From a Mariners perspective, yesterday’s perfect game by White Sox righthander Philip Humber at Safeco Field was not a welcome result of the game. At the same time, it was a chance for most Mariners personnel to witness a piece of baseball history.
As we watched the last part of the game, specifically the ninth inning, it was clear that the fans in the park were aware of the potential perfect game, and they were into every pitch…..especially when Humber went to a 3-0 count on Michael Saunders, who led off the ninth. Every pitch was a big pitch, and the crowd was definitely “into it.”
We were surprised to hear several national commentators, and a few local commentators, criticizing Mariners fans for turning on the Mariners team and rooting for a perfect game. We think those comments were off the mark.
Yes, the fans gave Philip Humber a great ovation when he was walking off the field after the White Sox celebration. And we thought that was classy for Seattle fans. We don’t think Mariners fans should be criticized for being excited and hanging on every pitch in the ninth inning.
The perfect game against the Mariners was not the game plan. But we think our fans should be lauded for appreciating the situation and acknowledging the opponent at the right time. At least that’s how we see it.
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 www.mariners.com/nopeanuts.
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.
On Opening Night, Friday, April 13, many Seattle Mariners fans were frustrated by long lines at concession stands throughout Safeco Field. The poor service was created by a failure of the software system that operates the cash registers and processes credit cards, resulting in a poor ballpark experience.
As both an apology and to ask for a second chance, the Mariners are offering free tickets to any game in April or May and a credit for concession stands to all fans who attended Opening Night.
“We always want our fans to have a positive experience with the Seattle Mariners and Safeco Field. What happened Friday night was unacceptable and I offer my sincere apology to all of the fans who suffered through the long lines and inconvenience. The guest experience on Opening Night was nowhere close to meeting our standards and we want to make it up to our fans,” said Chuck Armstrong, Mariners President and COO.
There are 18 home games in April and May fans can choose from. Here is how the make-good offer will work:
- The tickets will be for any Mariners home game in April or May beginning Wednesday, April 18.
- The locations will be in the same seating level as the guests’ Opening Night tickets.
- Those seated in Suites, Diamond Club, All-Star Club and Hit It Here Café will get the choice of Main or Club Level tickets.
- Each make-good ticket will come pre-loaded with a $5 TicketPlu$ credit that can be redeemed at Safeco Field concession stands.
- The Mariners have email addresses for most people who purchased tickets for Friday’s game. They will receive information by email on how to receive their free tickets.
- Fans who were at the game can claim their free tickets by showing their ticket stub or proof of purchase at any Mariners Team Store or the Safeco Field Box Office.
- Anyone who does not have a ticket stub or proof of purchase can call 206-346-4001, the Mariners Customer Service Hotline, between 8:30am-5:30pm for assistance.
- More information about the Opening Night ticket make-good offer is available at www.mariners.com/OpeningNight.
The technology provider of the system that operates point of sale transactions at Safeco Field began experiencing isolated problems soon after the gates opened to the public on Friday afternoon. As the evening continued, about half of the 400 point of sale locations were experiencing problems and many were unable to process credit cards. The system was rebooted, but wasn’t up and running until the 8th inning and by that time fans were understandably frustrated and angry with the long lines at concession stands and cash machines.
Staff from the software provider have been doing a thorough review of the system since Friday. “We promise our fans that we will get to the bottom of what caused the failure so that it doesn’t happen again. We hope our fans will give us a second chance to provide a great experience at Safeco Field,” said Armstrong.
The software system that operates cash registers and processes credit cards for concession stands at Safeco Field had a glitch Friday night. Mariners information services staff are still sorting out what happened, but a problem with the system, which started early in the game and was limited to a few stands, had spread throughout the system by the end of the 3rd inning. During the 5th inning it was decided that the best way to handle it was to shut down the system and reboot. Soon after, everything was up and running, but it took some time for the long lines at concession stands and cash machines to clear out. Everything is expected to be fine for Saturday’s game. The Mariners apologize for the inconvenience to fans during the glitch.
Head Groundskeeper Bob Christofferson is pretty talented with the spray paint nozzle. He pitched in today to help paint the Opening Night logo onto the field for tomorrow night.
Along with the painting duties, Bob’s got his crew mowing and raking and sweeping to get ready for Game #1 of the 2012 season.
The infield, which was replaced last October, is rooted and healthy.
The grow-lights that Bob and his crew have been using for the last month have helped. Bob’s achieved his goal of having the field in mid-season form for Opening Night.
This season, if you buy peanuts from a vendor in the stands at Safeco Field, you’ll notice something a little different on the bags.
The “Rick” patch that peanut vendors wore on their sleeves last season after Rick “The Peanut Man” Kaminski died, has been turned into a sticker and it will be affixed to every bag of peanuts sold by vendors in the stands.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of each bag will be donated by the Mariners concessions partner, Centerplate, to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County. That was one of Rick’s favorite charities.
So when you enjoy some fresh roasted peanuts at Safeco Field, you’ll be paying tribute to “The Peanut Man” and helping kids, too.
Today, there was a preview for members of the media of some of the new food offerings at Safeco Field this season.
Once again, the Mariners and Centerplate, our concessions partner, are working with noted Seattle chef, and Mariners fan, Ethan Stowell, on several new food concepts for the ballpark.
New menu items include two new BBQ sandwiches, pulled pork and beef brisket. Both are smoked in-house, both are locally sourced (Carlton Farms and Northwest Grass Fed Beef Company). Stowell serves the sandwiches on fresh-baked rolls with apple jalapeño slaw and whiskey cola BBQ sauce.
Stowell has also developed a new “anti-fast-food” burger and cheese burger with Northwest Grass Fed Beef on a potato bun. There’s also an Uli’s Italian sausage (made with Carlton Farms meat) and an Uli’s cheddar bratwurst, both served on a Pioneer bun.
And, because Seattle and Stowell are known for seafood, there’s a new Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich made with fried Taylor Farms oysters with a spicy remoulade.
The goal of the collaboration with Chef Stowell is to bring the flavors of Seattle into the ballpark. To do that, Stowell has worked with many local producers to source products and ingredients including Taylor Farms, Carlton Farms, Uli’s Sausage, Sageland Riesling, Tillamook Cheese and Franz Bakery.
Some of the other new offerings this season from Centerplate will be sushi from Seattle chef and caterer Hiroshi Egashira, pizza by the slice at seven locations, Uncle Charlie’s cheesesteaks with shaved ribeye steak, and soft serve ice cream at several concession stands around the ballpark.
There’s also a new full-service lounge on the upper deck called the Lookout Landing Bar. It will feature cocktails, beer and wine along with hot snacks such as waffle fries and mini corn dogs.
The IvarDog, a Safeco Field exclusive, has been nominated for The Munchies people’s choice food awards by the food website www.tablespoon.com/themunchies.
The IvarDog, a battered cod filet on a bed of coleslaw on a fresh baked bun, is nominated in the Favorite Stadium Eats category. The competition includes the Crazy Crabz Dungeness crab sandwich at AT&T Park in San Francisco, the Shack-Cago dog from Shake Shack at Citi Field in New York, Sweet Victory peach cobbler at the Georgia Dome and Tony Luke’s cheesesteak sandwich at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Fans can vote for the IvarDog, or other favorite ballpark food treat, at http://www.tablespoon.com/themunchies.
Solar panels are being installed at Safeco Field — 168 Panasonic SANYO HIT® Double solar panels to be exact. They’re being mounted on the roof of the skybridge that connects Safeco Field with the parking garage. The work should be completed next week.
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. At least eight other Major League Baseball stadiums have some type of solar installations.
The 32.76-kilowatt system will generate approximately 40,000-kilowatt hours of power annually which will go into the Safeco Field distribution grid.
Panasonic, through its recent acquisition of SANYO, a long-time Mariners corporate partner, has placed large screen TV monitors around the ballpark so fans can track the amount of power generated by the solar panels.
The panels are known as “bifacial” because they have photovoltaic cells on both sides. This allows them to capture reflected as well as direct sunlight, which can result in up to 30% higher power generation per square foot.
HIT stands for “heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer,” and the solar cells used are a hybrid with a unique structure made of a thin mono-crystalline silicon wafer surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers. HIT solar modules are known for having one of the world’s highest conversion efficiencies and excellent temperature characteristics, allowing HIT modules to generate more power throughout the year, even in cloudy, rainy Seattle.