increase in San Diego County, the Padres said the membership deposit will ensure priority access to tickets for this season and be applied to a fan’s 2021 membership.
If capacity dips or fans are no longer allowed at the ballpark, deposits will be rolled over to 2022 membership. Details on Padres tickets can be found here.
California's COVID Tier System and Live Sports
Effective April 1, the California Department of Public Health said a max capacity of 20% is allowed at ballparks like Petco Park; this includes a max of 25% occupancy per suite, and no more than three households per suite.
In the red tier – which San Diego County is currently under – only in-state visitors are allowed at live sporting events. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and concessions must be primarily in-seat, with no concourse sales.
If San Diego County shifts into the orange tier, the max capacity will bump up to 33%. In the state’s yellow tier (the least restrictive tier in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy), max capacity bumps up to 67%. More COVID-related safety guidelines from the state’s plan for pro sports can be found here.
As the 2021 MLB season gets underway, we will keep you updated on any pandemic-related changes that may change the way Padres fans navigate Petco Park.
Our NBC 7 SportsWrap reporters, Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson, will also keep us updated on all things Padres on their weekly podcast, On Friar. Listen wherever you enjoy your podcasts.
LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts.