The Key to Petco

The ceremonial key to the magnificent new downtown ballpark was symbolically passed from representatives of the design team to San Diego Ballpark Builders (the general contractor) and the subcontractors, development manager and the Padres' ballpark development team, and then to the City and the Padres, who will operate PETCO Park. Opening day is slated for April 8th.

Mayor Dick Murphy delivered the Certificate of Occupancy to Moores and the Padres, two years and three days after he had presented the "Notice to Proceed" on February 15, 2002.

"This ceremony symbolizes the culmination of a dream and celebrates the collaboration and hard work of literally thousands of people who made it happen," Moores said. "We began more than six years ago with an inspired vision to design and build a beautiful, functional, cutting-edge ballpark that would be a signature of our region and a catalyst for the biggest redevelopment project in San Diego history. Today the San Diego Ballpark Builders are turning over to the Padres the keys to a facility that exceeds our high expectations. I could not be more proud of the design, construction and management team that pulled together through some challenging times and ultimately completed the world's best ballpark in America's Finest City - on schedule, on budget, and with an outstanding record of safety and craftsmanship."

PETCO Park will be owned 70 percent by the City of San Diego and 30 percent by the Padres for 30 years, and 100 percent by the City thereafter. The Padres will operate the state-of-the-art facility under a Joint Use and Management Agreement with the City. Construction cost was $294.1 million, out of a total project budget of $453.4 million (including land acquisition and infrastructure work). Construction resumed on February 18, 2002 after a 16-month suspension, with construction 15 percent complete, because of a series of lawsuits that ultimately were found to have no merit.

"This is a great day for San Diego," Mayor Murphy said. "One of the goals in my first State of the City address in January, 2001, was to complete the ballpark, which was then stalled by litigation. We worked methodically through the lawsuits, diligently completed the financing, and today we have a world-class new civic landmark that for generations will contribute to making San Diego a city worthy of our affection. PETCO Park is a stunning architectural statement that has already revitalized the East Village, stimulating more than a billion dollars of new development in the Ballpark District."

Representatives of San Diego Ballpark Builders - a joint venture comprised of The Clark Construction Group, Inc., Roel Construction Company, Inc., and douglas e. barnhart, inc. - and the 66 construction subcontractors participated in the ceremony. Representatives of the Padres staff and ballpark development team, Hines and the architectural, engineering and design team also participated.

San Diego Ballpark Builders, Hines, and Padres' development executives kept the design, engineering, and construction team virtually intact through the suspension from October 2, 2000 to February 15, 2002. When that team was remobilized and work re-started three days after the Notice to Proceed was delivered, construction resumed and continued seamlessly to substantial completion, with 60 percent local subcontractors and a skilled labor force that represented the diversity of the San Diego community.

Antoine Predock, the design architect who collaborated with executive/sports facility architect HOK Sport + Venue + Event, master plan architect ROMA Design Group, and landscape architect Spurlock Poirier to design a ballpark unlike any other, recently expressed delight with the quality of construction. "It's just obvious that the people who built this project really care about the project," Predock said. "I remember the first pre-cast was some of the best concrete work I have ever seen in my life. And then the stone work and the stucco work followed suit. It has been a workmanlike, beautiful construction site. The old-fashioned craftsman's ethic is just written all over this project."

Substantial completion of the ballpark required nearly 2,000,000 hours of on-site construction work. The number of workers on-site at one time peaked at 641 on May 5, 2003. To help celebrate the substantial completion milestone and reward the hundreds of workers still on-site, Miller Lite, Miller Brewing Company and Mesa Distributing Company hosted a barbecue for the workers after today's celebration.

"All the subcontractors, all the tradespeople, have excelled," said Alan Petrasek, Officer-In-Charge for San Diego Ballpark Builders. "They all wanted to work on this ballpark. It has been a magnet for skilled laborers. The subs have all been very cooperative. There has been a 'can-do' attitude. The project has been a pleasure to manage. The strengths of each company have complemented the team very well."

And now that construction is substantially complete, the City has delivered the Certificate of Occupancy, and San Diego Ballpark Builders have turned over the keys to the Padres to operate PETCO Park, the goal of a new paradigm in sports facility design has been achieved. It is time to "Play Ball!"

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