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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

T-Mobile Park
T mobile park logo.svg
SafecoFieldTop.jpg
T-Mobile Park (then Safeco Field) in 2007
T-Mobile Park is located in Downtown Seattle
T-Mobile Park
T-Mobile Park
Location near Downtown Seattle
T-Mobile Park is located in Washington (state)
T-Mobile Park
T-Mobile Park
Location in Washington
T-Mobile Park is located in the United States
T-Mobile Park
T-Mobile Park
Location in the United States
Former namesSafeco Field (1999–2018)
Address1250 First Avenue South
LocationSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Coordinates47°35′28″N 122°19′59″W / 47.591°N 122.333°W / 47.591; -122.333
Public transitLine 1 (Sound Transit) icon.svg Stadium
Amtrak Sounder commuter rail King Street Station
OwnerWashington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District
OperatorWashington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District
CapacityBaseball: 47,929[1]
Football: 30,144
Record attendanceWrestleMania XIX 54,097
Field sizeLeft 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)
TMobileParkDimensions.svg
SurfaceKentucky Blue Grass /
Perennial Ryegrass blend
Construction
Broke groundMarch 8, 1997 (March 8, 1997)
OpenedJuly 15, 1999 (July 15, 1999)
Construction cost$517 million
($909 million in 2022 dollars[2])
ArchitectNBBJ
360 Architecture
Project managerThe Vosk Group LLP[3]
Structural engineerMagnusson Klemencic Associates[4]
Services engineerFlack + Kurtz Inc.[5]
General contractorHunt-Kiewit[4]
Main contractorsThe Erection Company Inc.[4]
Tenants
Seattle Mariners (MLB) (1999–present)
Seattle Bowl (NCAA) (2001)

T-Mobile Park is a retractable roof stadium in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the ballpark of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners and has a seating capacity of 47,929.[1] It is in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood, near the western terminus of Interstate 90. It is owned and operated by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District. 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 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, 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.[6]

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 and WrestleMania XIX in 2003, which attracted the stadium's record attendance of 54,097.

The stadium was originally named Safeco Field under a 20-year naming-rights deal with Seattle-based Safeco Insurance. T-Mobile acquired the naming rights on December 19, 2018, and the name change took effect on January 1, 2019.[7][8]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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Transcription

Location and transportation

T-Mobile Park is 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)[9] to the south, Royal Brougham Way to the north, and BNSF railroad tracks to the east.

Parking is available at the stadium's parking garage across Edgar Martínez Drive, the Lumen Field garage to the North, and other privately operated lots in the area. Sounder commuter rail services nearby King Street Station.[10] T-Mobile Park is also served by the 1 Line of Sound Transit's Link light rail system and local King County Metro and Sound Transit Express bus routes via the nearby Stadium Station.

History

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 financing 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;[11] the measure led early,[12][13] but was narrowly defeated by one-fifth of one percent.[14][15][16]

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.[16] Nine days later, the King County Council approved the funding package,[17] and established the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District to own the ballpark and oversee design and construction.[18][19] Taxpayer suits opposing the legislative actions and the taxes failed in the courts.[20]

On September 9, 1996, the site was selected for the new stadium, just south of the Kingdome.[21] 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.[22]

T-Mobile Park under construction in 1998.The Kingdome is visible in the background.
T-Mobile Park under construction in 1998.
The Kingdome is visible in the background.

Construction officially began in 1997, with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 8 featuring Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr.[23] The construction, overseen by chief financial officer (and former team president and minority owner) Kevin Mather,[24] continued through the beginning of the 1999 season. Its first game was on July 15,[25][26] immediately after the All-Star break; the Mariners lost 3–2 to the San Diego Padres with 44,607 in attendance.[27][28]

The naming rights were sold in June 1998 to Seattle-based Safeco Insurance, which paid $40 million for a 20-year deal.[29][30] The 2018 season was the last played under this name, and the Safeco signage was removed from the ballpark beginning that November.[31] The naming rights were awarded to T-Mobile on December 19, which paid $87.5 million for an agreement that will last 25 years,[32] and the name change officially took effect on January 1, 2019.[33]

Ken Griffey Jr. returned to Safeco Field in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds (where he had been traded after the 1999 season) to a hero's welcome.[34][35] In commemoration of Griffey's achievements with the team, the Mariners unveiled a new poster that declared Safeco Field "The House That Griffey Built."[36]

The Mariners moved the fences at Safeco Field closer to home plate before the 2013 season "to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers," according to General Manager Jack Zduriencik.[37] Safeco Field had been considered one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the majors since it opened.[38][39] 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.[40][41]

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 not been replaced before the resodding.[42]

Features

View from high left field corner in July 2008
View from high left field corner in July 2008

There previously was technology that allowed spectators to monitor special game-time features with Nintendo DS receivers.[43]

Layout

There are five main levels to the stadium: Field (or Street), Main Concourse (100 level – 20,634 seats[44]), Club Level (200 level – 4,585 seats[44]), Suite Level (1,945 seats[44]), and Upper Concourse (300 level – 15,955 seats[44]). Two bleacher sections are above left field and below the center field scoreboard, with 3,706 seats.[44] The Broadcast Center (press box) is 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 around the park provide access to all levels.[45]

Seating capacity

Years Capacity
1999–2003 47,116[46]
2004–2008 47,447[46]
2009–2011 47,878[47]
2012 47,860[48]
2013–2014 47,476[49]
2015 47,574[50]
2016–2017 47,943[51]
2018 47,715[52]
2019 47,929[1]

Food service

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 until a major 2011 remodel) 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 on the upper concourse. Patrons could previously order food with a Nintendo DS app called Nintendo Fan Network.[43]

Retractable roof

Retractable roof open, July 2008
Retractable roof open, July 2008

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 horns were often heard inside the stadium throughout the 2000s, 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.[53]

On April 7, 2013, Total Pro Sports voted Safeco Field the 8th Best Place to Catch a Game in 2013, mainly owing to the design of the retractable roof.[54]

Scoreboards

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.[55][56] The main scoreboard, which replaced the original monochrome scoreboard and separate video screen above the center field bleachers before 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.[57]

Mariners Hall of Fame

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), Jamie Moyer (2015), and Ichiro Suzuki (2022). The plaques describe their contributions to the franchise, as well as murals and television screens showing highlights of their careers with the Mariners.[58]

The 'Pen

The 'Pen, known for sponsorship purposes as "The T-Mobile 'Pen", is a standing-room only area adjacent to the bullpens, where spectators can watch relief pitchers warm up before entering the game.

When the stadium opened during the 1999 season, the area was called the "Bullpen Market". In 2013, the Mariners' vice president of ballpark operations described the Bullpen Market as a dark and unwelcoming place that needed a remodel to be more attractive to fans.[59]

Prior to the 2011 season, the Mariners brought in three celebrity chefs to introduce special concession stands with exclusive food options.[60] In the first season under its new branding, per-capita fan spending in The 'Pen increased by 87% from the previous season. In 2013, Edgar's Cantina, named for Hall of Fame Mariners player Edgar Martínez, opened. Sports Business Journal called The 'Pen "one of the liveliest social scenes in Major League Baseball" in 2013, when fan spending in The 'Pen had risen 42% year over year, which a team spokeswoman credited primarily to Edgar's Cantina.[59]

Local Mexican restaurant Poquitos opened a stand in The 'Pen during the 2017 season, and quickly gained national fame for selling chapulines, toasted grasshoppers, at every game.[61] Poquitos sold over 900 orders of chapulines at the first three home games, at $4.00 for a 4-US-fluid-ounce (120 ml) cup.[62][63]

In 2019, the Mariners opened The 'Pen two and a half hours before the first pitch of Mariners home games, offering happy hour specials to encourage fans to arrive early. As many as 3,000 fans come to The 'Pen during each game.[64]

The 'Pen attracts large and often rowdy crowds due to its food and drink options.[65] On April 13, 2013, a man was injured and required reconstructive surgery after a fight broke out over a table in The 'Pen. Two men turned themselves in, one of whom faced a felony assault charge. A team spokesperson said that the Mariners assign more uniformed police officers, private security guards, and alcohol enforcement officials to The 'Pen during special events, such as College Night.[66]

Artwork

T-Mobile Park and its adjoining parking garage feature extensive public art displays, including:[67]

  • "The Tempest", a chandelier made of 1,000 resin baseball bats above the home plate entry. A companion 27-foot diameter compass rose mosaic at the home plate rotunda captures a number of elements in the history of baseball. It was created by Linda Beaumont, Stuart Keeler, and Michael Machnic.[68]
  • "Quilts" depicting each MLB team logo, made from recycled metal including license plates from the respective teams' states (or the province of Ontario in the case of the Toronto Blue Jays, or the District of Columbia in the case of the Washington Nationals).[68] The collection also includes references to the history of baseball in the Pacific Northwest.[68]
  • Stainless steel cutouts of players in various poses while catching, batting, fielding, and pitching, integrated into the fences at the stadium's four main gates.
  • Six Pitches, a series of metal sculptures depicting hands gripping baseballs for various types of pitches along the west facade of the garage.[68]
  • A 9-foot-tall (2.7 m) bronze baseball glove, The Mitt by Gerard Tsutakawa, that has become an icon for T-Mobile Park.
  • The Defining Moment, a mural by Thom Ross depicting Edgar Martínez's famed "The Double".[68]
  • Children's Hospital Wishing Well, which features a bronze statue of a child in batting position, and includes a geyser effect that was used at the end of the national anthem.[68]
  • Porcelain enamel on steel flag-mounted banner-panels depicting "Positions of the Field".[68]

Statues

A bronze statue of Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus (1935–2010) was unveiled on September 16, 2011.[69] 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),[70][71] 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 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.[72]

In April 2017, a statue of Ken Griffey Jr. by sculptor Lou Cella was unveiled outside the Home Plate Entrance to the ballpark.[73] After the 2017 season, the bat was broken off in an attempt to steal it, but a bystander from the office building across the street ran down the perpetrator and recovered the bat, which was subsequently reattached.[74]

A bronze statue of Martínez, also made by Cella, was installed in August 2021 on the south side of the stadium near Griffey's statue.[75]

Notable events

Satellite photo of T-Mobile Park
Satellite photo of T-Mobile Park

Major League Baseball

On August 15, 2012, Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández pitched the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the first perfect game in Mariners history. This marked the second perfect game and third no-hitter at the park, all of which occurred in the 2012 season.[76]

College baseball

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.[77] Washington won the game, 6–2.

College football

The stadium hosted the 2001 Seattle Bowl, the first edition of the short-lived Seattle Bowl college football game, on December 27, 2001. Georgia Tech defeated 11th-ranked Stanford, 24–14, before 30,144 fans.[78]

Soccer

The stadium hosted several soccer matches before the opening of Lumen Field, which was designed for soccer. To prepare for soccer matches, the field has to be sodded to cover and replace the dirt infield.[79]

On March 2, 2002, the United States men's national soccer team played Honduras in a friendly match, winning 4–0 in front of a then-record crowd of 38,534.[80] 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.[81] 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.[82]

Seattle Sounders FC, a Major League Soccer team that plays at adjacent Lumen Field, once drafted plans to play a 2018 CONCACAF Champions League match at then-Safeco Field due to a potential scheduling conflict.[83]

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
 United States 9–0  Panama 21,522
November 6, 2002  Canada 2–0  Mexico 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup Semifinal
 United States 7–0  Costa Rica 10,079

Wrestling

On March 30, 2003, the stadium hosted WrestleMania XIX, which set an all-time record attendance for the facility of 54,097.

Ice hockey

The 2024 NHL Winter Classic on January 1 will be held at T-Mobile Park, featuring the Seattle Kraken and the Vegas Golden Knights.[84]

Concerts

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".[85]
July 30, 2014 Beyoncé
Jay-Z
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.[86][87]
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
September 6, 2021 Green Day
Fall Out Boy
Weezer
The Interrupters Hella Mega Tour 37,709 / 37,709 $4,000,109 Originally scheduled for July 25, 2020, and later, July 17, 2021.
August 3, 2022 Red Hot Chili Peppers The Strokes
Thundercat
2022 Global Stadium Tour 41,706 / 41,706 $5,489,712 [88]

Other

See also

References

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External links

Events and tenants
Preceded by Home of the
Seattle Mariners

1999 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by Host of the All-Star Game
2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of WrestleMania
2003
Succeeded by
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