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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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MLB Playoffs At Petco Park

San Diego will have national exposure during the upcoming Major League Baseball playoffs, but it will not be the San Diego Padres playing at Petco Park.

Although the Padres have made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, under the COVID-19 bubble format adopted by the league, the National League Playoffs will be at ballparks in Texas and the American League playoffs will be at Petco Park and at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

A New Look

With a COVID-19 shortened season and no fans allowed at any games, October will have a new look for postseason play as only four neutral locations were chosen to host the games by the MLB. Petco Park will host a best of five American League Division Series beginning Oct. 6. A best of seven American Championship Series will be played at Petco Park beginning on Oct 11. All games for both series will be played consecutively with no days off between games.

“We are really excited about being chosen. We actively lobbied to be a playoff site. Although for us we will not be making direct revenue from the playoffs, we saw an opportunity to showcase San Diego,” said Erik Greupner, president of business operations for the Padres. “Being able to nationally showcase San Diego and Petco Park we believe will be a great boost for the area.”

Strong Guidelines

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Strong guidelines will be enforced for the American League playoffs and players will be tested daily for COVID-19, according to the MLB. Although players will be confined to their hotels except when playing, the televised games will give both San Diego and its world class ballpark a chance to be seen nationally, according to Julie Coker, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority.

“Being able to show that San Diego is a great place will definitely be a boost,” she said. “The real economic benefit is the free advertising money can’t buy.”

As with most major cities, COVID-19 restrictions have limited local tourism and events but San Diego’s efforts to keep case numbers down and remain at tier two may have played into Major League Baseball choosing Petco Park as a postseason venue, according to Coker. This city gets it, she said.

The National League Playoffs will be hosted in Arlington and Houston Texas. Everything will culminate with the first neutral site World Series beginning in Arlington on Oct. 20.

World Class

“San Diego is a great town that embraces sports. The Padres are a world class organization,” Coker said. “I think this will be a big boost in moral for San Diego. People will take pride in seeing their city on national television. They will come out to area restaurants and businesses. This is positive.”

Alan Gin, an associate professor of economics at the University of San Diego agrees.

“It will have some benefit, that is for sure. There will be teams travelling here, and the national television exposure will have an impact, not huge, but an impact,” he said. “With San Diego’s weather and the visibility of the games, it will be promotional and exciting for the city.”

The winners of the two American League Division Series will advance to the best of seven American League Championship Series which will be played at Petco Park. This series will begin on Oct. 11.

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