Safeco Field - Seattle Mariners tickets

Safeco Field under the roof

Safeco Field
Seattle, Washington

Tenants: Seattle Mariners (AL)
Opened: July 15, 1999 (against the San Diego Padres)
Style: Retractable roof
Surface: Grass
Capacity: 46,621 (baseball only); main bowl: 24,399; club level: 4,254; suite level: 936; upper bowl: 16,022; disabled seats: 1,010 (505 companion seats).

Architect: NBBJ (Seattle).
Construction: Stadium: Hunt-Kiewit (a joint venture between Huber, Hunt and Nichols, Inc. and (Peter) Kiewit Construction Company), Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire (Seattle); Roof: The Erection Company Inc. (Redmond).

Owner: Washington-King County stadium authority.
Cost: $517.6 million (as of July 1999).
Public financing: $340 million from a one-half-cent prepared food tax in King County and rental-car tax.
Private financing: $75 million from Mariners owners. Cost overruns of over $100 million are still being settled.

Seattle Mariners tickets:

Location: Left field (N), Royal Brougham Way; third base (W), First Avenue South; first base (S), South Atlantic Street; right field (E), Third Avenue South.

Dimensions: Left field foul pole: 331 ft.; left field power alley: 390 ft.; center field: 405 ft.; right field power alley: 386 ft.; right field foul pole: 326 ft.

Fences: 8 feet.

Seattle's new ballpark for the Mariners was built to resemble the great ballparks of yesteryear. It is open-air and has real grass. It also features a retractable roof that covers the ballpark, but does not enclose it. The roof keeps fans, 47% of whom come from outside the immediate Puget Sound area, protected from the wind and rain. 46,621 fans are able to enjoy a ballgame from seats that are closer to the field and offer great sightlines. A team store, picnic area, kids play area, on-site restaurant and a baseball museum are just a few of the fan amenities that make the ballpark a unique experience. There is also more variety in concessions and many more bathrooms! A two-level modern press box is located behind home plate. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held March 8, 1997 and the ballpark opened on July 15, 1999.

The Washington State Major League Baseball Public Facilities District (PFD) is the public body responsible for actual construction of the ballpark. The PFD worked with the Mariners on design and construction and has oversight of the ballpark now that it is built. On September 9, 1996 the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD) selected a site south of the Kingdome for Seattle's new ballpark. In December, 1996 the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club signed a 20-year lease keeping them in Seattle through at least the year 2019.

On June 4, 1998 the Mariners announced that the name of their new ballpark will be Safeco Field. For the right to have their name on the stadium, Safeco, a diversified financial services company whose roots in Seattle date back to 1923, will pay $1.8 million per year for the next 20 years.

Safeco Field hosted the 2001 All-Star game.

Outside Safeco Field

Key construction dates:

  • December 1997 - Roof track supports complete
  • May 1998 - Roof track complete
  • August 1998 - Main concourse concrete, upper bowl structural steel complete
  • February 1999 - Seating installation complete
  • April 1999 - Playing field complete
  • June 1999 - Roof complete and operational
  • July 1999 - Ballpark opens!

Finances:

STATE CONTRIBUTION:

  • Sales tax credit: State authorized, county imposed .017% sales tax, which is offset against the sales tax now collected by the state in King County. (This results in no sales tax increase to the general public).
  • Proceeds from sale of baseball stadium commemorative license plates.
  • Proceeds from sale of two to four sports theme lottery scratch games ($3 million is guaranteed from this source).

LOCAL CONTRIBUTION:

  • Special stadium sales tax of .5% on restaurants, bars and taverns in King Co.
  • Special stadium sales tax of 2% on rental cars.
  • Admissions tax: County has authority to impose two admissions taxes on the new stadium of up to 5% each.

MARINERS CONTRIBUTION:

  • The Mariners contributed $75 million. Cost overruns exceeding $100 million have yet to be settled.

Roof: Number of roof panels: 3; size: 8.75 acres; height above field: 215 ft.; weight of roof : 22,000,000 pounds; time to open/close: 20 minutes.

Miscellaneous: Elevators: 9; escalators: 11; restrooms: 76; light fixtures: 4,988; doors/gates: 1,231; scoreboard dimensions: 56 ft. x 60 ft.; number of piles in the foundation: 1400; miles of pipe for piling/foundation: 25.

Safeco Field grandstand

More on Safeco Field:

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • A Diamond in the Emerald City: The Story of Safeco Field by Frank Wetzel.
  • Fodor's Baseball Vacations, 3rd Edition: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballparks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
  • The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
  • Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
  • Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit (2nd Edition) by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
  • Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
  • Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.
  • Modern Marvels - Domed Stadiums (VHS).

Safeco Field seating diagram  Kingdome

Seattle Mariners
Safeco Field
1250 First Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134

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IMAGES:

View of Safeco Field under the roof © 1999 by Paul Munsey.
Aerial view of Safeco Field © 1999 by Mike Smith.
View outside Safeco Field © 1999 by Paul Munsey.
View of Safeco Field grandstand © 1999 by Paul Munsey.

Updated April 2005

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