Pandemic Ballparks Padres
Petco Park should be packed for Opening Day. Photo credit:

The San Diego Padres are scheduled to open the season Thursday evening against the Colorado Rockies, and shifted the Opening Day start time later in the day to try and avoid a rainout.

The first pitch has been rescheduled for 6:40 p.m. It was originally scheduled for 1:10 p.m. There is a 45% chance of rain for the original start time but less than 20% at the rescheduled time, according to the Weather Channel.

Left-hander Blake Snell will pitch for the Padres against Rockies right-hander German Marquez.

Pregame pageantry includes the unfurling of a U.S.-shaped flag, held by 75 season ticket members. The national anthem will be performed by saxophonist Jason Brown, who also performed the first national anthem in Petco Park history.

An MH-60S helicopter flyover will follow the national anthem. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, who will be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame this season.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charitee Swift-Day will perform “God Bless America” before the seventh-inning stretch.

The Padres are in the rare position of being favored in some quarters to win the National League West. The Padres last won the division in 2006.

The Padres finished 89-73 in 2022, second in the National League West, advancing to the postseason for the first time in a complete season since 2006. They defeated the favored New York Mets in a wild card series and the Dodgers in a National League Division Series, before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

Opening Day coverage will not be hindered by the recent bankruptcy filing by Diamond Sports Group, owner of the Bally Sports regional sports networks. Regular season coverage on Bally Sports San Diego is expected for 155 games, including Thursday’s. Radio coverage is available on 97.3 FM and 860 AM in Spanish.

In related news, the North County Transit District announced that Padres’ Coaster trains will take attendees to opening day at Petco Park on Thursday and home with the new game time.

According to NCTD, “there are multiple options for fans” to take the Coaster southbound to Petco Park, in time for when the gates are opened at 4:30 p.m.

An additional Padres train will depart northbound one hour after the last out from Santa Fe Depot for attendees.

More information is available at “With today’s sellout crowd, Padres fans are encouraged to take public transit to avoid the traffic congestion and costly parking hassles,” according to NCTD officials.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. March 30, 2023

– Staff and wire reports