Seattle is one of my favorite cities in America and Safeco Field ranks among my favorite ballpark experiences. While baseball under a roof likely wasn’t the vision of the founding fathers, they probably weren’t familiar with the persistent elements of the Pacific Northwest. Safeco offers the option of a retractable umbrella when necessary, and you can’t get much better than sitting in Safeco beneath a sunny Seattle sky with the roof open. The sight lines are amazing and the ballpark is beautiful.
Of the 31 Major League venues I have visited, it ranks among the very best.
The reasons are many, and extend beyond the game played on the grass and dirt of the 15-year old facility. For one, the people are friendly. I once enjoyed a train ride from Tacoma’s Union Station to the ballpark, a Red Sox fan in the company of Mariners diehards (they boasted pre-Griffey cred) and not once did I feel unwelcome. Seattle is home to a franchise that has never seen a World Series, but the fans cherish the memory of the 116-win, post-A-Rod campaign of 2001 and the upset of the Yankees in 1995.
You’ve also got to consider the culinary options as a major part of the ballpark experience. At 6’4” and 200 pounds, I appreciate this. Safeco is the first place I ever had clam chowder at a sporting venue. Their menu is extensive; even better, the concourses provide sight lines to the field of play while you’re munching.
Located right within the confines, the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest is worth a visit. The Mariners Hall of Fame (hello, Alvin Davis!) is there, too. Let’s face it: other than the Griffey era and the years shortly thereafter, there haven’t been many winning seasons in Seattle. But the development of baseball in the region prior to the birth of the Mariners in 1977 is an interesting story.