One the ends of most rows of seats at Safeco Field is an image of a Seattle baseball icon — Fred Hutchinson.
When Safeco Field was being designed, there was a conscious effort to connect the new ballpark to Seattle’s rich baseball history.
One subtle way to do that was to include a relief of the great pitcher about to deliver a fastball. The designer took a bit of artistic license by showing Hutch as he was, a right hander, on seat rows that end on the left side of the aisle, and a lefty for the rows on the other side of the aisle. The goal was to always have him throwing toward the field.
Along with Hutch is a relief of Mt. Rainier, a baseball diamond and three small baseballs in the corners.
Next time you’re at the ballpark look for the tribute to our hometown hero.
Work has started on repainting part of the structural steel of Safeco Field. You may notice scaffolding being constructed underneath the skybridge.
The project will paint the northwest section of the parking garage, the entire skybridge and all the structural steel of the ballpark west of the skybridge.
Work will be done at night while the team is at home and 24/7 when the team is on the road. With good weather, this part of the project should be finished by September.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has advised the Mariners that Southbound Highway 99 will close at 11pm Friday, June 29, and will reopen by 9am Sunday, July 1.
Northbound 99 will be open to traffic all weekend.
For fans come to/from the Mariners vs. Boston games, if you are coming from the north-end, it’s recommended you take I-5 or surface streets through downtown. Exiting the area after the games should be the same as usual.
Of all the great locations at Safeco Field (and there are a lot), one of my favorites is a spot that most fans might not even think about, and many more have probably never visited. It’s Section 321 on the Upper Concourse.
Here’s why: the view—of the field, of the entire ballpark before you, of the city in the distance. There’s nothing quite like seeing the game unfold in front of you, tracking the path of the ball, watching the fielders get in position for an amazing catch or simply to watch a homerun sail over their heads into the seats.
On a glorious Seattle summer day, or at twilight as the setting sun is reflected off the city skyline, there’s nothing quite like it.
The next time you’re at Safeco Field, take the express escalator across from Section 123 to the Upper Deck and enjoy the view.
The new sushi bar at Safeco Field’s Hit it Here Café is ready for its close-up. In July, it will be featured in a program that airs on NHK TV in Japan.
Crew for the program, known as BS, for Best Sports, recently spent some time in the Hit it Here with sushi chef Hiroshi Egashira, owner of Hiroshi’s Restaurant & Catering, sampling some of the top menu items.
Egashira, who took over the sushi operations at Safeco Field this season, has created a lineup for the ballpark that includes such delicacies as:
- Ichi-Roll (spicy salmon with shrimp and crab)
- Seattle Smoak’ed Salmon Roll (California Roll topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese)
- Lead-off Runner (soft shell crab with avocado and cucumber)
- Pacific Pinch Hitter (spicy salmon roll with cucumber)
- Swing Away (California Roll with crab, cucumber and avocado)
- Catcher’s Mitt (fried tofu skin stuffed with white rice and topped with spicy salmon and avocado)
- Seventh Inari Stretch (fried tofu skin filled with white rice)
Host Karen Fukuhara, who is based out of southern California, not only sampled the Japanese offerings, she also got to sample two other popular menu items, the SODO Slammer, a 22-inch hot dog topped with pickled peppers, onions and cream cheese, and for dessert, the Grand Slam Sundae with four large scoops of ice cream served over brownies and bananas and topped with strawberry sauce, chocolate , whipped cream, chopped nuts and cherries.
Although the Seattle weather does not currently dictate the arrival of Summer, what better way to celebrate the many great days of baseball ahead of us this summer at Safeco Field with this video voiced by Hall of Fame broadcaster and Mariners legend Dave Niehaus – “Let There Be Baseball”
With the first day of summer, and this week’s sunny days, it seemed a good time to check how the solar panels installed on the skybridge to the Safeco Field garage have been doing during our otherwise dreary June.
A dashboard that keeps track of the power being generated provided the answer.
The solar panels, manufactured by SANYO/Panasonic, are double sided so they can pick up reflected energy as well as direct light. That helps them produce even on cloudy days. On Saturday, an overcast day, the panels produced 82kWh. On Monday, when it was rainy, the panels still produced 85kWh. Wednesday, a lovely, sunny day in Seattle, resulted in production of 204kWh or power.
Since early April, the panels have generated a total of 10.04 mWh of power. To put that into context, that’s enough energy to power 3,313.2 homes for one hour.
What else does that mean? Since the power is being generated in a carbon-neutral way, there are calculations on the website that suggest the clean energy output has off-set production of 14,322 pounds of CO2. It’s also equal to having planted 868 trees or saving 729 gallons of gas.
Not a huge amount, but the panels themselves are only expected to generate 40,000 kWh during an entire year. (The energy gets channeled into the Safeco Field power grid and helps offset the electricity used to operate the ballpark and garage.)
The project is part of the Seattle Mariners ongoing commitment to sustainability that includes electric vehicle charging stations, high-efficiency lighting and other conservation and eco-friendly measures.
University of Washington commencement is Saturday, June 9 at CenturyLink Field. It starts at 12:30pm and is expected to draw some 40,000 people.
What does this have to do with the Mariners? It means that fans arriving for the game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers (4:15pm start) may find parking a little challenging.
The good news is there are spaces being held for Mariners fans at garages surrounding Safeco Field. There is limited space at the Safeco Field garage. Those spots are likely to be gone well before game time. CenturyLink garage, just north of Safeco Field, has some spots available as well as Union Station garage on S. Jackson, and the Metro garage east of the ballpark on 6th Ave. S. You can pre-purchase spaces at these garages at www.ipmseattle.com/june9.
This link will take you to a page on Mariners.com with more information about parking options in and around Sodo, including a list of the garages within a short walk from Safeco Field. And this link takes you to some resources that could be helpful planning a trip using public transportation.
And for you cyclists, there are over 200 bicycle parking spaces in a secure area of the parking garage. And they’re free.
The best advice for Saturday is to give yourself a little extra time, get here early and watch batting practice, have a bite to eat and get settled for a fun afternoon at Safeco Field.
The head of the Dutch company that makes the grow lights that have been in use at Safeco Field since mid-March came to Seattle last week to check on how things are going, and he was impressed with what he saw.
Nico Van Vuuren, president of SGL, Stadium Grow Lighting, says he’s been keeping track of the progress in Seattle by computer from his office in The Netherlands. Two wireless sensors on the field send back detailed information on temperature, CO2, humidity and other indicators of the health of the grass. He also checks out the live webcam on a regular basis.
Jeff Van Lierop, owner of Country Green, the Olympia turf farm that grows the Safeco Field sod, liked what he saw, too. “It makes me proud to know someone’s taking such good care” of the field.
Bob Christofferson, the Mariners head grounds keeper, says the lights have made a “huge difference.” Christofferson pronounces the field in mid-to-late June form in mid-May. He says the players and manager Eric Wedge have commented on the improvement. Because the grass is so lush and healthy “the balls don’t bounce, they roll” and Christofferson says Wedge is pleased that there aren’t as many bad hops.
Things are looking so good that Christofferson says he’s been fielding calls from the grounds keepers in Miami and Milwaukee. In fact, Van Vuuren arrived in Seattle after a stop in Miami to see if his lights can help get the grass growing at the Marlins new ballpark.
Now that the Mariners are on the road, and even though there’s been a stretch of sunny weather, Christofferson and his crew have brought the lights back out. They’re focusing on right field, which is tucked under the shadow of the roof and doesn’t get much sunlight, and the new infield sod, which is thriving, will also get some supplemental sun.
Tomorrow night, the red-hot University of Washington Husky baseball team faces the nationally-ranked UCLA Bruins at Safeco Field to kick off a key Pac-12 series. The game is
This marks the sixth consecutive season that the Huskies will play a game at Safeco Field, including a pair of games in 2009. UCLA will be the fifth Pac-12 school to play the Huskies at Safeco Field: Oregon State (2007, 2009, 2011), Arizona (2008), Arizona State (2009), Stanford (2010).
Each year Safeco Field of course hosts 81 Mariners games, and the occasional bonus games like the three games vs. the Marlins last season. The cathedral of the Northwest Baseball Community does much more than just host Major League Baseball games.
In addition to the yearly college baseball games, Safeco has hosted numerous high school games, including the WIAA 3A & 4A State Championships in five consecutive years from 2006-2010. And for the past five years, Safeco Field has hosted an annual High School Baseball Classic in April. All told, roughly 41 different high schools in the state have had the opportunity to play on a Major League field.
Safeco Field has hosted several other baseball events, including the annual Mariners Cup and Scouting Day, Puget Sound Senior Baseball League has played games at Safeco Field, the 2010 Pacific Coast League playoffs and the perennial national power UW Husky Softball team even played an exhibition game in 2011.