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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

T-Mobile Park - Seattle Mariners




Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

T-Mobile Park 1250 First Ave S Seattle, WA 98134

Seattle Mariners website T-Mobile Park website

Year Opened: 1999 Capacity: 47,943


 

A Ballpark with a View in Seattle


T-Mobile Park is the house that Griffey built, and if that magical run of the Seattle Mariners did not take place, who knows where the team would have ended up? The ballpark opened as Safeco Field on July 15, 1999, and replaced the colossal Kingdome that had been their home since 1977.


The 1995 Mariners won their division and defeated the New York Yankees in an epic 5-game series that saw Ken Griffey, Jr. slide home with the winning run in front of a packed Kingdome crowd. A month earlier, King County voters defeated a ballot measure to approve public funding for a new baseball-only stadium, but the playoff run and renewed interest in the ball club resulted in the Washington State Legislature approving alternate funding for a new stadium with public money.


T-Mobile Park has not outlasted the Kingdome as the home of baseball in Seattle and features a retractable roof covering the entire ballpark but does not enclose it, providing an open-air feel. There are views of the city and sound from the upper concourses that are stunning at sunset, and a centerfield open bar section called The T-Mobile ‘Pen that brings a party atmosphere to the ballpark.


The ballpark also features perfect views of the diamond, an assortment of food, several merchandise stores, and other areas that will satisfy today’s baseball crowd. Plus, easy access via car, light rail, train, bus, and ferry should also please the everyday fan. However, let's find out more about the home of the Seattle Mariners.


Food & Beverage 5

T-Mobile Park has an array of food from local Seattle restaurants: Marination, Ballard Pizza Co, Woody’s, Just Poke, and Moto Pizza specializing in Detroit-style pizza with a local take. More options include the Mexican stand Edgar’s Cantina and Holy Smoke Barbecue. The ballpark is a cashless stadium.


Marination is located in Section 119 and offers Hawaiian Luau plates featuring kalua pork, tofu, or grilled miso ginger chicken, rice, macaroni salad, and slaw. Fans can also purchase kalua pork sliders and Spam musubi.


Moto Pizza is in Section 109, and the stand includes Mr. Pig with Filipino lechon-style pork belly, longganisa, chimichurri, and garlic banana ketchup, and the more familiar pepperoni pizza. If you are a New York-style pizza fan, Ballard Pizza Co. in The ‘Pen has slices, calzones, and specialty pizzas.



Edgar’s Cantina is named after former Mariner Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez and is located in The ‘Pen and Section 212. Fans can choose from bay shrimp quesadillas, crispy fish tacos, and burritos. Holy Smoke in Sections 105 and 313 offers smoked beef short rib sandwiches, pork wings (mini shanks), and pulled pork sandwiches.


Garlic fries are popular, and one can smell the aroma from a few feet away. They can be purchased at the Way Back Crab Shack in Section 187, along with crab fries and toasted crab sandwiches. They can also be bought at Lil Woody’s in The ‘Pen, along with grass-fed burgers, Impossible burgers, and chicken tenders.


The beverages are impressive and include a range of locally crafted beer from 17 plus Washington breweries. They can be purchased at multiple spots in the stadium, including The Walk Off, where fans scan their credit cards to enter the store, grab a beer or cider from the coolers, and walk off with a refreshing beverage.


The Mariners have brought back the Value Menu, ideal for parents with kids and for those who want to save a little money. The 12-ounce cans prices are $5 or $6 from 12 local and national brands. You can find more information in the Extras section of this review.


Atmosphere 4

T-Mobile Park is designed to entertain fans from your traditional and non-traditional fans looking for a night out on the town. A total of $30 million was spent to improve many parts of the stadium to improve the experience.


The Left Field Gate or Home Plate entrance are the two main access points. The Home Plate entrance features a rotunda and a baseball bat chandelier hanging from the ceiling over the staircase. This leads to the main concourse that wraps around and provides access to all parts of the stadium.


The T-Mobile ‘Pen is located in the bullpen in centerfield and opens 2-hours before the game. Visitors can enjoy happy hour prices until the start of the game and have access to two full-service bars and several restaurants. The party atmosphere continues during the game with large crowds and good times.



The Trident Deck is above the left field pole on the view level. It is named after the club’s original logo and is available to groups of 75 to 159 people or open to the public. A bar, lounge area, tables, and benches make up the scenic spot with wonderful views of the Seattle skyline. There are also views of the ball field as well as easy access to the seating bowl.


The Rooftop Boardwalk above the Home Plate Gate Rotunda on the view level provides the best views of the city and the nearby Puget Sound. The section features tables, benches, and social areas for a relaxed atmosphere. The area is perfect for watching the sunset in the distant mountains.



T-Mobile is dominated by a 56’7 by 201’5 foot video board in left field and neon pink ribbon colors on the retractable roof. Fans will also find two statues of Griffey and Martinez outside of the stadium. The Pacific Northwest Baseball Museum is behind the third base area. It displays teams from the past and present, former Mariner’s great, a not to the Seattle Pilots, and memorabilia from old Sicks Stadium where the Pilots and minor league teams once played.


Neighborhood 4

T-Mobile Park is located in the SoDo district of Seattle and is a short 1.5 miles away from Pikes Place Market and a little closer to the piers and ferries. There are a few places within a few feet of the ballpark, but the better options include visiting some of the city’s trendier neighborhoods and tourist attractions.


Street vendors set up shop on Occidental Avenue to sell grilled hot dogs that are Polish sausages, brats, Louisiana Red Hots, and kielbasa. They are then placed on grilled buns and customers then choose toppings from mustard, barbecue sauce, siracha sauce, jalapenos, relish, grilled onions, and pepperoncini. The Seattle Dog is worth eating. It is a 1/4 Polish sausage on a bun with grilled onions and cream cheese. They are served at all vendors and all over town. Read more about in this article.


Pier 48 and 50 are within a short walking distance from the stadium and allow fans to take a short ferry ride to a few of the islands in Puget Sound. The more popular trip is the Bainbridge Island ferry, a 90-minute round trip that offers scenic views of the city and Mount Rainier. You will also find a collection of shops and restaurants, including Ivar’s Acres of Clams.


A little further north is the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57, which is a giant Ferris wheel that provides excitement for the family. You will also find the Seattle Aquarium and various other shops and restaurants. A short walk up Union Street takes visitors to Pikes Market Place.



The area is a haven for tourists, and they surround Pikes Place Fish Market waiting for a large salmon and tuna to be flung into the air for sale. You will find The Pike Brewing Company, The Gum Wall, the original Starbucks store, and some great pizza and sandwiches from DeLaurenti Food & Wine. As with Seattle, there are also beautiful views of the sound from the elevated sections.

If visiting Seattle in July and August, the city offers a few more sporting options that include the Seattle Storm at the Climate Pledge Arena, the Seattle Seahawks or the Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field, and the Seattle Cascade (American United Disc League) and Seattle Memorial Stadium that is adjacent to the Space Needle.


Fans 4

The fans have an exciting Mariners team to watch and have been coming out again to the ballpark to support the club. Fans are decked out in multiple team gear spanning from the current jerseys back to the trident logo of the 1970s, plus the City Connect jerseys are popular among fans. Yes, many are there to have a good time with friends and family, but it’s hard not to get excited about the young team that hopes to bring a championship to town.



Access 4

T-Mobile Park is accessible via interstate, light link rail, city bus, train, on foot, and ferry. Fans who take the ferry from the nearby islands have about half a mile to walk to the stadium, and those who take the train, bus, or light rail system are dropped off at the stadium (the light rail system probably has a little bit of a longer walk). If arriving by car, there are multiple public and private lots around the ballpark.


There are 15 entry points at the Left Field Gate entrance, including escalators and elevators to all three levels. There are additional elevators behind the home plate entry and escalators behind the home plate entrance and Sections 125 and 143. All gender restrooms are located in Sections 105, 120, 219, 234, 327, and 333.


Return on Investment 4

Tickets to Mariners games can be as low as $15 if purchased on sites such as TickPick with no additional fees or services but can rise to $35-$40 for games against Houston or ceremonies honoring former players. However, the average price for a ticket should be no more than $20-$25 games when you factor all of this in. The cost to park a car will range from $20-$30, Seattle Dog is $13, and craft beer is $16 inside the ballpark.



You know what type of spender you are, and here is my advice to save a few bucks. If possible, hop in the light rail system for a $6 round trip fare, grab a Seattle Dog for $6 (or a Polish sausage combo, chips, and fries for $6) before the game at one of the street vendors, and once inside, enjoy a couple of value beers of Miller High Life or Iron Horse High Five for $5. The total will be around $16 for food and drink. If money is not an object, enjoy a plate of garlic fries, a luau plate, and a 16-ounce Black Raven Pilsner. It will cost around $36 in total.


Extras 3

T-Mobile Park earns extra points for the scenic views of the city and Puget Sound from either the Trident Deck in the upper right corner or the Rooftop Boardwalk above the Home Plate Gate Rotunda on the view level. You would want to arrive around sunset for picture opportunities.


Value Menu options are $3 and include a junior dog, nachos, peanuts, Red Vines, popcorn, a 12-ounce water bottle, and a 16-ounce refillable soda. If you are traveling with kids, this might be all they need to satisfy their hunger. For the adults, value beers are either $5 or $6 and include varieties from Pacifico, Bale Breaker, Boneyard, Corona, Lagunitas, PBR, and Vizzy.


The T-Mobile ‘Pen is the place to be for younger fans looking for an open bar atmosphere. The area is next to the Mariners bullpen in center field and opens up 2 hours before the game featuring happy hour pricing.


Final Thoughts

T-Mobile Park provides everything a traditional and non-traditional fan would ever need at a ballpark. The assortment of food, beverages, and value options is impressive, along with its location to public transportation. However, it might be the views of the city and The Sound that is the real highlight of the ballpark. When you add a winning Mariners ball club, you should have no doubt a wonderful time at the ballpark.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunterand his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com


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