Petco Park to host men's college basketball game December 5

San Diego State University Aztecs and University of San Diego Toreros to play in first-of-its-kind game

SAN DIEGO - It was announced today that Petco Park will play host to the first college basketball game in the venue's history on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. PT. The San Diego State University Aztecs and the University of San Diego Toreros will compete on an outdoor court to be built on the ballpark's infield, near home plate.

 "Petco Park has been a versatile facility that has taken on different shapes and sizes in recent years, from a tennis court to a Supercross course," said Padres President and CEO Mike Dee. "We look forward to hosting basketball activities and welcoming two local schools to play outdoors in the middle of downtown San Diego. We'd like to thank the leadership at both San Diego State and USD for working closely with us to make the vision for this game a reality."

 The court will be situated length-wise between third base and home plate, with bleacher seating on the field erected around the open sides of the court to accommodate nearly 3,300, supplementing the existing options in the seating bowl. Capacity for the event is set at nearly 20,000.

 Representatives from both schools and the Padres will be available to the media at Petco Park prior to tonight's 7:10 p.m. Padres game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates, and will participate in the pregame ceremony to mark today's announcement. Details of the availability are forthcoming.

 "We are thrilled to team up with the Padres organization to put on a very special and unique day of basketball in San Diego," said Aztecs Athletics Director Jim Sterk. "Ron Fowler, Mike Dee, Jeremy Horowitz and everyone that works for the Padres have done a great job bringing the details necessary to pull off the special event we are announcing today." 

"We are excited to be playing San Diego State in men's basketball at Petco Park," said USD Vice President for Athletics and Facilities Management Ky Snyder. "It's a great opportunity for our student-athletes to play in a unique environment, and it will also be a great venue for our students, fans and San Diego community to watch the game from. We truly appreciate the San Diego Padres organization for their efforts in making this event a reality."

2015 will mark the 18th consecutive season the teams have played each other. In the overall history of the series between the schools, they have only played at a neutral site with no designated home team one other time: Dec. 1, 1992 at the then-San Diego Sports Arena. Since 1998, the Aztecs and Toreros have alternated campus venues each year, with the Aztecs winning 12 of the 17 contests, including the last nine straight.

Toreros Head Coach Lamont Smith and his staff have seven letter winners returning from last year's squad that finished 15-16, and so far have four incoming scholarship freshmen joining the program this summer. Three of USD's returners - Jito Kok (Netherlands), Duda Sanadze (Republic of Georgia) and Vasa Pusica (Republic of Serbia) - will be playing this summer on the national team for their respective countries.

The Aztecs will return their leading scorer and rebounder in Winston Shepard and three of the team's top five scorers from last year (Shepard, Trey Kell and Malik Pope). Joining them will be incoming freshmen Jeremy Hemsley, the 2015 Los Angeles Times Player of the Year, and Brodricks Jones. Both are four-star players and appear on the Rivals 150 (Hemsley - No. 74, Jones - No. 101).

Tickets for the December contest will go on sale exclusively to Padres Members, Toreros Season Ticket Holders, SDSU men's basketball 2015-16 full season ticket holders, Aztec Club members and Aztec football full season ticket holders in June, with those eligible to purchase being notified directly by the schools or the Padres. Tickets will go on sale to the general public later this summer, and student tickets will be made available for purchase in the fall. A seating map with pricing is attached. Additional information can be found at www.padres.com/bball.