Giants gear up for new season at AT&T Park

April 1, 2009 7:34:55 PM PDT
The San Francisco Giants open a series of exhibition games starting Thursday night and opening day is next Tuesday. This season, fans will notice some changes at AT&T Park, brought about by the economy and the environment.

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The uniforms may still be orange and black, but the Giants have gone green.

Some of the green comes with Gilroy Garlic Fries. The concession stand is the ballpark's first sustainable stand.

Also new at the park: Tres Agaves features a hot dog wrapped in bacon, inspired by Mexican street vendors. The chicken parmigana sandwich is new at $8.75

The Giants are facing a big obstacle this season. Not an opposing pitcher, but the economy.

"Overall we've kept our ticket prices flat, we're trying to find ways to make it a less expensive adventure for families," managing general partner William Neukom said.

More than 2.8 million people saw games last year, but season ticket sales are down.

"We actually think there is an opportunity in these down times; people are looking for something, an escape, a diversion from the headlines in the newspaper," vice president of consumer marketing Tom McDonald said.

Experts think fans could care less about off season issues like drugs and salaries.

"People come to see baseball and they pretty much ignore the media chatter," San Francisco Examiner columnist Glenn Dickey said.

So optimism reigns supreme. When the Giants begin their 10th season at AT&T Park, and hero US Air pilot Sully Sullenberger will throw out the first pitch.

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