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.
($340M from taxpayers +
$100M in overruns still
$75M from Mariners)
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.
to Safeco Field!
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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.
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.
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