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The Pacific Northwest, or PNW as known by the locals, is famed for its love of coffee, the great outdoors, plethora of micro brews, and the -slightly misinformed- rain. Seattle until recently has not been known as a sports city, where locals would rather spend a Sunday hiking the Cascades or Olympic Mountain range than spectating. The Sonics' exit and perception of the Mariners being a Yankees farm team, leaves the fans feeling heart-broken. The revival of the Seahawks and the failed push of the Seattle Super Sonics return has brought back a tingle in the city that good things are to come for Seattle sports.
Home of the Mariners, Safeco Field is nestled between Century Link, and a few of Seattle’s most tasty staples, Pyramid and Elysian Breweries. Depart from the metal fences, plastic seats, peanuts and cracker jacks to the surrounding two blocks which makes Safeco a must see while in the PNW.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Inside the ballpark walls you will find all the standard grub at stadium appropriate prices; sausage, footlongs, nachos and popcorn, etc. Visit "the Pen" for Edgar's Tacos and Torta (named after Edgar Martinez), or Ivar's for some Chowder or Fish n' Chips. Garlic fries are also a popular snack at games, and you don't get strange looks from the other fans sitting around you.
The beer taps inside the stadium are similar to venturing into one of the small local bars, with 5-7 Seattle and Portland breweries being represented. Manny's, Mack & Jack's, Fremont summer ales all secured a premium spot in front of the customers. Domestic beers such as Bud Light and Coors, are hidden behind the servers in large mouth cans.
If you are looking for a true Seattle experience, venture one block from the stadium along Occidental Avenue. Before and after the game popular food truck vendors line the small street and offer unique tastes that you will not want to miss. I would highly recommend El Camion, Mexican cuisine, and The Peoples Burger for gourmet hamburgers.
Mariners and opposing fans alike will enjoy this large modern facility filled with baseball fans there to enjoy America's past time and enjoy time with friends and family. Animosity of opposing fans is as rare as the sun in Seattle, and most attendees have come to the understanding that the promise of attending October baseball in Seattle left with Ken Griffey Jr.
Seattle, like most cities goes through phases, now arguably the 2nd biggest tech hub in the United States (behind San Francisco), the influence of web giants is changing the city by the month. Art Galleries and foodie restaurants now showcase the storefronts which carry Facebook, Google, Zynga and other tech giants in the brick buildings above. Walk north 1-4 blocks and you will find yourself in an early night life crowd which includes the Lodge, Henry's on 1st, Elysian and Cowgirls.
With the departure of the most popular Ichiro Suzuki, the Mariners have seen a steady decrease in fans over the last season and a half. Though watching the Mariners at home on TV might be deceiving, the young Seattleites who purchase bleacher seats will slowly creep down out of the nose bleed seats and occupy the first and third base lines.
This is the atmosphere for four of every five home games. But a few times a month, seas of yellow flock to the stadium to watch King Felix Hernandez take the mound. He has a section named "King's Court" which spans two sections to the left of the left field foul pole. These fans are the loudest and can be heard chanting "k, k, k, k, k, k, k" with every batter that faces two strikes, waving strike banners.
Safeco is within a stone's throw of I-5, I-90 and Highway 99, traffic is not too difficult to manage unless there is also a Sounders or Seahawks game; be sure to check their schedules before planning on parking. You can find parking north of CenturyLink field or south of the stadium in the industrial Sodo neighborhood (south of Downtown).
All and all the ROI for Safeco depends on one or two things. 1) Do you plan on attending while Felix is on the mound? Or is the away team starting All-Stars that you shouldn't miss seeing? 2) Are you planning on taking advantage of the great local food and breweries that surround the stadium?
If your answer is yes to either of these questions, than I'm sure you will get your money's worth and have a great time (barring external circumstances). The experience is more about the full picture than your time spent in the green fold down seats viewing a game.
Safeco Field offers a great family experience, period. No rowdy crowds, polite staff and great views of the field and bullpen. Memories of Mariner greats like Bret Boone, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro surround the stadium like wallpaper. The stadium itself has a good food selection regardless of your preferred diet of standard stadium grub, vegetarian, Asian or Mexican. Clear panoramic views of a gorgeous city and mountains will leave you breathless.
The extras are in the neighborhood and surrounding blocks, which embody a city so close to being back on top the sports world.
If you find yourself traveling through Seattle then a true Safeco experience can deliver a 30 second pitch, which the Space Needle never could. You get the sites, the smells, the views of Seattle that will make you consider making the Northwest your home.
Make sure to travel down Occidental Avenue to enjoy the great food trucks parked out front of the stadium. Grab some popular local beers from the tap at Elysian Brewing and Pyramid. Take in the sites of The Olympic Mountain range above the beautiful Puget Sound, and Mt. Rainer.
Far and away, Safeco Field is in my top five of Major League Baseball stadiums to witness a game. It has everything you could ask for and all of the accompaniments to ensure you enjoy a game regardless of how well the team is playing.
After decades of domed baseball at the famous Seattle Kingdome, the Mariners now treat their fans to a taste of outdoor baseball at every game. After years of semi-competitive play on Astroturf, the team plays under a roof on inclement weather days, but with a view of the outside on all sides.
The roof serves as a canopy, as opposed to a dome, and slides over the field when it opens and closes. Its closing edge begins high above the third base side of the stadium footprint and opens along huge tracks out toward center and right field.
The first time I attended a game here was on opening day 2007 and my seat was a few rows from the top of the third base side. Right before first pitch, with the sun shining brightly, the public address announcer proclaimed this to be a great day for baseball. At that moment, the canopy began to open just a few dozen feet above my head, rays slowly reaching the field with every additional inch of movement along the rails.
As early as you can enter the stadium, usually two hours before game time, ascend from behind home plate at the corner of First Avenue South and Edgar Martinez Drive South to the main concourse. Make a right turn at the top of the steps and head right to guest relations behind section 128 where you can arm yourself with useful printed pocket guides and brochures detailing the wide array of food choices, art exhibits and other places to spend your time and money before the ballgame begins.
Known as "The House that Griffey Built," Safeco Field has been a treasure in the northwest since it opened its doors in July 1999. With a retractable roof to deal with the unpredictable Seattle weather, and some of the best food in baseball, you can be sure that your game will be played, and you will have a great time.
A great place to catch a game. I hail from the Bay Area where I feel we have ballparks that represent both the best and the worst in the league. I'm surprised to say that Safeco belongs in the same company as AT&T Park.
When I walked into the park, it seemed huge, with an expansive outfield and seating that seemed too distant. Once the game started, I felt as if I were right on top of the action.
The structure of the stadium lends itself as art. It's retractable roof doubles as beautiful and functional. The function of the ballpark is further enhanced by the wide promenades and convenient foot traffic areas. I wanted to check out every corner of this yard because every view revealed something unique about itself.
Without a doubt my favorite feature was the viewing area in the bullpens. Fans can stand mere feet away from the pitchers as they warm up and are on the same level as them, not standing high above them. One must only channel their inner child, lean up against the chain-link fence and wonder if they really could hit a 93 mph fastball.
The park is situated just outside of downtown with several sports bars (and regular bars) in the area. Sluggers Sports Bar in Pioneer Square has a ton of Seattle memorabilia and ample flat screens for viewing sporting events. I was told a more "local" place to have a drink before the game is at the Triangle Pub across the street.
If you're traveling on the cheap, The Green Tortoise hostel in Pike Place Market is just over a mile away and the walk is a breeze on warm summer night. Because of this, I can't comment on traffic or parking situations. There is however a train stop right outside along a line that runs from downtown to the SeaTac airport.
One of the greatest moments in Seattle sports history was the implosion of the Kingdome. Not as a slight to the difficulties and dry times that the Pacific Northwest's sports scene has seen, the implosion of the Kingdome represents the beginning of the embracing of two of the most fantastic sports venues in all of sports. The Seahawks of the NFL moved on to CenturyLink Field, and the Mariners moved to beautiful Safeco Field.
Safeco Field is owned by the county and is one of the golden age stadiums that ushered in a new era of baseball stadia. It was a departure from the retractable roof stadium like the Rogers Centre where the design is round and the roof is a part of the stadium. The roof at Safeco Field is more like a canopy rather than anything else, remaining open during non-game times.
Regardless of the struggles the Mariners have been having on the field, Safeco remains one of the go-to destinations in Major League Baseball. If you get there you will agree that it was well worth your time and money.
First time to the stadium and overall a good experience. Easy to get to (I was staying downtown). Could easily walk to a bar afterwards. Fans were really nice and into the game, but the stadium was half empty (which I understand). There were many food options and they all looked pretty good.
Just recently (Aug, 2013) I attended a game here - Toronto Blues Jay @ Seattle Mariners. Although the stadium was not completely full of fans, there were as many Canadian fans as Mariners fans and it was a fantastic atmosphere.
There is plenty of food and beverage options at Safeco Field. The better and more interesting options are on the first level. There is a great food/beverage/viewing area out in centerfield called The Pen. It is open pregame (and during the game) and one can watch batting practice as well as both bullpen’s activities. There is plenty of food and beer options in that area and I’d recommend visiting it if you attend a game at Safeco.
I did park at the Safeco Parking Garage $25. We were early and it was open several hours pregame (more than what states on the website). Passed the time visiting a huge souvenir shop that is open pregame. The souvenir shop even offered Toronto Blue Jays t-shirts and attire. Nice touch. Seattle’s finest did a fantastic job with directing traffic out after the game from the parking garage.
Before the gates opened I spent some time at the Pryamid Alehouse across the street from the stadium. Some decent brews and friendly staff.
There is a Hall of Fame museum not only displaying Mariners great and history but other historic baseball information of the Pacific Northwest. Be sure to visit this area when going to Safeco.
I didn’t go on the tour this trip but have been on one in a previous trip and would recommend taking the tour of the ballpark.
I had another great visit to Safeco Field in September 2013. I came away even more impressed than my first visit.
The food selection is even better than I had remembered with plenty legitimate vegetarian options. Since this is a ballpark, I don't even consider decent vegetarian selection as an option while attending. Not only were they aplenty, they were good. I couldn't believe. Lots of other options that looked great like Ivar's seafood, pizza, and gourmet hamburgers. Be sure to check out the Beers of the Northwest booth near the left field bleachers. I had an Elysian IPA.
My favorite part about Safeco Field is their unique and accessible Mariners Hall of Fame. For each player there is a few pieces of memorabilia as well as some facts about their time with the Mariners. Best of all was the highlight reel on an LED screen that would play on repeat in front of each plaque.
While the field is covered, if it is raining you still get hit by drops if you're sitting in the center field bleachers. The ushers were cool (even recommended) about us switching seats as it was far from a sellout. We ended up spending a lot of time near the bullpens beyond the right field wall where we could watch the relievers warm up, while still catching the action on the field.
The neighborhood is good too. It was a little crazy as Washington State was hosting Stanford next door at Centurylink Field on the same day. Apparently WSU plays one game a year in Seattle. Lots of places were packed but Cowgirls seemed to be the most popular. After the game, we stopped in at the Central Saloon which was a bit of a dive, but full of both college kids and older Wazzou alumni. They had an excellent beer selection to go along with swill and sticky bars that we are accustomed to for our favorite dives.
1201 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
325 5th Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109