A closer look at Petco Park

The host of this year's All-Star Game provides some breathtaking backdrops

A closer look at Petco Park

Nestled into a bustling neighborhood in downtown San Diego, Petco Park is like no other stadium around the league. Fans of other teams enviously eye the Padres' jewel of a ballpark, which opened to much fanfare in 2004, replacing Qualcomm Stadium, the team's longtime multipurpose home, which now hosts the San Diego Chargers. Petco combines a picturesque skyline backdrop with a spectacularly close proximity to San Diego Bay to create the perfect atmosphere for a day, or an evening, at the ballgame.

The Padres' unique home has plenty to offer. Along with Angel Stadium of Anaheim, it boasts the shortest distance from home plate to center field in the Majors (a mere 396 feet), which fits its cozy, friendly atmosphere. And San Diego County recently earned the title "craft beer capital of America," so it's only fitting that Petco Park embraces the sudsy trend, offering local microbrews aplenty throughout the stadium.

"There are hundreds of new breweries," says outfielder Alex Dickerson, who hails from nearby Poway, Calif. "Just a ton of variety."

The stadium's newest addition is the Barkyard, a special section of seating in left field where fans can buy tickets to take in a game with their furry friends. Just beyond the outfield, the "Park at the Park," an elevated grassy space, is open during games and allows fans to take in the action from the comfort of a blanket. Even if you can't attend a game there, get an up-close look at some of Petco Park's top features in this photo gallery.

This article appears in the MLB Official All-Star Game Program. Click here to purchase a copy, and read more features on allstargame.com.