The Sporting Life
While the M's Are Away, at Safeco We'll Play
Even though the Mariners open the season on the road, fans can still head to the ballpark for a free night of baseball.
The Seattle Mariners' most exciting offseason acquisition wasn't a player. It was a really, really big screen. Safeco Field has added a new HD video board above the center field stands, measuring 56.7 feet high by 201.5 feet wide, or the length of roughly 34 Ichiros (lying down). Seattle now owns the largest video screen of any ballpark in Major League Baseball. Good luck keeping your eyes on the field this year.
The baseball stadium underwent several major renovations in the offseason. Most notably, the outfield fences were moved in to generate some much needed offense. Straightaway center had moved from 409 feet to 405 feet; the biggest change was to the left-center wall, moved in from 390 feet to 378. By comparison, the newish Yankee Stadium—now considered a homer haven—is 408 feet at its center and 399 feet left-center (though balls sneak out along the right and left field lines, a paltry 314 and 318 feet from homeplate).
To show off the new additions, the Mariners will host an open house at Safeco on April 1, the day the Mariners start their season on the road in Oakland. Fans can watch the game on the giant screen, check out the new outfield, munch on food specials from the concession stands, and tour Edgar's Cantina, a new "Northwest Mex" dining spot with a menu created by chef Ethan Stowell. Mariners Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez (the namesake of said Cantina) and Stowell will both be on hand for the festivities. Admission and parking are free.
Safeco Field Open House (Mariners at Athletics)
Apr 1 at 7, Safeco Field, Free