The Padres are out of town for the next week so Petco Park can start getting ready to host its first MLB All-Star Game. Part of that preparation is beefing up security around the event.
In today’s world any large, well-publicized gathering is a potential target. Both local and national law enforcement have been working on keeping this one safe since America’s Finest City was awarded the Midsummer Classic a year and a half ago. On Wednesday we received an update on the security procedures.
“We checked in with the FBI and all of our intelligence agencies,” said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. “There are no known, specific, credible threats to not just San Diego but to the entire region. Let me repeat there are no known credible threats.”
But that does not mean the police presence will be dialed down. Starting on Sunday for the MLB All-Star Futures Game and the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game fans at and around the park will know officers are there. And they’ll also NOT know officers are there.
“You will see officers in uniform, on bicycles, in vehicles, you’ll see our helicopter,” said Zimmerman. “But we’re also going to have a significant presence of undercover officers working with us, again working with state, local, federal, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and others. It is a significant high-visibility presence and also quite a bit out there that you won’t see.”
San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy says his group has worked hand-in-hand with the Padres and SDPD to make sure everyone is as safe as possible.
“We have an event action plan,” says Fennessy. “We can assist and respond to emergencies.”
So now that everyone has the safety part of it locked down, what about the logistical aspect? Fans that are coming to the game are going to have to go through the same security procedures as any other game at Petco Park. That means bag checks and metal detectors. Bags are allowed in the park as long as they’re no larger than 16” x 16” x 8” and all bags and purses will be checked.
Even if you’re not going to any of the All-Star events but live or expect to visit Downtown keep in mind there will be road closures to deal with. The MLB Block Party runs from Sunday, July 10 through Tuesday, July 12 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. J Street from 6th Ave. to 10th Ave. will be closed from Friday, July 8 at 6:00 a.m. straight through to Wednesday, July 13 at 6:00 p.m.
The MLB 5K Color Run goes on Sunday morning from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and will impact several streets. Southbound Pacific Highway will be closed between Broadway and West Harbor Drive … and the #2 southbound lane of East Harbor Drive will be closed between Pacific Highway and Park Blvd. from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. W. Ash will be closed between Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway and N. Harbor will be closed between Grape Street and West harbor Drive from 2:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
On Monday night the MLB Gala will close eastbound Broadway from Harbor Drive to Pacific Highway from 6:00 p.m. through midnight.
On Tuesday, the day of the All-Star Game, there will be a parade that shuts down multiple streets. See the full parade route here.