SAN DIEGO – The Padres team store was buzzing with business and excitement Wednesday for the team’s “do-over” Opening Day.
“I wanted to come get a new jersey because I’m all excited like a little kid again — going to one of my first baseball games,” diehard fan Nate Flores told FOX 5.
As pandemic restrictions lifted this week in the state of California, Petco Park can once again be filled to capacity for the first time since 2019. That means potentially 40,000 people cheering on the home team.
“I’m going to be there! I’m going to be loud, as loud as I can be,” said Brett Cox, who swung by the store for a “swag chain” made famous by slugger Manny Machado.
The festivities kick off with pre-game DJ entertainment at the Sycuan Stage in Gallagher Square and a complete Opening Day-style ceremony, including a presentation of the American flag with over 250 active-duty military members, a military flyover and on-field lineup introductions.
The Padres are set to take on the Cincinatti Reds at 5:40 p.m., with a post-game fireworks show to boot.
“I just want someone to hit a home run. The noise of the stadium would be super exciting; haven’t had that experience in a long time,” Flores said.
Padres players also expressed their excitement, hoping this is the push they need to get back on track after a recent slump.
“I’m so happy. Last year we had a great run and the fans couldn’t be there, so I expect every night to be full. I promise we will be putting on a show for you guys,” utility man Jurickson Profar said.
There will not be a mask enforcement team at Petco Park, but officials are asking anyone not fully vaccinated to still wear a mask at upcoming games.
As of Wednesday evening, there were a limited number of tickets still available for the June 17 “San Diego’s Opening Day” game.