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Padres Face Dodgers In Opening Day Game At Petco Park

Petco Park is seen on the San Diego Padres' opening day, April 4, 2016.
Katie Schoolov
Petco Park is seen on the San Diego Padres' opening day, April 4, 2016.
Padres Face Dodgers in 2016 Season Opener

Even after post-season hopes were dashed for the San Diego Padres last year, hundreds of fans gathered at a block party at the East Village on Monday, when the team faces the Los Angeles Dodgers at a sold-out opening game at Petco Park.

"[We] always want the Padres to do their best, and they’re playing for a great city and we love them," Catherine Manglicmot told KPBS News. "So we’re going to hope for an exciting season, fun-filled days."

J.T. Stough has been coming to see the Padres all his life, and he always looks forward to the first match of the year.


"I’ve been coming eight years, and I’m 7 years old," Stough said.

His favorite part? Handing out an opening day ball to members of the military in the audience — a tradition honoring his grandfather, who served in the Navy.

New uniforms, Petco Park upgrades and a new manager

This year, the Padres will start the season with new uniforms, changes to Petco Park and a new manager.

The Padres will wear their home white jerseys, the first in their National League history to have "SD" on the chest as well as both navy blue and yellow elements. It will only be worn for the 2016 season to commemorate the 2016 All-Star Game, the first to be played at Petco Park.


The use of "SD" was made to emphasize the importance of San Diego as host city for the 2016 All-Star Game, a team official said.

Navy blue has been part of the Padres' color scheme since 1991, while Padres yellow was an official team color from 1969, its first in the National League, through 1984.

The jersey features a 2016 All-Star Game logo patch on the left sleeve.

Monday's uniform includes a navy blue cap with a two-toned yellow and white "SD," a nod to the two-toned orange and yellow "SD" cap first worn by the Padres in 1991.

The Padres will wear their new brown and yellow jerseys on Tuesday and their new Navy digital camouflage jersey on Wednesday.

The highest-profile renovation to Petco Park this season is what the team describes as a two-level "social space" in right-center field inspired by San Diego's beach lifestyle in the location previously occupied by The Beachers seating area and The Beach play area.

The space features pilings and decking constructed from environmentally friendly recycled composite wood. Drink rails line the front row of each level, with approximately 60 fixed seats between the two. The space will accommodate nearly 600 people in a standing room-only capacity. It will be sold as a group space for the majority of games.

The children's sand play area was relocated to a space along K Street, further removed from the playing field and safe from balls in play.

Other renovations include an LED lighting system intended to cut glare both inside and outside the stadium and improve visibility for television broadcasts; new backstop netting behind home plate and the installation of 222 new seats in the Lexus Home Plate Club.

A new Padres Hall of Fame will open on K Street behind the left field seating area before the 2016 All-Star Game, which will be played on July 12.

Andy Green, the new manager of the San Diego Padres, speaks at a news conference announcing his hiring, Oct. 29, 2015, San Diego.
Associated Press
Andy Green, the new manager of the San Diego Padres, speaks at a news conference announcing his hiring, Oct. 29, 2015, San Diego.

Monday's game will mark the debut of Andy Green as Padres manager. Green was the Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach last season. He succeeds Bud Black, who was fired June 15 after the Padres got off to a 32-33 start. Then- bench coach Dave Roberts managed the next game, with Pat Murphy serving as the interim manager for the final 96 games, guiding the Padres to a 42-54 record.

Coincidentally, Roberts will be making his debut as the Dodgers manager Monday.

The Padres are advising fans attending Monday's sold-out season opener to arrive early to Petco Park and for those without pre-purchased parking passes to use public transportation.

All Petco Park gates will open at 1 p.m., giving fans the opportunity to watch the Padres take batting practice, which will begin at about 1:15 p.m.. The Dodgers will begin taking batting practice at approximately 2:35 p.m.

Fans are advised to be in their seats no later than 3:30 p.m. for the pregame ceremonies.

The Metropolitan Transit System will offer additional "Special Event" trolley service from Qualcomm Stadium, where there will be 5,000 free parking spots, and Mission Valley stations to the ballpark area. There will also be increased service following the game.

The North County Transit District will offer extra Coaster service with trains departing from Oceanside Station at 11:05 a.m., 1:51 p.m. and 2:32 p.m. Free parking is available at all North County Coaster stations. RegionPlus Day fares include free trolley connections. After the game, a northbound Coaster train will leave Santa Fe Depot 60 minutes after the last out.

Additional information on transportation-related issues is available at

The pregame ceremonies will include an aerial demonstration by the U.S. Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs, and the unfurling of the Holiday Bowl Big Flag, which will be held by 275 Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Randy Jones, in connection with the 40th anniversary of his being selected as the National League's Cy Young Award in 1976, the same year he was the league's starting pitcher in the All-Star Game.

The national anthem will be sung by the singer-songwriter Tinashe, who will perform Monday night at the House of Blues San Diego as part of a national tour. The anthem will be followed by a flyover by two Marine F/A-18 Deltas from the Vikings of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's Attack Squadron 225.

Navy Petty Officer Yarrick Conner will perform "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.