Petco to host rally in honor of San Diego community

Petco to host rally in honor of San Diego community

SAN DIEGO -- Petco Park, now home to San Diego's only major professional sports team, will play host to a "Celebrate San Diego Rally" on Feb. 11, in the wake of the Chargers' relocation to Los Angeles.

The event -- which was organized by local sports teams, elected officials and other prominent members of the community -- is free to the public and will feature appearances by former pitchers Trevor Hoffman and Randy Jones and current manager Andy Green.

"Those of us fortunate enough to call San Diego home know exactly how special this city is," Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said in a statement. "We are proud to join forces with so many local leaders in a celebration of our community."

As part of the rally, the Padres are offering an exchange of Chargers gear in good condition for a $25 credit at their team store. All Chargers apparel will be donated to charity.

Immediately following the Chargers' departure, the Padres' organization expressed its disappointment with the decision. But members of the team have also said they don't feel pressure to fill that void.

"It rips a piece out of the city, and that's hard for the city to get through," Green said. "... I don't think there's going to be an effort to replace the Chargers by the San Diego Padres. We're going to try and go out and play a brand of baseball that the city connects with, is inspired by and wants to believe in."

Wil Myers, the newly minted face of the franchise after he signed a six-year contract extension, echoed that sentiment at his Monday news conference.

"It's definitely unfortunate to lose the Chargers, but that doesn't change anything for us," Myers said. "We go out every single day with a plan to win. We don't really look at what can we do since the Chargers left. It's more so just going out and playing our game, giving something for this city to really build around."

The rally -- which will run from 1 to 3 p.m. PT, with gates opening at 10 a.m. -- is a collaboration between the Padres, the San Diego Gulls, San Diego Sockers, San Diego State Aztecs, University of San Diego Toreros, University of California San Diego Tritons and the city of San Diego itself. Padres broadcaster Ted Leitner will serve as MC, and a number of other prominent figures are set to speak.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.