Not all learning can be accomplished inside the classroom; hands-on experience is critical in sports business. SMBA ’15 had the pleasure of traveling to Petco Park on a sunny morning to meet SMBA alumni Veronica Noguera (’09) and Roberto Castro (’11) of the San Diego Padres and to tour Petco Park. Veronica began her career with the Padres at their training program in the Dominican Republic while completing the program. During her time in the Dominican Republic, a significant portion of Veronica’s work involved youth development. She worked with local schools where her main goal was to provide improved resources to the children through the Padres initiatives. For the last few years, Veronica has continued to work with the Padres in San Diego and is currently Manager of Community Relations.
Roberto Castro is the Manager of Event Operations for the Padres and has been working with the Padres for over 15 years. Roberto graciously led the SMBA class on a tour of Petco Park and provided the group with a bounty of information and helpful insights about operations and event management. Roberto has a wealth of knowledge about the history of Petco Park and discussed some of the new initiatives the Padres organization is taking on this year, such as digital membership for season ticket holders and the new Ballast Point Tap Room. The digital membership initiative will provide a season ticket holder with digital access to their tickets and other perks, such as a linked payment account to facilitate purchases and provide discounts inside the park. The Ballast Point Tap Room is a new attraction for San Diego’s craft beer lovers opening this spring. In addition, Roberto also provided interesting insight into other event functions of the ball park that he manages, apart from game-day operations. The group was fascinated to learn about the the various festivals, concerts and private parties held at Petco Park. Especially interesting was the annual Walking Dead Escape held at Petco Park every fall in conjunction with Comic-Con. At this event, participants enter a zombie ridden ball park to test their survival skills, attempting to avoid the zombie threats.
On behalf of SMBA ’15, thank you Roberto for your time in showing us the park and providing an inside look at the business of event management. The visit at the park was a truly memorable experience for everyone!