When the Mariners signed our lease in 1996 to play at Safeco Field, we included a unique arrangement: A guarantee to share profits with the public through the Public Facilities District (PFD). The PFD owns and oversees the operations of the ballpark on behalf of the public.
The arrangement, which was the idea of Mariners then-Chairman and CEO John Ellis, made tangible the idea that the ballpark was truly a partnership between the public and the team.
Here’s how it works. After recovering the financial losses that the organization incurred from 1995-1999 ($200 million), the Mariners would share 10-percent of our profits with the community via the PFD. There is no other such profit-sharing in Major League Baseball or, to our knowledge, in any other professional sport.
Earlier today at its quarterly board meeting, the PFD reviewed the Mariners 2012 financial report to get an update on the status of the profit-sharing. Based on a special calculation in the lease, the Mariners lowered that $200 million of losses (1995-1999) by $7,968,000 last year, which means that just $37,463,000 remains to be recovered before future profits will be shared with the PFD.
Separate and distinct from the special calculation in the lease, the Mariners also reported to the PFD that the club’s operating income in 2012 was $5,863,000. That was mostly due to a couple of mid-season trades that sent Brandon League to the Dodgers and Ichiro to the Yankees. With their new teams picking up the remainder of their salaries for the season, the savings showed up on our ledgers at the end of the fiscal year. But it should be noted that both trades were made for baseball reasons only.
The Mariners ownership group has never received a distribution of profits from team operations. In any season when there has been a profit, those dollars have been reinvested into the franchise to reach its goal of a championship team and to live up to its obligation to maintain Safeco Field.
King County, in an agreement with the Washington State Legislature, created the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD) to site, build and oversee operations of a new Major League Baseball Stadium that became Safeco Field. The PFD oversees stewardship of the ballpark and represents the citizens’ interests in changes affecting the ballpark and its surrounding neighborhood. Under a lease with the PFD, the Mariners organization is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations for events. The PFD regularly commissions expert studies (audits, engineering, maintenance, etc.) to ensure the ballpark is operated and maintained in a first-class manner.
It is always nice to be recognized, and Major League Baseball has named us the American League recycling champions for 2012. The National League winner was the San Francisco Giants. And because the Giants just edge the Mariners for total recycling rate, they were named recipients of the 2012 “Green Glove” Award.
The Mariners recycle or compost around 85% of all waste generated at Safeco Field. Over the course of the season, that means about 5.5 tons of waste is being diverted from landfills. The compostable waste is transformed by Cedar Grove into Safeco Field Soil, which has been a popular fan giveaway the last couple of seasons.
In addition to the Mariners and Giants, other teams singled out for recognition include the “East Division Champion Recyclers” Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, “Central Division Champion Recyclers” Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates, and four “Wild Card” teams the Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs. The Cincinnati Reds were named “Most Improved Team.”
MLB has a long-standing alliance with the Natural Resources Defense Council to help identify and promoted better environmental practices across the sport.
We announced this news earlier this week, but wanted to give our fans at From the Corner of Edgar & Dave a more detailed look at a new addition to Safeco Field. A new restaurant and lounge down the left field line named for Mariners Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez will be added for the 2013 season and will be called Edgar’s.
The restaurant is a remodel of an existing space, until now known as the Cantina, located under seating sections 151-152 (down the left field line behind the hand operated scoreboard). The scoreboard is being relocated to a new façade about mid-way up the seating sections. That makes it possible to open up the roof of the restaurant, directly underneath. The remaining seats in the two sections will be removed (384 seats to be exact) and the space will be brought up level to the Main Concourse to create an 11,000 square foot stand-up lounge. Both spaces will be known as Edgar’s.
Mariners season ticket account managers are working one-on-one with season ticket holders who will be displaced by the changes. They’re being relocated to other seating areas.
The restaurant will still serve the popular Tortuga sandwiches as well as Edgar’s line of artisanal mezcal known as Zac. The new lounge will have a south-of-the-border menu developed by noted Seattle restaurateur and Chef Ethan Stowell. It will feature what’s being dubbed Northwest Mex – classic tacos like carne asada and carnitas made with locally sourced ingredients.
Edgar will make occasional appearance at the ballpark next season.
Edgar’s restaurant and lounge are part of an estimated $15 million maintenance and capital improvement plan for Safeco Field to be completed before the 2013 season starts. In addition to the outfield wall modifications, restaurant and lounge, a new LED high-definition scoreboard is being installed at Safeco Field. All improvements are scheduled to be completed in time for Opening Day on April 8 vs. the Houston Astros. Since the ballpark opened in 1999, the Mariners have invested over $80 million in Safeco Field maintenance, capital improvements and operations.
It’s an annual rite of fall. The Mariners season ticketholder relocation.
For most, it’s a chance to get a little closer to the action. For some, it’s a chance to opt for a different plan.
Linda Del Monte of Seattle, who’s had a 16-game plan with a friend for about 10 years, was looking to get closer to the field. She and her ticket partner started off in Section 116. They made a couple of moves over the years, mostly lateral, and ended up in Section 117, Row 28, seats 15-16. This year, after scoping out all the options, they moved eight rows closer to the field, same section, same seats, this time Row 20.
Robin Wimpsett, also of Seattle, is going into his 21st year as a Mariners season ticketholder. At the Kingdome, he was on the first base side “so I could look into the Mariners dugout.” At Safeco Field, he moved over to the third base side for the same reason, ending up in Section 144, Row 15, Seats 1-2.
Each year, Wimpsett checks to see whether he can move closer to home plate and closer to the field. But one thing he doesn’t want to give up is his location on the aisle. After surveying the color coded seats, paying close attention to the ones with hot pink signs (16 Game plans), Wimpsett decided that if he moved in, he’d be moving up to a higher row, so he concluded “Looks like I’m staying.”
Steve Posalski, who shares seats with his wife Eileen, has also moved around over the years, looking to get closer. They ended up in Section 114, Row 10, Seats 8-9. He says they’re “easily the best seats we’ve ever had.” They’re close to the field, down the first base line, and even though his “magic glove” has prevented him from ever catching a foul ball, the area still sees plenty of action.
This year, Posalski’s goal was to switch from the 16-Game Plan Option E to Option A. According to Posalski, “We pick the plan with the fewest Boston and Yankees games.” The question was whether their great location would be available when they switched from E to A?
Standing at his seats, scanning the hot pink sign, Posalski was delighted to see that they were available for the new plan. “I’m a happy guy,” he said.
Once current season ticketholders have had a chance to relocate, new account holders will be able to choose their spots. If you’d like to find out about Mariners 2013 season tickets, call 206-346-4001, or follow this link.
The popular Tailgate at The ‘Pen pregame functions for Huskies and Seahawks fans are back on. The Washington State Liquor Board has determined that “Tailgates at the Pen” in Safeco Field will be permitted for the remaining games during the college and NFL seasons.
The Pen will be open at 4:30pm before this Saturday’s game between the Huskies and the University of Utah, and at 11:30am before Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and Jets.
At The ‘Pen, football fans will find food and drink specials. Plus there are plenty of monitors to keep track of all the pregame action.
Go Huskies and Seahawks!
The tailgate event at The ‘Pen at Safeco Field will be closed for a private function on Saturday before the UW vs. Oregon State game.
It’s suggested that Huskies fans who were expecting to pre-function at The ‘Pen should patronize one of the many fine food and beverage establishments in the Sodo, Pioneer Square and International District areas.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was meeting with members of his staff today, and looked up to see this outside his window at Safeco Field.
Jack is already hard at work on the 2013 (and beyond!) club, and seeing the rainbow is just another sign of the bright future ahead for the club…as well as a reminder of the magic of the ballpark!
Today the Mariners announced that the outfield dimensions at Safeco Field will be adjusted for the 2013 season.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik also met with the media this afternoon to discuss the changes to the outfield dimensions.
The Seattle Mariners environmental partner, BASF, has made a breakthrough in sustainable packaging with a compostable peanut bag. The first 10,000 fans through the gates at Wednesday’s Mariners vs. Boston Red Sox game received the classic ballpark treat in a 100% compostable bag.
Mariners Vice President of Ballpark Operations Scott Jenkins says this development could make it possible for the Mariners to achieve our goal of 90% recycling and composting at Safeco Field. Right now, we recycle or compost over 80% of all waste generated at the ballpark.
“All of our service ware is already compostable. Getting the non-compostable packaging out of the supply stream would remove one of the biggest barriers preventing us from reaching our goal,” says Jenkins.
Right now, candy wrappers and snack bags have to be hand sorted out of our waste stream. Removing that contamination could result in a significant cost savings.
Earlier attempts at compostable packaging for snacks fell short of consumer expectations. BASF has developed new biopolymer technology that “delivers needed shelf-life at a competitive price point with a sustainable end-of-life solution.”
If you’re going to the Seattle Seahawks game tonight, check out the Tailgate at The ‘Pen at Safeco Field. Gates (on the Royal Brougham side of the ballpark) open three hours before kickoff.
It’s a great setting that’s one of the most popular areas at Safeco Field. You’ll find all the delicious food available for Mariners games—New Haven-style pizza, authentic crepes and anti-fast food burgers (from Seattle check Ethan Stowell), Mexican tortugas—and drink specials. Plus there are plenty of monitors to keep track of all the pregame action.
And if you’re parking south of Century Link Field, it’s on the way.
Tailgate at The ‘Pen will also be open after Saturday’s Mariners game (1:05pm start against Los Angeles Angels) for the Washington Huskies matchup against San Diego State.