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"If the Expos come up with an offer I can't refuse, I wouldn't turn it down."
--Gary Carter, Montreal Expos catcher


Safeco Field

By Wikipedia

Safeco Field, also known as "The Safe", is the home of the Seattle Mariners baseball club. The stadium seats 46,621, and was the host for the 2001 MLB All Star Game, the 2001 and 2002 Seattle Bowl, and WrestleMania XIX in 2003.

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 1250 First Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98134
Broke ground March 8, 1997
Opened July 15, 1999
Replaced Kingdome
Owner Washington-King County
Stadium Authority
Surface Grass
Construction cost $517.6M
($340M from taxpayers +
$100M in overruns still
$75M from Mariners)
Architect NBBJ
Seattle Mariners (1999-)
Seating capacity
46,621 (1999)
Left Field - 331 ft
Left-Center - 390 ft
Center Field - 405 ft
Right-Center - 386 ft
Right Field - 326 ft

Safeco Field is located in the SoDo district of Seattle, at the intersection of 1st Avenue South and South Edgar Martinez Drive (formerly South Atlantic Street).


On March 30, 1994, King County executive Gary Locke appointed a task force to assess the need for a new Major League Baseball stadium to replace the rapidly-deteriorating Kingdome. Many feared that the Mariners would leave Seattle if a new stadium was not built. In January 1995, the 28-member task force recommended to the King County Council that the public should be involved in the financing of the stadium. The task force concluded that a sales tax increase of .01% would be sufficient to fund the stadium. King County held a special election in September 1995, asking the public for this sales tax increase. The measure was narrowly defeated.

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A special session of the Washington State legislature was called and on October 14, a new revenue package was authorized. The stadium would be funded by a credit against the state sales tax, lottery funds, a .3% restaurant and bar tax, special license plates, and stadium admissions tax. The next week, the King County Council voted to approve this measure and created the Public Facilities District, which would own the stadium and oversee its construction.

On September 9, 1996, the site was selected for the new stadium, just south of the Kingdome. In late fall, several members of the King County Council wrote a letter to the Seattle Mariners, stating that they did not believe that public money should fund this project. In response, the Seattle Mariners held a news conference stating that they would either sell the team, or move the team from Seattle. After a public outcry, the King County Council voted to reaffirm their cooperation with the Mariners in building a new stadium.

Construction officially began on March 8, 1997 with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring Mariners star Ken Griffey, Jr. The naming rights to the stadium were sold to the Seattle-based insurance company Safeco. Construction continued until July 1999. The first game was played on July 15, 1999 against the San Diego Padres.

Safeco Field has a unique retracting roof that, rather than fully enclose the stadium as the roof of stadiums like Bank One Ballpark and Enron Field do, only acts as an umbrella for the stands and field.

Safeco Field!

The second Anaheim batter has just come up to bat in the second inning September 12, 2003. The Mariners would go on to win 7-4.

Photo by Connor Lee. See original here.


07/15/1999 Padres 3, Mariners 2
Umpires Jim Joyce, Rich Garcia
  Mike Reilly, Brian O'Nora
Managers Lou Piniella, Mariners
  Bruce Bochy, Padres
Starting Pitchers Jamie Moyer, Mariners
  Andy Ashby, Padres
Ceremonial Pitch Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus
Attendance 44,607
Batter Quilvio Veras (groundout)
Hit Eric Owens (single)
Run Quilvio Veras
RBI Phil Nevin
Single Eric Owens
Double David Bell
Triple Tom Lampkin (07/17/1999)
Home Run Russ Davis (07/17/1999)
Grand Slam Raul Ibanez (07/17/1999)
IPHR (None)
Stolen Base Ruben Rivera
Sacrifice Hit Eric Owens
Sacrifice Fly Eric Owens
Cycle Miguel Tejada (09/29/2001)
Win Will Cunnane
Loss Jose Mesa
Shutout Randy Johnson (07/20/1999)
Save Dan Miceli
Hit by Pitch John Halama hit Kelly Stinnett (07/18/1999)
Wild Pitch Sterling Hitchcock (07/16/1999)
Balk Ramon Ortiz (09/26/1999)
No-Hitter (None)
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet

Related books on Safeco Field:
A Diamond in the Emerald City: The Story of Safeco Field by Frank Wetzel.

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit 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.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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Safeco from space

USGS Photo

Year by Year statistics: for Safeco Field

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