Hi again everyone! I hope you all had a nice week and are gearing up for a fun and relaxing weekend. For this blog entry, I interviewed Ashley Trueman, Account Executive at the San Diego Padres. Over the past few months, Ashley has helped the IOCDF set up a fundraising program that offers deeply discounted tickets to conference attendees to 2 Padre's baseball games during the weekend of the Conference with a portion of the sales being donated back to the IOCDF- very cool, right? Ashley, a San Diego native, gives us some tips and tricks for new comers to the San Diego area, including fun places to visit and great places to eat while enjoying some down-time before, during, or after the Conference.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became involved in the Padres
I’m a San Diego native and have worked in sports either interning, volunteering, or full-time since I was 14 years old. After working in the athletic department at Arizona State University for 4 years, I took a seasonal sports sales position with the LA Tennis Open at UCLA. I never thought I wanted to do sales, but knew it was the best path into a professional sports organization. When I was presented with the chance to go back to San Diego and work for the Padres, my home town team, it was an easy decision to make. I’ve been with the Padres since October 2009 and I’m still selling and loving it!
Tell us a little bit more about this program with MLB to give back to non-profits via ticket sales.
The online fundraising program via a promo code the IOCDF is using is a way the Padres can help programs who are spread out all over the country earn funds in conjunction with a trip they have planned to San Diego. While online fundraising is something many MLB teams have, the Padres go a step above. When I started with the Padres I noticed in the group ticket discount format there was an opportunity for fundraising, but it wasn’t presented as an official program. Last season, I used my own high school as a guinea pig and their music department earned over $2,700.00, which was their largest fundraiser of the year. Since then, the program has expanded to dozens of high school music and athletic programs, animal rescues, churches and other non-profits. Fundraising with the Padres has become my labor of love. I am who I am today because of my involvement in high school music and sports teams. I get to cry a lot of happy tears at my job helping causes that are important to me and the residents of San Diego.
What makes a visit to Petco Park a memorable experience while visiting San Diego?
I know I’m partial as a San Diego native and Padres employee, but PETCO Park is the most beautiful ballpark there is! I’ve even had Boston Red Sox fans compliment the ballpark. Baseball is a very family-friendly sport and I believe PETCO Park is the most family friendly ballpark in the country. We have a tee-ball field, sand box and playground in the "Park at the Park", Breakfast at the Park in the outfield every Sunday morning, and Sunday Signings every week as well. I’ve worked for several sports teams and can honestly say there is no other team or ballpark that can come close to being as welcoming as we are.
Do you have any recommendations for food near or in the stadium?
Yes! One of the perks of working in the front office is we get to taste test the food our catering partner offers. As an employee of a baseball team who doesn’t like hot dogs or beer, I’m pleased to report there are tons of options at the ballpark and in the Gaslamp District around the ballpark.
My favorites inside the ballpark:
- Filippi’s Pizza
- Westwinds Sushi- sit down and can watch the game from restaurant
- Club 19- sit down restaurant with full bar, cannot see the game
- Randy Jones BBQ
- PCL Club- sit down restaurant with full bar, cannot see the game
My Gaslamp District Favorites (AKA, Padres Employees Lunch Break Favorites):
- Tin Fish- double salmon taco platter, extra seasoning on the fries (right across from the convention center, next to the OMNI)
- Kabob Shop- fast food or sit down, very fresh (lamb doner kabob= yummy!)
- Lolita’s- traditional San Diego Mexican fast food, Can’t leave SD without having a carne asada burrito
If you were a tourist visiting the San Diego area, what else would you do while in town?
- The beach is free, so you definitely have to check that out
- Tour the USS Midway museum
- The Hornblower harbor cruises are a great and you can see sea lions, seals, and sometimes whales!
- Go to the San Diego ZOO, or better yet if you have access to a car, drive the 30ish miles north and go to the Wild Animal Park (now called the San Diego Zoo Safari Park). It’s bigger than the Zoo and the animals are in much more natural settings. The monorail ride is a must.
- Seaworld- you must see the Pets Rule show- all the animals are rescues! The Sea Lion show is also a favorite (Clyde and Seamore are hilarious!)
- Seaport Village is great little shopping area
Thank you Ashley for all of these great ideas! Tickets to the Thursday, July 28th Padres game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Sunday, July 31 game against the Colorado Rockies are available to our conference attendees at up to 40% off of face value. Visit www.padres.com/IOCDF for more information or to order your tickets! I know I definitely want to check out Breakfast in the Park during the Sunday, July 31 game- what are all of you looking forward to seeing most during your stay in San Diego?