Padres Open Petco vs. San Francisco

How fitting. The San Diego Padres will open their new downtown ballpark on April 8 against Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. Talk about bringing the hype to the ballpark that day. Fans will get to see arguably the greatest slugger of our time, and all time, in the season opener of Petco Park.

While touring the stadium, the Padres fans will have to be on the lookout for balls attempting to leave the yard and end up in the Bay between downtown and Coronado.

Bonds hit 39 home runs at Qualcomm Stadium, his most at any road ballpark and the most by an opponent in San Diego. Luckily Qualcomm has seen its last Padres game, occurring September 28th.

The season opens April 5th with a three game set in Los Angeles.

The inaugural nine-game homestand at 42,000-seat Petco Park also will include series against Los Angeles and Arizona. The April 8th game will mark the club's first night opener since 1995 against the Houston Astros.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals will make their first visits to San Diego.

Due to parking concerns downtown, the Padres will play only two weekday afternoon games. The two weekday day games ---- June 2 vs. the Colorado Rockies and Sept. 8 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals ---- will start at 12:35 p.m. Sunday games will begin at 1:05 p.m. In recent years, the Padres' day games started at 2:05 p.m. In all, the Padres have 66 night games scheduled at home and 15 day games.

The Padres' road schedule features their first-ever visit to Boston's Fenway Park June 8-10 followed by three games at Yankee Stadium, where the Padres lost the first two games of the 1998 World Series en route to being swept by New York.

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