FRIAR FAITHFUL: San Diego Padres CEO Erik Greupner speaks during the grand opening of the newly renovated Gallagher Square at Petco Park. (Armond Feffer)

Padres Unveil Redesigned Gallagher Square

SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s Petco Park turns 20 this year and the team on Monday unveiled its redesigned Gallagher Square outdoor event space prior to hosting the Seattle Mariners in a preseason game.

It cost $20 million to reconfigure the space, named for the insurance services company. It features a concert stage backed by a 73 feet wide by 21 feet tall Daktronics video board; a pickleball court; a dog park sponsored by Petco, a kids playground sponsored by Nuna; and a Wiffle Ball diamond featuring a Daktronics video board of its own.


MR. PADRE’S LEGACY: San Diego Padres CEO Erik Greupner is flanked by Tony Gwynn III and Hall of Fame pitcher and Padres Senior Adviser Trevor Hoffman as he cuts the ribbon on the newly renovated Gallagher Square and Tony Gwynn Terrace at Petco Park. Also pictured are San Diego Development Services Department Director Elyse Lowe, left, Alyse Mallek, Tony Gwynn Jr., Gwynn’s widow Alicia Gwynn and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. (Armond Feffer)

“This park is 20 years old, but it continues to feel like an incredible new amenity and that’s because year after year, the Padres make major investments to make sure the ballpark continues to be something that we’re proud of,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said before Padres CEO Erik Greupner cut the ribbon on the new space. “I used to work in the county offices across the street when there was nothing down here and it’s amazing what this ballpark has done for all of our downtown communities.”

The mayor gave a shout out to the city’s Development Services department, which Greupner called San Diego’s “secret weapon.”

“Any big capital improvement requires our permitting staff at the city to get the job done or be helpful and they’re led by the incredible Elyse Lowe, who’s right here, and our Development Services Department,” Gloria said. “This is a great example of that.”

The expanded playground features a giant baseball bat made of steel and wood, while the Tony Gwynn Terrace viewing deck and picnic area offers a view of action on the field as well as the Sycuan Casino Resort-sponsored stage and video board and can be rented for special or corporate events like the ribbon cutting ceremony that ushered in the space. The statue of Gwynn that had been on ground level is now elevated to the viewing deck and is in alignment with the park’s statue of former Padres pitcher and baseball hall of famer Trevor Hoffman, now a senior advisor for the team.

“What an amazing tribute for an amazing man; not just Mr. Padre but Mr. San Diego,” Hoffman said.

The square’s reconfiguration allows parts of the park to remain open to the public more frequently, said Jaclyn Lash, the Padres senior vice president, special events.

Live Nation is working closely with the Padres in programming the space, which can be configured flexibly, including seated shows, she said.

On Monday, the playground was a hit with the kids in attendance, including Tony Gwynn III, the baseball legend’s grandson, who Hoffman says has a Hall of Fame swing and will be playing at Petco in no time. As soon as the pomp of the ceremony was over, the youngster raced to join other youths in getting first use of the amenity.

DOG DAYS: The Park at the Park includes an off-leash dog park, playground and Wiffle Ball diamond with a giant screen.

(Photos by Armond Feffer)

The project broke ground in October. Delaware North Sportservice, which has run the food and beverage operation at Petco Park since it opened, invested financially in the square’s improvements.

SPECIAL EVENT: San Diego Padres CEO Erik Greupner, left, Mayor Todd Gloria, VenuesNow’s James Zoltak and Padres Senior Vice President, Special Events Jaclyn Lash pose before the Tony Gwynn statue atop the plaza named for him at the redesigned Gallagher Square at Petco Park. (Courtesy team)

Outside Gallagher Square, the stadium plays host to Chris Stapleton (March 2), Billy Joel and Sting (April 13), Blink-182 (June 30) Foo Fighters (Aug. 7) and Green Day (Sept. 28).

The Padres’ close relationship with Live Nation does not preclude the team from working with any promoter that makes sense, team officials said.

The Padres also do all the private events at the 10,000-seat Rady Shell at Jacobs Park along the San Diego bay front, and this week announced that its special events team, Petco Park Events, has signed on to book a new event space, Eve, in partnership with developer IQHQ.

Eve sits on the top level of the Edge building in IQHQ’s Research and Development District, a 1.7 million-square-foot, mixed-use development on San Diego’s downtown waterfront. Petco Park Events has become the exclusive event booking and management company for Eve.

Eve has 270-degree views of San Diego Bay and can do indoor and outdoor waterfront layouts, with a main event room for 570 seated and 1,126 standing. A glass wall opens to a terrace and there are large format LED screens and a motorized acoustic wall.