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New Petco Park attendance record set on Opening Night

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced that last night's Opening Night crowd of 45,567 set a new Petco Park attendance record. The previous record of 45,496 was set on Opening Day in 2009, April 6, also vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Also last night, the Padres' Mission Bell debuted in its new location, at the Kona Cove in left field. In an effort to incorporate the Mission Bell more regularly into the Petco Park experience, it will be rung by a special guest, Padres alumni or fan, to signify start of each Padres home game. In addition, the Swinging Friar will take his place at the Mission Bell during the ninth inning of each home game. In save situations, he will ring it once for the first out, twice for the second out and three times after a Padres victory. Or, in the event of a walk off win, the Friar will ring the bell three times. Last night's bell was rung by Antoine Predock, the design architect for Petco Park

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Tickets are still available for the rest of the Opening Series presented by Sycuan, including Opening Day against the Dodgers on Tuesday, April 1 at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday's game will feature traditional Opening Day ceremonies, beginning at approximately 3:10 p.m, and every fan in attendance will receive a 2014 Padres schedule cling, as well as an Opening Day hat (image attached). Once again, Padres broadcaster Dick Enberg will emcee the Opening Day pregame ceremony, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Petco Park.

Tuesday's National Anthem will be performed by 16-year-old Timyra-Joi Beatty, the San Diego native who competed on Season 5 of NBC's The Voice. The ceremony will also feature the unfurling of the Holiday Bowl Big Flag, held U.S. Navy Chiefs in celebration of the 121st birthday of the Chief Petty Officer rank. The Ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown by former Padres David Wells, who threw the first pitch at Petco Park when it opened in 2004, Brian Giles, who had the first hit at Petco Park, and Mark Loretta, who hit the first Padres home run at Petco Park.

Fans should be in their seats by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Park at the Park gates will open at 1:00 p.m. All other gates will open at 1:30 p.m. With a large Opening Day crowd heading to the ballpark, fans are strongly encouraged to arrive early to Petco Park. To avoid additional traffic delays, fans should utilize public transportation or pre-purchase parking passes online at www.padres.com. Padres parking lots are expected to fill two hours prior to first pitch, so fans are encouraged to park along Harbor Drive at Convention Center garages and utilize the pedestrian bridge. Suggested routes and maps can be found at www.padres.com/transportation. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will offer additional "Special Event" trolley service from Qualcomm Stadium (with 5,000 free parking spots) and Mission Valley stations to the ballpark area. The North County Transit District (NCTD) will offer a special Padres Coaster train that departs from Oceanside Station at 1:51pm and includes free trolley connection. For more information and updates, visit the Petco Park transportation page at www.padres.com/transportation.

Tickets for the remaining 80 home games can be purchased online at www.padres.com, at the Petco Park box office, by phone at 619.795.5555, at the Padres Store in Tijuana, and at all Ticketmaster locations.

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