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Fan Experience

Padres to upgrade Gallagher Square for Petco Park anniversary

The San Diego Padres have revealed plans for a $20m (£16.2m/€18.7m) overhaul of its Gallagher Square mixed-use space to mark the 20th anniversary of the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise’s home, Petco Park.

Located just beyond the ballpark’s outfield walls, the renovation of the space formerly known as ‘Park at the Park’ aims to provide fans and local residents with enhanced amenities while building on the Padres’ long-term commitment to delivering ‘More than a Ballpark’ to San Diego. Highlights include:

  • An improved, expansive playground and play area with equipment for a wider range of age groups and abilities.
  • Fenced, off-leash dog park.
  • Improved Play Ball Field.
  • Temporary pickleball courts.
  • Public art displays.
  • Enhanced noise mitigation measures during events.
  • New Tony Gwynn Terrace fan viewing deck, which can be used as a community picnic space during public hours.

Once complete, the project will enable greater public access, allowing portions of the park to remain open more frequently for community use. “We are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Petco Park next season by delivering a new and improved Gallagher Square to our fans and community,” said Padres CEO, Erik Greupner. 

“This space has been a defining feature of America’s #1 Ballpark and based on fan and community feedback our renovation will make it an even more vibrant and impactful part of the ballpark experience and asset to our downtown community.”

Additionally, the project will bring a levelled, terraced lawn seating to Gallagher Square, which generally has more affordable ticket options compared to other areas located so close to the ballfield, enhancing the accessibility and overall game day experience.

To ensure a more sustainable Gallagher Square, grass will be replaced with turf, improving the aesthetics of the space while significantly reducing water usage and the need for frequent re-sodding. Native trees and vegetation will also be planted throughout the area to promote sustainability and drought resistance.

In consideration of the surrounding community, the project will also incorporate greater mitigation measures to reduce noise levels during events. The introduction of state-of-the-art technology, including delay towers and directional speakers, will seek to deliver a more enjoyable experience for both event attendees and nearby residents.

“We are incredibly thankful to the San Diego Padres for their ongoing investment in San Diego, and their dedication to both their fans and the community at large,” said City of San Diego Mayor, Todd Gloria. 

“The Gallagher Square renovation will further activate and invigorate the East Village, and I will be working closely with the Padres to help ensure these exciting new amenities are ready for the community to enjoy in time for the 20th anniversary of Petco Park.”

The Padres will provide full funding for the project, with Gallagher Square having generated nearly $3m in events and concert revenue during 2022. “This is really a continuation of over $100m that we’ve put in in (capital expenditure) improvements and maintenance of the ballpark over the first 20 years of the ballpark,” Greupner told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“We think that continued investment into the ballpark, in this case focused on Gallagher Square, will benefit the community, bring more visitors downtown, particularly during the offseason, attract more residents to the area and ultimately create additional jobs.”

Work is set to commence following the 2023 MLB season, with the new-look Gallagher Square intended to be ready in time for Opening Day 2024.