WASHINGTON -- Interim manager Pat Murphy's eyes lit up Wednesday when he was asked about the Padres' plans to play an exhibition game in March at the home of their Triple-A affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas. The game will take place on March 31, 2016, at Southwest University Park.
"I'm telling you, all baseball fans should go to El Paso to see what they have got going on there; the setting, the set up, the amenities, amenities for the players, it's first class," Murphy said.
"It's like a mini-Major League environment."
Murphy would certainly know. Prior to becoming the Padres' interim manager on June 16, he was the manager of the Chihuahuas since their inception in April 2014.
This will mark the first meeting between the Padres and one of their affiliates since 2010, when the team played a game against the Class A Lake Elsinore Storm.
"Southwest University Park is one of the best venues in Minor League Baseball, and we know the fans in El Paso create an unforgettable game environment here," said Padres team president and CEO Mike Dee at a news conference on Wednesday.
"The players and coaches who have played here in the past are looking forward to returning, and those who have not are looking forward to experiencing it firsthand, as we make our first trip to El Paso."
This will also be the first visit by a Major League team to El Paso since March 27, 2003, when the D-backs played a split-squad game in Spring Training at Cohen Stadium.
"It's an honor for the Chihuahuas to host the Padres and Major League Baseball in a town as fervent in their support as is El Paso," said Chihuahuas general manger Brad Taylor.
As for Murphy, he has no doubt how well-received the game will be.
"The fans come out in droves. They stand on the buildings for big games," he said. "They have all sorts of chants like winter ball. It's a great baseball environment and a great little town to hold an exhibition game."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.