‘This is as good as it gets’: More fans file into Petco Park with new seating guidance

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SAN DIEGO – The sights and sounds of baseball season are back in downtown San Diego, and now even more fans will be in the stands to take it all in.

This week, the Padres announced new health and safety protocols to expand Petco Park’s capacity to 33%. Some sections of the ballpark also will be seated up to 67% of capacity for fans who are fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the game.

It comes as the Padres return home from a seven-game road trip to open up a series against the Dodgers, baseball’s defending champion currently in a familiar spot atop the NL West standings.

But with the Friars likely to challenge Los Angeles for this year’s division crown, the excitement was palpable among fans Friday evening near the stadium.

“The atmosphere down here is awesome,” fan Manuel Gonzalez said. “Good to see people rockin’ the brown, just the Padre gear again.”

This weekend marks the first homestand for the Padres since Joe Musgrove tossed the franchise’s first-ever no-hitter last week.

“Especially playing the Dodgers, man, this is like the best,” a Padres fan dining at The Blind Burro told FOX 5. “This is as good as it gets. Really exciting.”

Social Tap General Manager Jake Snyder said he is excited to welcome guests to his restaurant, known for the picturesque views of Petco Park. They are operating at 50% capacity with San Diego County now in the state’s orange reopening tier.

Petco Park is a cashless venue and guests will be wearing masks during the game.

“I feel like with more people getting vaccinated and all of that good stuff everyone’s wearing their mask, there’s no big problem with that,” Gonzalez said. “I feel perfectly safe at the ballpark.”

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