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.
Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready will perform the National Anthem before Friday’s Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins Game. It’s part of the annual Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Night at Safeco Field.
McCready announced in 2002 that he had been living with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis for over 20-years. Since then, he has been working to raise money for research and treatment and to help bring the diseases out of the shadows.
Special group tickets for the game are available online only at www.mariners.com/ccfa. The deadline to buy tickets is Thursday, May 3 at 5pm. Prices are $20 for View Reserved and $40 for Field seats. Six-dollars from the purchase of every View level ticket and $7 from the purchase of every Field level ticket sold through the online offer goes to support the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
The Foundation and the Northwest Chapter actively support the more than 60,000 Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients living in the Northwest. In addition to raising funds, CCFA will be on-site Friday to help raise general awareness of both diseases, which due to severe symptoms, are often kept quiet.
CCFA is the only non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Commonly referred to as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, it is estimated that more than 1.4 million Americans are living with these incurable digestive diseases. Symptoms are painful and include rectal bleeding, intense abdominal cramping, fatigue, malnutrition and stunted growth in children and uncontrollable diarrhea. For more information on CCFA and/or inflammatory bowel disease, please visit www.ccfa.org.
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.