Petco Park to host first-round Davis Cup match
Padres president and CEO Dee says ballpark 'should be a 365-days-a-year venue'
SAN DIEGO -- It was during his time as executive vice president of business affairs of the Red Sox when Mike Dee helped bring rock legend Bruce Springsteen to Fenway Park for the first concert played on the hallowed grounds of that historic ballpark.
Dee, with four months on the job as the Padres' president and chief executive officer, sees no reason why Petco Park can't draw and attract similar national and international events to the downtown ballpark.
"We're open-minded to all kinds of events," Dee said Tuesday. "We have a beautiful facility, in the middle of the best urban environments, for my money. So why not have these kinds of marquee and prestigious events here? We're going to be focused on building that."
It's already started, as Tuesday the USTA and U.S. Davis Cup announced that Petco Park will serve as a host site for a first-round Davis Cup match between the United States and Great Britain, a three-day event that will be held on the outfield grass from Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
The event will include two singles matches on Friday, a doubles match on Saturday and will be followed by two reverse singles matches Sunday. Tickets will be available to the general public on Dec. 6 at www.usta.com/daviscup, starting at $100 for a three-day package.
The times for the matches will be set by the International Tennis Federation at a later date.
This will be the first time a Davis Cup event is played in an open-air baseball stadium in the United States and the first time the U.S. Davis Cup team -- captained by Jim Courier -- has hosted an event on clay since 1992.
Reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is expected to compete for Great Britain. All matches are best-of-five sets until one country wins three matches.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to bring this to San Diego," said Mike McDowell, the president of the San Diego Sports Commission. "Having the Davis Cup return to the area allows us to showcase San Diego to a global audience."
The court will be situated in left field near the warning track, with temporary and existing seating that will accommodate at least 7,500 seats with room to expand if needed. Construction of the court and seating area will begin in mid-January.
These are the types of events Dee would like to bring to Petco Park, saying that "this should be a 365-days-a-year venue.
"Ballparks are great settings. Unlike football stadiums, which are larger in scale and scope, this is an intimate setting and it provides a great backdrop to do events that are big and small."