Petco Park, home field for the woeful San Diego Padres, has been declared the best major league ballpark in a subjective ranking put out last week by USA Today. The newspaper declared: “From the expansive views of the downtown San Diego skyline, to the vast local beer and food options, to the perfect weather, Petco Park is everything MLB teams should want for their ballparks.”
We’ll take the compliment. Petco is a great place to get local craft beers (Ballast Point, Stone and others). The food is very decent (don’t miss an El Toro tri-tip candwich from Phil’s BBQ), though probably not as good as the offerings at AT&T Park in San Francisco. AT&T Park came in second overall in the USA Today ranking.
Again, polls like this one are subjective, and Petco Park’s “city-as-palate” sandstone aesthetic was carefully planned under the watchful eye of former Padres president Larry Lucchino. One issue with USA Today’s results, though: Los Angles’ Dodger Stadium at number five and Baltimore’s Camden Yards down at number 11? Somebody didn’t get a Baltimore crabcake or get in line for a Boog’s Barbecue pit beef sandwich.
MEETING SPACE RACE: The bayside Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina has finished construction of 280,000 square feet of meeting space. At a cost of $107 million, the new venue sits on Harbor Drive in between the Marriott and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, which are both owned by Host Hotels & Resorts. The new space comes online as the city weighs the addition of a mixed-used facility that would be a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers and serve as a convention center expansion.
A KNOCKOUT?: Punch Bowl Social, the dining/entertainment chain has set its sights on expanding to East Village in the artsy Makers Quarter area. The 20,000-square-foot concept will occupy a 1920s-era barrel-rooled building that used to be a boxing venue. This indoor/outdoor adult playground isn’t due until next year at the earliest, but there’s definite buzz surround the concept, which includes a “gastro-diner,” boutique bowling alleys, karaoke rooms and lots of interactive games.