College basketball is coming to Petco Park. The Padres announced Friday that their home stadium will play host to a game between San Diego State and the University of San Diego on Dec. 5. It will be the first college basketball game in the 11-year history of the stadium.
The outdoor court will be built on the infield near home plate, and a capacity crowd for basketball will be nearly 20,000 fans. Bleacher seating will be erected on both open sides of the court.
"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," Padres president and chief executive officer Mike Dee said in a news release. "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."
San Diego State and the University of San Diego have played each other in each of the past 17 seasons, but they've only competed at a neutral site one previous time. They played each other at the San Diego Sports Arena in 1992, and they've alternated campus venues in every meeting since then.
"We are thrilled to team up with the Padres organization to put on a very special and unique day of basketball in San Diego," San Diego State athletics director Jim Sterk said in an official statement. "Everyone that works for the Padres [has] done a great job bringing the details necessary to pull off the special event we are announcing today."
Tickets for the December game will initially go on sale exclusively to Padres Members and to ticket-holders for each of the respective schools. Eligible customers will be notified directly by the Padres or one of the schools, and tickets will go on sale to the general public later in the summer.
Additional information can be found at www.padres.com/bball.
"We are excited to be playing San Diego State in men's basketball at Petco Park," USD vice president for athletics and facilities management Ky Snyder said in an official statement. "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."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.