Long a favorite spectator sport in San Diego, where games are rarely rained out, baseball gained even more popularity in 2004 with the opening of PETCO Park, a stunning 42,000-seat facility in the heart of downtown. In March 2006, the semifinals and the final game of the first-ever World Baseball Classic, scheduled to be a quadrennial event fielding teams from around the world, took place here.
San Diego Padres. From April into October, the Padres slug it out for bragging rights in the National League West. Home games are played at PETCO Park. Tickets are usually available on game day, but rival matchups against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants often sell out quickly. For an inexpensive day at the ballpark, go for "The Park at the Park" tickets ($10 and up, depending on demand; available for purchase at the park only) and have a picnic on the grass while watching the game on one of several giant-screen TVs. You also get access to the full concourse. Head to the fifth floor to find a Stone Brewing outdoor beer garden with sweeping views of downtown and the San Diego Bay. 100 Park Blvd., East Village, San Diego, CA, 92101. 619/795–5000 or 877/374–2784. sandiego.padres.mlb.com.