As a Seattle-based business, we have a special place in our hearts for Mariners baseball. So, in 1999, we were thrilled to become the naming-rights sponsor of their hometown ballpark. Ever since, Safeco Insurance® has provided Seattle fans with countless memories, good times and one of the best ballparks in baseball.
At the close of our 15th anniversary season in 2014, we went behind the scenes at Safeco Field for a look at the people who bring our wonderful ballpark to life and the technology that makes it one of Major League Baseball’s gems. Watch our videos and read on below to learn the ins, the outs and the ground rules of Safeco Field.
What makes Safeco Field one of the best ballparks in the country? Some incredible people and technology, for starters.
Ask anyone who works at Safeco Field and they’ll tell you, it’s 24-7, 365 baseball. Ensuring that fans, players and staff have an experience like no other is a full-time operation. There’s no off-season for this team. But beyond the hard work of the hometown heroes who put their hearts and souls into running the ballpark, there’s one more secret to the success of Safeco Field: the ground rules.
Ground Rule #1: The Roof Is for the Fans.
Rain or shine, Safeco Field is the perfect venue for fans to enjoy a great baseball game, thanks to the retractable roof. This one-of-a-kind design weighs in at more than 22 million pounds and covers nearly 9 acres. Even more impressive, it only takes 15 minutes to close. So, when the clouds roll in and the raindrops start to fall, there’s no delay in the game. What’s the best part of the retractable roof? It helps create the right environment for Seattle fans to sit back, relax and enjoy the game.
Ground Rule #2: Stay Off the Grass.
Some people think grass is just grass. The folks at Safeco Field, however, do not. Safeco Field has a custom-designed, state-of-the-art playing surface unlike any other in baseball. Between the infield and outfield, you can find four different kinds of Kentucky bluegrass and two different kinds of perennial rye grass. And, according to Head Groundskeeper Bob Christofferson, it’s the perfect mix. Bob makes sure it’s watered, fed and sunned just right, and, because sunlight is a rare commodity in Seattle, the field regularly gets its rays from a special grow-light system — which just so happens to be one of the best in the world. There’s no question that the field is pristine, but there’s a catch. Unless you’re on the M’s starting lineup, or you’re Bob himself, stay off the grass.
Ground Rule #3: The Future Is In Tots.
If you’ve been to Safeco Field or seen a game on television, then surely you know about Garlic Fries. They’re a true fan favorite, and they’re pretty darn good. But if you ask former Executive Chef Dave Dekker, you’ll hear him say that it’s time for a new stadium specialty — enter Dirty Tots. There’s no doubt that every item on the menu at Safeco Field is delicious, delectable and downright awesome. But let it be known (and you heard it here first): The future is in tots.
Ground Rule #4: We Don’t Do “Kiss Cam.”
Safeco Field is one of a kind, and one of its more noticeable features is the Mariners Vision super screen: a 200-foot-wide, 56-foot-tall mega-television that provides one of the best fan experiences in baseball. It’s the largest screen in Major League Baseball and the sixth largest screen in the world with a total surface area of 11,425 square feet. And, while it captures every great play and foul-ball fan dive, there’s one thing it doesn’t do: kiss cam. The super screen is just another great feature that helps Safeco Field stand out from the rest.
Ground Rule #5: Safeco Field is Moose-tacular.
No baseball field is complete without a fun mascot, and Safeco Field is no exception. In fact, some may say that Mariner Moose is their favorite part of Safeco Field. Moose’s main mission is to cheer on the Mariners, and he does it well. But, in his off time he’s been known to help with marriage proposals at the field. His charming persona undoubtedly adds to everyone’s experience at the ballpark. Safeco Field wouldn’t be the same without him.