Saturday, April 17, 2010

Safeco Field

It's going to be hard to top the game experience at Safeco.  The stadium opened in 1999 and overlooks what I think is Puget Sound. Absolutely beautiful.

Location: Safeco is located in the SoDo neighborhood in Seattle, which isn't good or bad, from what I've heard.  There is a ton of parking south of the stadium - many people just park for free, but there are a number of lots that are $20/$25 even around the area we parked on the street.  We drove and it was pretty easy to get to even with the game time traffic.  There's a new light rail system called Link which has a stadium stop.  I took it from the airport to meet Annie and her roommate Chandan before I walked around downtown.

Ballpark:  The ballpark is a young professional's dream.  I say young professional and not college student because things can get pretty pricy in a hurry.  Anyway, the stadium has what is becoming typical green metal railing, but it adds some grey color in there that makes it barely reminiscent of the Kingdome when the roof is closed. Our seats were $25 and pretty expensive for an upper deck spot.  There wasn't really a bad seat, though.  Safeco is a retractable roof stadium that, when closed, leaves a portion of the stadium open.  Thus, it acts like an umbrella instead of making the stadium a dome.

There's a biergarten in center field that was PACKED the entire game. Great selection.

Food:  They had a really good food variety at Safeco: sushi, Mexican, hamburgers, pad thai, terriyaki, and garlic fries.  I've now seen garlic fries at every stadium (3-3), but these smelled so good I couldn't pass them up. The picture might not make them look good, but trust me, they are a huge hit.

I doubt there will be a stadium that has the same quality and variety of ballpark fare.  The beer selection was also quite excellent and just expensive as MMP and AT&T, but I'll talk about that more in the "Game" section. Which is, I guess, now.

Game: Wow.  What an awesome experience.  Annie, Chan, and I were driven to the game by their friends Pat and Aaron.  We didn't get there in time for the Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie bobbleheads, which now that I think about it, was the only damper on the evening.  Walking to the stadium it started to rain, of course, and Safeco started moving its umbrella roof over the stadium.  We went to the Pyramid Brewery literally right across the street and got a couple of free beers from Pat's bud who was working there. From there we went to the biergarten in center field, where I got hustled by this innocent looking lady and her brother/brother-in-law. She literally chugged her 16 oz. beer in less than three seconds, so I was left paying the bill for her and her brother. They were friendly, at least.

We saw King Felix and the Ms dominate the Tigers. Brian Cashman's decision to let Johnny Damon go is looking AWESOME every day, not that I disagreed with the move in the first place. He went 1-4 and scored, but is batting .200 on the season with no HR.

The stadium was still packed in the 7th inning, even though the Mariners were dominating the Tigers 11-2.  I came away impressed.

Griffey getting the AB on bobblehead night.

Summary: Awesome baseball experience. Great company (thanks Annie & Chan!), good food, nice beer, and a BEAUTIFUL stadium. Wish I could have gotten the bobblehead, but it wouldn't have fit in my suitcase anyway.  The fans stayed late and obviously enjoyed watching their team play.  Rumor had it that everyone in Seattle wanted to go to that game, so I was lucky to have attended.  Everyone, please put Safeco Field on your bucket list.

Location: 7
Ballpark: 9
Food: 9
Game: 10
Overall: 9

My record: 3-0
Giveaways to date: 1 A's Snuggie

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