Buy me some peanut-free Cracker Jack

Michael San Soucie is a baseball-loving dad with a baseball-loving son who just happens to have a severe peanut allergy. He longed to take his son to a Mariners game at Safeco Field but wasn’t willing to risk it. And yet, San Soucie really wanted to share his beloved game with his son.

San Soucie contacted the Mariners in 2008 to ask if something could be done. Other teams, mostly at the minor league level, had created special areas where peanuts were banned, why couldn’t it be done at Safeco Field?

Full disclosure, there was concern over liability and the risk that someone would accidentally be exposed to peanuts or peanut products and suffer a medical emergency.

But Michael was very passionate and persuasive, and in 2008, the Mariners agreed to give it a try. Two seating sections were set aside for two games to be peanut controlled areas. Parents volunteered to clean the areas thoroughly so they would be comfortable with the reduced risk of exposure.

The first game, August 5, sold out. One family even came all the way from Montana. For many, it was their first chance for a family member with severe allergies to have a baseball experience.

Every year since 2008, the Mariners have offered peanut controlled seating areas. This year, the first of four games will be on Sunday, April 22 when the Mariners take on the Chicago White Sox. View Box seats in the special seating sections cost just $11 (normally $30).

The other three peanut controlled dates are:

  • Friday, May 25 vs. Los Angeles Angels, 7:10pm start
  • Thursday, July 26 vs. Kansas City Royals, 7:10pm start
  • Wednesday, August 15 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 12:40pm start

Tickets in the special seating sections can only be purchased online at

No peanuts or peanut products will be sold in concession stands near the special seating areas and only fans who agree to abide by the no peanut restriction are permitted to buy tickets or be present in the special seating sections.

It should be noted that peanut-controlled does not mean peanut-free. Safeco Field is an open-air ballpark, and peanuts are present in other areas of the ballpark. But for many fans, it’s a chance to take part in a pastime that is as American as apple pie and Cracker Jack, minus the peanuts.

– RH

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