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Padres team president wants to build stronger ties in South County

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The San Diego Padres are trying to extend their reach into the community while building the team into a contender, team President and CEO Tom Garfinkel said at the South County Economic Development Council's holiday breakfast on Tuesday.

Garfinkel spoke to more than 100 South County officials, business owners and residents, highlighting what the team has done for the area and what it plans to do in the future.

"Last year we donated 11,000 jerseys to [San Diego County] little leagues and this year we plan to donate 14,000 jerseys," Garfinkel said. "With the money saved from leagues not having to purchase jerseys, they can fix their snack shops and fields."

Garfinkel also talked about ways the Padres are trying to attract people to games, such as collaborating with more local restaurants to offer their food inside Petco Park and bringing more local musical acts to the East Village. Garfinkel said he has been talking with the team's marketing department and the plan next year is to have more concerts before and after the games.

"We are trying to be more interactive with our fans and give them what they want," Garfinkel said. "I put the question out there on my Twitter page, for those who follow me, to see what local bands (and singers) fans want to see and we were getting a good consensus of what fans want."

Garfinkel also talked about the team's deal with Fox Sports San Diego, the team's broadcasting partner, in which all of the games that are not nationally broadcast are televised locally, except for county residents with Time Warner Cable.

"Time Warner has chosen not to make a deal," Garfinkel said, adding that the local cable and satellite providers pay the same amount to air Padres games. "We can't force them to carry the team."

On the field, Garfinkel said the plan is to keep the core of its young players and sign them to contracts and keep them in San Diego in their prime, as they have done with Cameron Maybin and Cory Luebke, who are both signed through 2016.

"We want to build our core team via our farm system and go win," Garfinkel said. The Padres have also shown they want to sprinkle in veteran free agents -- like with the multiyear deals of Carlos Quentin, who is signed through 2015 with an option year in 2016, and Huston Street, who is under contract through 2014 with an option in 2015.

Garfinkel said the team will spend $20 million more in 2013 than it did in 2012 season just to keep current players.

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