On a chilly Thursday night, the Padres opened up the gates of Petco Park to fans for an Open House and Town Hall style meeting. Although the number of guests was expected to be around 1,000, more than 3,00o fans showed up for free hot dogs, the opportunity to meet players and a chance to roam the grass in centerfield.
Much of the Padres brass was in attendance. Owner and CEO Jeff Moorad led the evening flanked by GM Jed Hoyer, COO Tom Garfinkel and manager Bud Black.
Their message for the night was consistent and confident: we are here to win.
“We know you are counting on us,” Moorad said from the first base line podium. “Let me reassure you, this ownership has a plan and a passion for winning.”
Even with the recent struggles of the Padres franchise the fans were clear that they expect a winner. When the forum was opened to fan questions the topics ranged from a potential All Star Game at Petco, to a possible trade involving Adrian Gonzalez.
Hoyer responded: “We will never do anything that doesn’t make the team better.”
Whether Gonzalez or any other prominent player will be moved remains to be seen.
Moorad touted the community efforts of John Moores and the former ownership. Moorad mentioned that this group would continue those efforts that the Moores started years ago, and that they desire for a strong baseball community in San Diego.
Fan Fest 2010
The Padres announced on Thursday that the 2010 Fan Fest will take place on February 13th from 10am-5pm. Season ticket holders will be let in an hour early at 9 a.m. It is a free event that is open to the public.
Price Changes at Petco
The 5 for $5 deal will not be returning this season. The Padres have lowered prices throughout the ballpark, though. In 2010 there will be lower ticket prices, lower concession stand prices (beer included) and parking will be cheaper ($10 for season ticket holders).
The Padres will also have an initiative for the 2010 season to honor active duty troops more often. Official deals and ticket offers are expected to be announced within the month.
Jeff Creps is an SDNN sports contributor.