When we announced last month that Nerd HQ would be moving to Petco Park in 2013, one of the biggest questions we were asked was, how will Petco Park host both Nerd HQ and The Walking Dead Escape at the same time?
It’s actually not a stretch. Petco Park can host several simultaneous events with its over 20 event spaces, in addition to the playing field and concourse. Each space has its own separate entrances, so you won’t have to worry about Walkers wandering into the middle of a Nerd HQ event. Unless that’s what Zac wants, which honestly we wouldn’t put it past him.
We contacted the Petco Park Events department on the logistics involved with this, and they reminded us that they did juggle multiple events last year – The Walking Dead Escape, and VH1’s Dawn Of The Con, for example. With so many venues at their disposal, they’re used to scheduling multiple events and the requirements to make each successful. For loud events, for example, they’ll schedule the timing accordingly so they won’t interfere with each other.
Saying this, we know The Walking Dead Escape will taking up several areas along the right side of Petco Park. Here is another image from Google Maps which shows the image above from the perspective of home plate:
That leaves the entire left side Walker-free, and Zac’s for the taking. This is where we believe Nerd HQ to be held. Specifically, the Left Field Concourse, with a capacity of 1475 guests, as well as the Western Metals Concourse (capacity 235) and Western Metals Rooftop (capacity 375).
The Petco Park Events website shows pictures of the spaces above in a variety of special events settings, so it’s easy to see it as something other than for baseball (or zombies). For example, the Left Field Concourse pictorial includes a stage setup, something we could easily see being used for panels, as well as tables and booths which could be used for the various signings and exhibitor booths Nerd HQ has had in the past.
Adding the Western Metals building into the mix transforms the area into a killer party location, complete with a bar/restaurant, a rooftop stage and a killer view of the Gaslamp.
This makes sense to us given the size of Nerd HQ last year at Block 16 and Culy Warehouse. Block 16, used for the nighttime events, has a capacity of around 1000 guests, while Culy Warehouse, where the panels and signings were held, had a capacity of around 400 guests. That brings last year’s total to a maximum capacity of 1400.
Utilizing multiple connected spaces within Petco Park this year, for a maximum capacity of around 2000, allows the event to grow without growing too big, too fast. For comparison, Nerd HQ grew from about 600 in 2011, when it was held at Jolt’n Joe’s, to the aforementioned 1400 last year. Also, last year’s panels were restricted to 300 attendees, so hopefully the increase in space means it will accommodate more folks, yet still retaining that intimate setting.
Excited for Nerd HQ this year? Let us know in the comments.