Padres won’t block Dodgers fans from buying Petco Park tickets, at least in the regular season
When the Dodgers and San Diego Padres played in the National League Division Series last October, the Padres had a clear message for Dodgers fans: We don’t want you at Petco Park.
The Padres blocked the sale of tickets to anyone from Los Angeles County, or anywhere beyond San Diego County and a selected group of nearby areas. If anyone outside the designated home region did manage to buy tickets, the Padres said, the tickets would be revoked.
In this new year, the Padres are more popular than ever. They have capped season-ticket sales at 24,000. For the first time, they have a waiting list.
Peter Seidler isn’t afraid to spend money to make the San Diego Padres a World Series contender, even as some other owners question his strategy.
The Padres anticipate selling out home games more often than not, and they project setting a franchise record in attendance. The total tickets sold should top 3 million, a standard reached by only four major league teams last year: the Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves.
“Fans from other clubs are welcome in our ballpark too,” Padres owner Peter Seidler said, “but the preference is to have it be San Diego, as close to 100% as possible.”
Before the 2021 season, when the Padres had sold 14,000 season tickets, the team was concerned that fans might pay much of their season bill by reselling their tickets to the Dodgers fans who so happily and traditionally overran Petco Park.
At that time, the Padres promised a special gift to season-ticket holders who showed up to root on the Padres against the Dodgers, then described by Padres chief executive Erik Greupner as “a team from a little ways up north.”
On Tuesday, Greupner said no such incentives would be offered to Padres fans to keep their tickets this season.
“I think the product speaks for itself,” he said.
Greupner said the Padres had no plans to block ticket buyers from Los Angeles during the regular season. Under the new schedule, the Dodgers make two visits to San Diego rather than three: May 5-7 and Aug. 4-7.
He said the Padres had not decided whether to block ticket buyers from Los Angeles if the Dodgers and Padres meet again this October. Greupner did express his delight in how the blocking worked last October.
“Very successful,” he said. “Felt like 98% Padres fans, which made us happy.”
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