Forget Hospitality: Let's Go, Padres! Beat L.A.!

MLB's National League Division Series shifts to Petco Park; San Diego's new tourism head reps top cheerleader role

With a 5-3 win, fans of Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres were elated as the team rose to the occasion in postseason play Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The National League Division Series is now tied at 1-1.

The Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers square off in Game 3 in the best-of-five series on Friday, October 14, at Petco Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5:37 p.m.

Nobody’s rooting louder for the Padres to rally than the city’s top hospitality cheerleader. San Diego Tourism Authority CEO Julie Coker put her money where her mouth is in a bet with her Los Angeles counterpart.

San Diego Tourism Authority president and CEO Julie Coker.

L.A. Tourism & Convention Board CEO Adam Burke initiated the wager. He challenged on LinkedIn:

Okay, Julie Coker! How about a friendly wager on the Major League Baseball NLDS?

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres – loser makes a charitable donation to the non-profit of the winner’s choice. The Midnight Mission in LA or Feeding San Diego.

Coker rose to the moment, accepted the bet and upped the ante:

You’re ON, Adam Burke! Feeding San Diego is a wonderful organization and partner – they look forward to your donation.

But let’s up the ante: Loser also must also change their profile photo to the winning team’s logo for the remainder of Major League Baseball postseason. You’ll look great in brown and gold!

Petco Park. (This photo and lead photo, Getty Images)

San Diegans are amped up for the Friday home game in downtown San Diego. This’ll be the first home postseason game since 2006 that fans will have a chance to see live.

If the Padres can manage a win on Friday, the team could actually CLINCH the series with a win at Petco Park on Saturday, October 15. Game Four is scheduled for a 6:37 p.m. start time.

“Having the Padres play in the postseason is exciting for the fans and ignites the city in a way that only sports can do,” Coker says. “Beating L.A. is the cherry on top.”

She’s confident she won’t have to change her LinkedIn profile photo.

TO NOTE: Coker crossed the country to head up the San Diego Tourism Authority in 2020 after leaving the similar top role at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Phillies have also advanced to the NLDS and are in their own best-of-five series with the Atlanta Braves.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but…If the underdog Padres and Phillies both advance, they’ll play in the next round. Will Coker call on her replacement in Philadelphia to make a similar wager?

“Tough one, but I’m with the hometown team on that one,” she says. “Go Padres! The bet would probably be for fish tacos and cheesesteaks.” SDSun


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