Review by Gary
Seattle’s T-Mobile Park opened in 1999 and I attended a Mariners game there in 2004 (called Safeco Field at the time). Going to this game included a couple of unique things for me. It was the only other time that I took mass transit to a ballpark other that going to Shea. Second, it was the first time that I had been to a stadium with a retractable roof, which would be closed for this game. Traveling with other Mariner fans was cool as the anticipation of going to the game grew as more and more fans boarded the train.
Upon entering the King Street station, I caught site of Qwest Field looming right across the street from Safeco. Qwest had opened just 2 years before and is home to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Both teams had fled the confines of the Kingdome, located just down the street from both of these venues. Building two stadiums right across a road from one another seems a bit wasteful to me, but that’s a different review.
The Mariners home is a very nice place to see a ballgame. Fans can sit in any of the three-tiered levels of seating from pole to pole or in either of two bleacher sections in left and center field. The ballpark has four main gates open to all ticket holders during Mariners games, located at the corners of the ballpark as city streets surround it. There are spectacular sightlines from all over the park. My seat was high above the first base bag, which provided me a nice view of Qwest Field through the opening over the scoreboard out in left field and right under the roof. As the sun set, the stadiums were both lit quite nicely under that Seattle night sky.
Safeco Field is one of those retro style ballparks that was popular to build in the 1990’s, which incorporates many of the features of stadiums built in the 1950s and earlier with modern amenities added. Safeco features a brick façade, asymmetrical field dimensions and a natural grass field. The capacity is just over 47,000 seats. Any trip to the Seattle are during baseball season should include a trip to Mariner game, whether the roof is open or not.