T-Mobile Park (then Safeco Field) in April 2007
|Former names||Safeco Field (1999-2018)|
|Address||1250 First Avenue South|
|Location||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Public transit|| Stadium Station|
King Street Station
|Owner||Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District|
|Operator||Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District|
|Record attendance||WrestleMania XIX 54,097|
|Field size||Left Field - 331 ft (101 m)|
Left-Center - 378 ft (115 m)
Center Field - 401 ft (122 m)
Right-Center - 381 ft (116 m)
Right Field - 326 ft (99 m)
Backstop - 69 ft (21 m)
|Surface||Kentucky Blue Grass /|
Perennial Ryegrass blend
|Broke ground||March 8, 1997|
|Opened||July 15, 1999|
|Construction cost||$517 million|
($794 million in 2019 dollars)
|Project manager||The Vosk Group LLP|
|Structural engineer||Magnusson Klemencic Associates|
|Services engineer||Flack + Kurtz Inc.|
|Main contractors||The Erection Company Inc.|
|Seattle Mariners (MLB) (1999-present) |
Seattle Bowl (NCAA) (2001)
T-Mobile Park is a retractable roof baseball park located in Seattle, Washington, United States. Owned and operated by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District, it is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB) and has a seating capacity of 47,929 for baseball. It is located in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood, near the western terminus of Interstate 90. The first game at the stadium was played on July 15, 1999.
During the 1990s, the suitability of the Mariners' original stadium--the Kingdome--as an MLB facility came under question, and the team's ownership group threatened to relocate the team. In September 1995, King County voters defeated a ballot measure to secure public funding for a new baseball stadium. Shortly thereafter, the Mariners' first appearance in the MLB postseason and their victory in the 1995 American League Division Series (ALDS) revived a public desire to keep the team in Seattle. As a result, the Washington State Legislature approved an alternate means of funding for the stadium with public money. The site for the stadium, just south of the Kingdome, was selected in September 1996 and construction began in March 1997. The bonds issued to finance Safeco Field were retired on October 1, 2011, five years earlier than anticipated.
Aside from professional baseball, T-Mobile Park is also used for amateur baseball events including the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association high school state championships and one Washington Huskies game per season. Major non-baseball events that have been held at T-Mobile Park include the 2001 Seattle Bowl, as well as WrestleMania XIX in 2003 which attracted the stadium's record attendance of 54,097.
The ballpark was originally named Safeco Field under a 20-year naming-rights deal with Seattle-based Safeco Insurance. Safeco declined to renew the agreement beyond the 2018 season. The naming rights were acquired by T-Mobile on December 19, 2018, with the name change taking effect January 1, 2019.
T-Mobile Park is located in the SoDo district of downtown Seattle, bounded by Dave Niehaus Way (a block of 1st Avenue S.) to the west, Edgar Martínez Drive (formerly S. Atlantic Street) to the south, Royal Brougham Way to the north, and BNSF railroad tracks to the east. The stadium is located near the western terminus of Interstate 90, the longest interstate in the United States.
Parking is available at the stadium's parking garage located across Edgar Martínez Drive, the CenturyLink Field garage to the North, and other privately operated lots in the area. Sounder commuter rail services nearby King Street Station. T-Mobile Park is also served by Sound Transit's Central Link light rail line and local Metro bus routes via the nearby Stadium Station.
On March 30, 1994, county executive Gary Locke appointed a task force to assess the need for a new 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 0.1% (to 8.3%) would be sufficient to fund the stadium. King County held a special election on September 19, asking the public for this sales tax increase; the measure led early, but was narrowly defeated by one-fifth of one percent.
On October 14, a special session of the state legislature authorized a different funding package for a new stadium that included a food and beverage tax in King County restaurants and bars, car rental surcharge in King County, a ballpark admissions tax, a credit against the state sales tax, and sale of a special stadium license plate. Nine days later, the King County Council approved the funding package, and established the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District to own the ballpark and oversee design and construction. Taxpayer suits opposing the legislative actions and the taxes failed in the courts.
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, requesting a postponement of the projected $384.5-million stadium project. In response, Mariners ownership held a news conference stating that they would either sell the team or move it from Seattle. After a public outcry, the King County Council voted to reaffirm their cooperation with the Mariners in building a new stadium. Team ownership contributed $145 million to cover cost overruns.
Construction officially began in 1997, with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 8 featuring Mariners star Ken Griffey, Jr. The construction, overseen by Chief Financial Officer (and current team President and minority owner) Kevin Mather, continued through the beginning of the 1999 season. Its first game was on Thursday, July 15, immediately after the All-Star break; the Mariners lost 3-2 to the San Diego Padres with 44,607 in attendance.
The naming rights were sold to Seattle-based Safeco Insurance in June 1998, who paid $40 million for a 20-year deal. The 2018 season was the last played under this name, and the Safeco signage was removed from the ballpark beginning that November. The naming rights were awarded to T-Mobile on December 19, an agreement that will last 25 years, and the name change officially took effect on January 1, 2019.
Ken Griffey, Jr. returned to Safeco Field in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds (where he had been traded to after the 1999 season) to a hero's welcome. In commemoration of Griffey's achievements with the team, the Mariners unveiled a new poster that declared Safeco Field "The House That Griffey Built."
The Mariners moved the fences at Safeco Field closer to home plate prior to the 2013 season "to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers," according to General Manager Jack Zduriencik. Safeco Field had been considered one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the majors since it had opened. The center field scoreboard and ad panels were replaced with an 11,435 square foot (1,062.3 m2) board during renovations, becoming the largest among all stadium scoreboards in the major leagues at the time.
After the 2017 season, the field surface, in place since the stadium opened in 1999, underwent its first full replacement. The infield and foul territory were redone in 2012, but the outfield had never been replaced before the resodding.
Like most ballparks built from the 1990s onward, T-Mobile Park is a 'retro-modern' style ballpark that incorporates many of the features of ballparks built in the 1950s and earlier with modern amenities. In contrast with the Kingdome and the other multi-purpose stadiums built primarily during the 1960s and 1970s, T-Mobile Park features a brick façade, an asymmetrical field dimension, a natural grass field, spectator sightlines more suited for baseball, and is surrounded by city streets, a railroad line, and buildings. Modern features include a retractable roof, luxury suites, extensive food and beverage selection beyond traditional ballpark fare, full ADA-accessibility, and previously had technology that allowed spectators to monitor special game-time features with Nintendo DS receivers.
The ballpark has four main gates open to all ticket holders during Mariners games, located at the southwest, northwest, northeast, and southeast corners. These are identified as Home Plate, Left Field, Center Field, and Right Field, respectively. Entry to all ticket holders is also available through the Mariners Team Store off 1st Avenue and at "The 'Pen" entry behind the bull pens in left field. Special entrances for media and holders of certain ticket levels are located on the southwest and south sides of the stadium.
There are five main levels to the stadium: Field (or Street), Main Concourse (100 level - 20,634 seats), Club Level (200 level - 4,585 seats), Suite Level (1,945 seats), and Upper Concourse (300 level - 15,955 seats). Two bleacher sections are located above left field and below the center field scoreboard, with 3,706 seats. The Broadcast Center (press box) is located on the Club Level and sub-level between it and the Main Level. As the field is approximately at street level, entry into any of the main gates requires visitors to ascend a flight of stairs, escalator, or elevator to access the main concourse, with the exception of the Right Field Entry, which opens onto the main concourse. Stairs, escalators, elevators, and ramps located around the ballpark provide access to all levels.
T-Mobile Park has an extensive food and beverage selection above and beyond the traditional ballpark fare of hot dog, pizza, soda, and beer. Concession stands selling traditional ballpark fare are plentiful on the main and upper concourses. Food courts behind home plate on the main concourse, as well as in "The 'Pen" (known as the Bullpen Market prior to a major 2011 remodel) located on the street level inside the Center Field gate, sell items such as sushi, burritos, teriyaki, stir-fries, pad thai, garlic fries, crepes, health food, seafood, and barbecue. An extensive selection of beer can also be found in those locations, as well as a location on the upper concourse. Patrons could previously order food with a Nintendo DS app called Nintendo Fan Network.
Several restaurants and food services are available exclusively for fans purchasing certain ticket levels:
T-Mobile Park has a unique retractable roof that only acts as an "umbrella" for the playing field and stands, rather than forming a complete climate-controlled enclosure, as is the case with all other retractable roofs in Major League Baseball. The park rarely needs to be heated or cooled due to Seattle's mild climate, but frequent precipitation necessitated a roof. The roof is sometimes closed on particularly cold nights, which helps prevent radiation heat loss. The only other covered baseball stadium in the world with permanent openings is the fixed-roof Seibu Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan, home of the Saitama Seibu Lions.
In the open position, the roof rests over the BNSF Railway tracks that bound the stadium to the east, with part of it hanging over the stands in right field. This has the effect of echoing the whistles from passing trains into the stadium. Train whistles were a frequent fixture of the T-Mobile Park experience initially, but abated significantly when an overpass was built for Royal Brougham Way, the street that bounds the stadium to the north which previously crossed the tracks.
The roof consists of three major sections that extend into the closed position in a telescoping manner, with the two outer sections resting under the larger center section. Each section rests on a set of parallel tracks located on the north and south sides of the stadium, with the outer sections moving along the inner set of tracks, and the center section moving along the outer set. Each section is structurally independent; i.e., no section depends on another for structural stability. "Welcome to T-Mobile Park, Seattle" is painted on top of the center section, visible from aircraft whether the roof is open or closed. A lighted "Safeco Field" sign was added to the east side of the roof in 2007, which aids in identification of the stadium from the freeways to the east.
Each section is independently powered by electric motors that move the respective sections along the tracks. It is controlled from a central control room located under the center field scoreboard. Depending on wind and weather conditions, the roof takes approximately ten minutes to move from the fully open to the fully closed position, and vice versa. The roof movement is nearly silent, blending in with the ambient noise typically present during a game. During normal operation, the movement of each section is governed by computers, with all three sections moving at the same time. During an emergency or maintenance operation, each section can be independently moved. A working spare motor and wheel assembly for the roof can be found inside the center field gate. In its present state, it serves to educate visitors on how the roof operates, but if needed, it can be used to replace a similar part on the roof should one become damaged or defective.
On April 7, 2013, Total Pro Sports voted Safeco Field the 8th Best Place to Catch a Game in 2013, mainly owing the award to the design of the retractable roof.
Batted ball striking the roof or roof trusses:
Movement of the roof:
T-Mobile Park features a manual scoreboard, the second-largest HD video display scoreboard in MLB, a color LED out-of-town scoreboard, and LED ribbon boards along the terraces. The main scoreboard, which replaced the original scoreboard above the center field bleachers prior to the 2013 season, is more than 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) in area. The board can be used either all at once, such as for live action or video replays, or split into sections for displaying information such as statistics and advertisements.
Additionally, television screens showing the local telecast of the game hang from the bottom of the Terrace Club level, for spectators seated in the last several rows of the main concourse seating areas, as well as those standing on the main concourse. Though fans in these areas have a full view of the field, their view of the scoreboards is obstructed by the overhang of the Terrace Club level. These screens display the content shown on the video board between innings or when the telecast is on a commercial break.
T-Mobile Park and its adjoining parking garage feature extensive public art displays, including:
The Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest pays homage to now-defunct professional baseball teams that played in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia before the establishment of the Mariners in 1977. Additionally, it features hands-on displays explaining the composition of baseballs and bats, and the different types of gloves, as well as a replica outfield fence with props to allow fans to photograph themselves pretending to be outfielders.
Co-located with the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest, the Mariners Hall of Fame features bronze plaques of the nine inducted members: Alvin Davis (1997), Broadcaster Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004), Edgar Martínez (2007), Randy Johnson (2012), Dan Wilson (2012), Ken Griffey, Jr. (2013), Lou Pinella (2014) and Jamie Moyer (2015). Those plaques describe their contributions to the franchise, as well as murals and television screens showing highlights of their careers with the Mariners.
A bronze statue of Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus (1935-2010) was unveiled on September 16, 2011. The statue captures the broadcaster honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award in 2008, and who broadcast 5,284 Mariners games over 34 seasons (1977-2010), at a desk, behind a microphone, wearing headphones with his Mariners scorebook in front of him. His scorebook is opened to the box score for Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series, when Edgar Martínez hit "The Double". There is an empty seat next to the statue, so fans can sit next to Niehaus and pose for photos. His longtime broadcast partner Rick Rizzs presided over a private ceremony to unveil the statue. The Dave Niehaus Broadcast Center is located on the Club Level behind home plate. When Niehaus died, his headset and microphone were placed by his empty seat in the Broadcast Center as a tribute.
Prior to the 2017 season, a statue of Ken Griffey Jr. was unveiled outside the Home Plate Entrance to the ballpark. Following the 2017 season, the bat was broken off in an attempt to steal it, but a bystander from the office building across the street was able to run down the perpetrator and recover the bat, which was subsequently reattached.
The flagship Mariners Team Store is located on the west side of the stadium. The first level of the store, on the street level, sells a comprehensive assortment of Mariners merchandise, while the upper level, on the main concourse, displays game-used items for sale, as well as a custom jersey embroidery station. Other stores include the Kids' Clubhouse at the northeast corner on the main concourse, a walk-in store at the southwest corner on the upper concourse, a store near the bridge from the parking garage on the club level, and kiosks throughout the ballpark.
Children's Hospital Playfield is a playground for children located at the northeast corner of the stadium on the main concourse. Also located in this area is "Moose's Munchies", a concession stand selling ballpark fare in child-sized portions.
The Moose Den, located on the main concourse near the Children's Hospital Playfield, is a meet-and-greet area for the Mariner Moose, the team's mascot.
T-Mobile Park also gives walking tours of the stadium for $12 as of April 2017. Departing from the main Team Store, the tour includes information about the stadium not generally provided at games, as well as entry into areas not open to the general public during games, including the visitors' clubhouse, playing field and dugouts, Dave Niehaus Broadcast Center (press box), and a luxury suite.
On May 4, 2007, an NCAA Pacific-10 Conference baseball attendance record was set when the Washington Huskies hosted defending National Champion Oregon State in front of 10,421 spectators. Washington won the game, 6-2.
The stadium has hosted several soccer matches prior to the opening of CenturyLink Field, which was designed for soccer. To prepare for soccer matches, the field has to be sodded to cover and replace the dirt infield.
The stadium hosted four matches during the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup in November, including two matches featuring the United States women's national soccer team, as part of qualification for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. The first U.S. match, against Panama, had an attendance of 21,522; the second match, against Costa Rica, was attended by 10,079 fans.
|Date||Winning Team||Result||Losing Team||Tournament||Spectators|
|March 2, 2002||United States||4-0||Honduras||International Friendly||38,534|
|November 2, 2002||Mexico||2-0||Trinidad and Tobago||2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup First Round||--|
|November 6, 2002||Canada||2-0||Mexico||2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup Semifinal||--|
|United States||7-0||Costa Rica||10,079|
On March 30, 2003, the stadium was host to WrestleMania XIX, which set an all-time record attendance for the facility of 54,097.
|Date||Artist||Opening act(s)||Tour / Concert name||Attendance||Revenue||Notes|
|September 16, 2008||The Beach Boys||--||--||--||--||The stadium's first concert, although it was not open to the public.|
|July 19, 2013||Paul McCartney||--||Out There Tour||45,229 / 45,229||$4,525,200||The stadium's first public concert, it also featured former Nirvana members on a performance of the song "Cut Me Some Slack".|
|July 30, 2014||Beyoncé
|--||On the Run Tour||40,615 / 40,615||$4,339,642|
|May 20, 2016||Billy Joel||Gavin DeGraw||Billy Joel in Concert||36,582 / 36,582||$4,045,000|
|August 19, 2017||Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers||The Lumineers||40th Anniversary Tour||42,199 / 46,050||$3,665,292|
|August 8, 2018||Pearl Jam||--||Pearl Jam 2018 Tour||88,142 / 91,918||$7,829,518||This was the first time in five years since the band last played in their hometown.|
|August 10, 2018|
|August 31, 2018||Zac Brown Band||OneRepublic||Down the Rabbit Hole Live||TBA||TBA|
|September 1, 2018||Foo Fighters||Giants in the Trees and The Joy Formidable||Concrete and Gold Tour||37,825 / 49,131||$2,913,484||The surviving members of Nirvana reunited for a few songs.|
|October 19, 2019||The Who||Liam Gallagher||Moving On! Tour||--||--|
|July 17, 2020||Green Day
Fall Out Boy
|The Interrupters||Hella Mega Tour||TBA||TBA|