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02/12/11 11:00 PM EST
Padres' FanFest boasts record turnout
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- A record crowd of over 21,000 attended the Padres' FanFest on Saturday at PETCO Park, an encouraging sign, team president and COO Tom Garfinkel said, that the fan base is optimistic about the 2011 season. "We're very happy with the turnout, there's a lot of enthusiasm about the 2011 Padres," Garfinkel said. "The best thing for me was the consistent enthusiasm of the fans. There was just a lot of positive energy for this team." Many of the Padres who comprised the team that won 90 games last season attended the event and mingled with fans, signing autographs and answering questions. Several more new players -- offseason additions to the team by general manager Jed Hoyer -- were also at PETCO Park to introduce themselves to the fans. One of the most popular destinations on Saturday was the annual Padres Garage Sale, where memorabilia, such as jerseys, game-used helmets and hats were sold to the public. The Padres raised over $80,000 during the event, with the proceeds earmarked for a new field-maintenance program to maintain the 42 Little Padres Park that have been built. The team also sold over 100 season-ticket accounts and several thousand tickets through the new Flex-10 Pack. Individual game tickets will be sold at a later date. The Padres also revealed their promotional schedule, which includes Friday night Party at the Park events, similar to last year's Beerfest and Oktoberfest events. The pregame festivals at Park at the Park will take on a new theme for each Friday home game and will feature food, drinks and music between 5 p.m. PT and the start of the game. Entry will be included with a paid ticket to that night's game. Other highlights include a Pacific Coast League throwback game, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Padres baseball in San Diego, at least one postgame concert on the field, the return of College Nights and several Friday Night Fireworks shows, presented by Northgate Gonzalez Market. The Padres will host a tribute to all-time saves leader and Padres legend Trevor Hoffman. The timing and details of that game will be released at a later date. San Diego manager Bud Black, set to begin his fifth season, will receive his own Bobble Head Night on May 7.