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Padres Set New Park Dimensions

June 23, 2000

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Dimensions for the San Diego Padres’ new downtown ballpark were approved by the commissioner’s office, which is allowing the center-field fence to be 396 feet, 4 feet shy of regulation.

``It’s shallow in some place and much deeper in other places,″ Padres spokesman Glenn Geffner said. ``No one knows how it will play for sure. But the thought is that it’ll be fair.″

Padres president Larry Lucchino, who helped design Baltimore’s Camden Yards, received the approval letter Wednesday and released a statement saying that intimacy will be key to the park’s design. The outfield wall will range from 4-12 feet.

``The 7-foot-high fence extends around most of the field, allowing for spectacular, leaping, home run-robbing catches,″ Lucchino said. ``In the future, you may see some of baseball’s most dramatic, thrilling, and fascinating plays occur in San Diego’s little ballpark.″

Slight changes from the Padres’ earlier plans were made to left field, where the Western Metal Supply Co. Building stands. Instead of meeting an open field, the building will be fenced off and balls landing past the 4-foot high fence will be considered a home run.

The outfield’s staggered dimensions and wall heights, however, remain largely untouched. The corner of the building will serve as the left-foul pole and a ``Home Run Porch″ will protrude from the right field.

The deepest part of the park will be 411 feet in the right-center alley. Straightaway right field will be kept deeper at 382 feet, because prevailing winds blow in that direction, and the fence will rise 12 feet.

The straightaway left field, however, will be 367 feet deep with a wall 7-feet high.

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