San Diego

Nursing Lounge, New Food, ‘Barkyard' Upgrades Added to Petco Park

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was invited to tour the ballpark earlier this week to check out the new amenities that await Padres fans this season

New food, upgrades to a pet-friendly spectators’ section, and a nursing lounge for mothers are some of the bells and whistles that await San Diego Padres fans at Petco Park this season.

The downtown San Diego ballpark unveiled some of its new amenities this week ahead of the April 7 Padres Home Opener.

This includes the return of the new Sharp Nursing Suite, a lounge for nursing mothers and their babies, located at Toyota Terrace (Suite 32), next to Zenbu sushi bar. The space, launched last spring, is a collaborative effort between Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns and the San Diego Padres.

There are only a few Major League Baseball parks in the U.S. that feature nursing lounges and most of them are tucked away inside the building, said Paula Berberick, Marketing and Communications Director for Sharp Healthcare.

The Nursing Suite at Petco Park, however, is special because the room overlooks the baseball field – with a prime view of the third baseline – so mothers can still watch the game while tending to their little ones.

“This is a special place. We worked with the Padres to create a place that is comfortable and cool for mothers to take care of their babies,” said Berberick. “There are all kinds of amenities: a changing table, private restroom, a fridge. And it’s for any mom; we’re excited to have them.”

According to Sharp, the suite also includes a sink and plugs for breast pumps. A female concierge is on-hand during games to welcome moms and help as needed.

It will be open to nursing mothers this season, starting on April 8.

NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala talks with Wayne Partello, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer on Friday, April 7 – the home opener for the 2017 season.

Other new features at Petco Park for the 2017 MLB season include upgrades to “The Barkyard,” a seating section where fans can catch a baseball game with their dogs. The Barkyard now features five new seating boxes that hold up to four people each – plus two dogs, Petco Park Vice President of Communications David Hallisey said. Snacks, food and a pooch-friendly water area are also available.

Petco Park also plans to host “Adoption Sundays,” a program introduced at the stadium last year.

“Here at Petco we believe in putting adoption first,” said Hallisey. “We adopt out over 4,000 dogs and pets every year. A considerable amount of those happen on Sundays.”

Petco Park also unveiled its updated Padres Hall of Fame, where Friars fans can see the history of baseball in San Diego. Inductees include Tony Gwynn – “Mr. Padre” himself – as well as Dave Winfield, Randy Jones and Trevor Hoffman, to name a few.

Now, as far as food, Petco Park announced a mouthwatering lineup of new eats, including Carnitas’ Snack Shack and Wonderland Ocean Pub, which boasts a view of the ballpark and surrounding areas, craft beers on tap and six appetizers made popular at the pub’s original location in Ocean Beach.

This includes the Mac Daddy Ahi Poke, spicy poke with macadamia nuts on a seaweed salad bed, and the Fire Bird, a ground chicken burger with roasted poblanos, pepperjack cheese and chipotle sauce.

The stadium also added a Zenbu sushi bar (section 220) and The Draft (section 205), which features two San Diego favorites: Ballast Point Brewing Company beers and Hodad’s hamburgers.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was invited to Petco Park this week to preview the aforementioned additions and was enthusiastic about the upgrades.

“The amenities in the ball park are terrific, and it’s a treat to come here every year and see the continued renewal,” he said. “It looks brand new every year.”

The mayor said he is very proud of what Petco Park has become, and the partnership between the City of San Diego and the Padres.

“It highlights San Diego. That’s something that, as mayor, I’m really proud of. I can’t wait for Opening Day,” he added.

The Padres take on the San Francisco Giants in Friday Home Opener. First pitch is at 3:40 p.m. Fans will enjoy the East Village Block Party this weekend as well, a free community festival on J Street, between 6th and 10th avenues, which celebrates the start of Padres season.

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