Chronological Tour: Stop 167

Hey, They Got One Right!

Home plate entrance to Safeco Field, Aug-2013.

It takes a lot to fill this expansive park, even with Felix Hernandez pitching.

The Seahawks’ football field is visible here, having replaced the Kingdome.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
The biggest thing wrong with this park might be its name. Safeco, after all, is one of those financial services companies that’s plastering its name everywhere (like Bank One, Fleet Bank, etc.).

But if that’s the biggest fault I have with the park, it’s pretty good. As always, personal experience makes a big difference, and on the day I visited, the sun came out at game time and turned the park into a brilliant place to watch a game.

They have a retractable roof here, but it hangs out beyond right field when it’s not in use, covering the train yard. It’s not nearly as imposing a figure as it is at SkyDome or even Bank One Ballpark; in fact, you almost forget it’s there when the roof’s open. I did hang around long enough for them to close the roof after the game; I did feel like I was indoors, although the roof doesn’t actually enclose the stadium – it just covers it. (In a gusty thunderstorm, people could get wet.)

Intelligently, the “open” side of the park is in left field (where one half of the roof tracks). On an “open” day, fans are left with a clear view of the city of Seattle. The Kingdome still dominated the foreground on my 1999 visit (it was demolished in 2000), but the skyline can clearly be seen, clear back to the Space Needle three or four miles away. The football field that replaced the Kingdome now occupies that spot in the spectator view.

There is a “fun fan” area somewhere, but I really didn’t notice it. It’s hidden away, like it should be, unlike at Turner Field (where it dominates the view) or at the BOB. And there’s also no “throwback” here. Safeco Field is one thing: a great place to watch a baseball game. That’s refreshing.

I did get that “oh, no, I’m inside now” feeling when they closed the dome after the game for exhibition purposes after the game I watched in 1999. However, the necessity of a dome notwithstanding, this is the best effort, in my opinion, since Camden Yards.

Game # Date League Level Result
380 Sat 21-Aug-1999 American MLB Cleveland 6, SEATTLE 0
1280 Fri 23-Aug-2013 American MLB LA Angels 2, SEATTLE 0
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