We’ll see a major change in Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, for the 2024 season, as the team plans on investing almost $20 million in the renovation of Gallagher Square (the former Park at the Park) to mark the ballpark’s 20th anniversary.
Based on community and fan feedback, the renovation will provide fans and local residents with enhanced amenities while building on the Padres’ decades-long 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 showcasing the talents of local artists
- 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
- Upgraded Entry Gate at Ninth and J Street for improved security and accessibility during events
“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 via press release. “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.”
Once complete, the project will enable greater public access, allowing portions of the park to remain open more frequently for community use.
The iconic statue of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, will be elevated by approximately six feet and surrounded by an expanded deck area. The renovation will also bring Tony into greater alignment with his teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, while enhancing Tony’s visibility from the ballpark.
According to Tony Gwynn, Jr., son of the legendary Padre and Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn, “Petco Park holds a special place in our hearts as it honors the legacy of my father and the historic contributions he made to the game. These renovations will not only improve the overall experience for fans but also create an engaging community space for all ages that celebrates our city’s passion for baseball and my father’s legacy.”
The elevated deck will also offer fans and visitors a great view of games and serve as an outdoor activity and picnic space during public hours.
Additionally, the project will bring leveled, 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 help deliver a more enjoyable experience for both event attendees and nearby residents.
This $20 million investment builds upon the Padres’ continued efforts to create a vibrant Downtown San Diego through economic development and job creation. Over the past 20 years, the Padres have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the area, creating thousands of jobs. The renovation of Gallagher Square is expected to attract more residents and visitors, particularly during the off-season, providing a boost to nearby businesses and helping increase local tax revenue, which is reinvested back into the community.
“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.”
Renderings courtesy Larimer Design Architecture + Groundlevel Landscape Architecture.