Parking - we left for the ballpark at 1330, and I immediately realized all my regular parking hid-e-holes would be either (a) filled with downtown workers, or (b) still on the "2-hour parking only" plan. So we went in with only hope in our hearts. I ended up on K street at the $20 lot right next to the main Padre lot. Why would I pay $20 to park? Because all I had on me were $20s (unlike normal when all I carry are hundreds), and if you park in a $15 lot without change you end up putting $20 in the machine anyway.
The lot we picked quickly devolved into a clusterf**k, because there were only a fixed number of spots open, with the rest marked RESERVED. Except the parking lot gurus left two entrances open, for only one attendant to try and control, so you had people entering from both directions and parking in open spots regardless of how they were marked. After some terse negotiations, the Head Parking Lot Guy for that particular little lot showed up, and closed the lot to new folks, while telling those of us in the lot already to park wherever we could find an open spot. Kudos to the Head Parking Guy for defusing what could have become an explosive situation. And, I got a great spot less than 5 min from the stadium.
Lanyards - Season Tix holders (which we are this year, first time since 2001) get a plastic ticket holder and lanyard complimentary from the Padres. Cool, eh? Except my wife went to put hers on and the lanyard immediately broke. Which began "The Saga To Find A New Lanyard":
- To the Padres Rewards window - the usher there sends us to the Guest Services booth.
- Guest Services - has no lanyards, they send us back to the Padres Rewards window.
- Padres Rewards - they have no lanyards, they send us to the Padre Ticket Office.
- Padres Ticket Office - they have no Season Ticket Holder lanyards, tell us to go to the ticket office OUTSIDE THE STADIUM
Padres Store - We went looking for clothing sporting the new Military logo. They have some for sale in the stadium stores but all men's styles and sizes. Of course my wife wants a women's style shirt with the logo. The Padres apparently didn't believe women would want this sort of thing, because they don't carry any women's clothing with the military logo on them in the main (or satellite) Padres store in the stadium. Weird.
- At what point can I make fun of people wearing concert t-shirts for bands there's no way they saw live? An attractive blonde in our section was sporting a 'Led Zeppelin' T-shirt. She was 21 (based on the beers she carried), but even if she was 31 she'd have been a year old when the band broke up, she wasn't attending concerts as a 1-year old. Is there a new fashion trend to wear concert tees I'm not aware of?
- I recommend the Baja Bistro. Excellent Baja Nachos, and the Carne Asada burrito wasn't bad either. Also, they have Belgian White Ale on tap, which I HIGHLY recommend.
- One Marine in the pre-game ceremonial formation out in the outfield. One. And he made the rest look bad. We make light of the Marines in the Navy, but when it comes to dress uniforms, they put us to shame. Semper Fi, Mac.
- Padres handed out little magazines at the gate, which included a scorecard. A nice touch. The scorecard is a bit on the tiny side, in that it has enough room to record the game action, but not enough to take detailed notes. Then again, what do you want for free?
- The Opening Day T-shirts are nice. Thanks.
- If the whole stadium wins 2 free tacos from Jack in the Box, coupons will be handed out at the exits (vice using your ticket stub). Those coupons don't start showing up until the 8th inning. So, if you're watching a blowout, and gotta have a free taco, you're going to have to wait until the 8th.
- The Second Class Sonar Tech who sang 'God Bless America' was awesome. I think his name was Best. Also, the National Anthem was well done too - I liked the acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Richard v Hanson today.