The P in PFD stands for what

DMZ · August 29, 2004 at 12:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Another great question on this — where’s the Public Facilities District been? They’re supposedly responsible for oversight of the Mariners’ operation of the park.

Here’s their mission statement:

To site, design, build, and operate an excellent and attractive baseball park that is an asset to the community and the region, that promotes the success of Major League Baseball in the State of Washington, that contributes to fan enjoyment of baseball, and that can be achieved within the available resources.

How does that ugly-ass, cramped, atmosphere-destroying permanent temporary seating section contribute to the fan enjoyment of baseball? How does it make Safeco Field excellent or attractive?

Even their vision statement cries out against this —

The stadium is expected to combine the look and feel of traditional ballparks with the convenience, amenities, and revenue-generating features of a modern, state-of-the-art facility. Traditional ballparks generally emphasize the pastoral nature of the sport of baseball, incorporate unique and often asymmetrical design elements, and provide fans with a sense of intimacy and proximity to the players.

How are the new stands a unique design element? If the original stadium design balanced the look and feel of traditional ballparks with the revenue-generating features of a modern facility, doesn’t this upset that compromise?

These are good question for the PFD Board Members, who unfortunately don’t have contact numbers or email on their site. The only information we have is “The office phone number is (206)664-3076, FAX (206)664-3194.” Kevin Callan, who is listed on the contact us page (and who we’re supposed to “Feel Free” to contact) has the same contact info as the main switchboard.

Man, I’m steamed about this.


22 Responses to “The P in PFD stands for what”

  1. Paul on August 29th, 2004 1:10 am

    Derek. They’ve sold seats in that section through the rest of the season. It’s not going anywhere. Give it a rest, already, okay? Sheesh.

    I mean, I agree with you- the CF bleacher section sucks, it’s a cheap excuse for them to sell more tickets, and considering the reduced attendence it’s pretty ridiculous… but there’s nothing more to be done about it THIS season.

    Let’s just hope that it doesn’t show up next year, and perhaps offering some kind of suggestions to people on how to get our input in would be a better way to go.



  2. Justin on August 29th, 2004 1:40 am

    “Hoping it doesn’t show up next year” is, frankly, the kind of inactivity that emboldens corporate interests to tighten the screws of the money-squeezing press they hope to have us all trapped in.

    Groups that are supposedly for public, not private, interests should be held accountable for failing to make noise when something like this is done. All too often they don’t, and all too often we don’t. It would be nice if I could just say, what the hell, it’s a sports stadium, if I don’t like it I won’t go (which is easy after all, I don’t live in Washington), but it’s standard business practice these days in the real world. The difference between the individual and the corporation is the corporation very rarely “hopes” the public won’t notice and that things will go their way. If they think the public will be upset then they develop a plan to make damn sure the public doesn’t notice and they see the plan through until it is no longer in their interest to do so.

    Additionally, everyone can’t fight every battle, so if the Mariners are your passion, then I say grab hold of the issue like a rabid dog and don’t let it go no matter what. As long as you understand that your odds of success are relatively low and aren’t beaten down by the process, it can’t do any harm and might do some good.

    In this guy’s humble opinion, it’s what we should all be doing in our local communities.


  3. DMZ on August 29th, 2004 1:42 am

    Well, two things —
    I know it’s not going anywhere for this season, as much as that sucks. They could re-seat those people in better seats (they’ve got enough ticket inventory remaining, after all) but not for all games, so… I get that.

    I am giving people suggestions on how to get their input in. Why, this very post you’re commenting on has the PFD contact info. I’ll put together a more complete list at some point.

    And I promise to bang on this drum again when the season ends and we might be able to exert some influence as fans.

  4. DMZ on August 29th, 2004 1:42 am

    Also, what Justin said.

  5. Jeremy on August 29th, 2004 10:50 am

    So, we have a money driven Mariner move and something that will take away from enjoyment of beer. Sounds like a perfect storm for Derek. No wonder he’s ticked.

  6. eponymous coward on August 29th, 2004 11:00 am

    Weeeeeeellll, I note this is what it says:

    The Club is responsible for day-to-day operations. The PFD remains responsible for oversight.

    Deciding whether or not space is used for a beer garden or seating sounds like day-to-day operations, no? I imagine it’s spelled out in the lease, though (the lease should be available as a public document, either on the PFD’s stie or through requesting it).

    Far be it from me to keep you from tilting at windmills, but I’m not sure how far this will go. Good luck, though.

  7. Jeff in Fremont on August 29th, 2004 11:12 am

    The landing was one of my favorite parts of going to the ballpark. Now it’s largely gone, and as a result, I won’t be going to the ballpark.

    /pondering a new AL team to root for

  8. jason in nj on August 29th, 2004 11:39 am

    was at a phillies game recently in their new ballpark, which reminded me quite a bit of safeco… there were about 8 of us, and we all watched the game from an area very similar to safeco’s beer garden, and it was great.

    the m’s management just makes me sad.

  9. stan on August 29th, 2004 12:02 pm

    As a Mariner fan who goes to 10-15 games a year, I would be willing to sign a petition to bring back the landing. When I first saw Safeco, I thought to myself that there could be some trouble with rowdy, obnoxious fans in the landing and near the bullpens, but I have yet to see any problems in either place. I myself am too old for the landing, but I think a ballpark should accomodate children, young adults, families, wheel chair/handicapped, and seniors. I say bring back the landing and keep it open unless the people who frequent it create problems that would justify closing it. The temporary bleachers should only be brought out for post season games.

  10. Jim Thomsen on August 29th, 2004 1:36 pm


    I smell another Seattle Weekly piece in the making ….


  11. Eric on August 29th, 2004 2:52 pm

    So…you guys have framed this as entirely money-grubbing management against fun-loving fans. But is that really fair? After all, now 240 extra Mariners fans get to see the most-sought-after M’s games because of the new section. But anyone standing in the beer garden before was abandoning his seat elsewhere. Isn’t the increased capacity a PLUS for the fans? There’s a large landing by the staircases up to the third deck in right center. Even avoiding the math about wehther the beer garden could really delight 240 extra fans, couldn’t you all hang out in the right-center staircase landing and drink your beer there instead?

  12. jason in nj on August 29th, 2004 3:28 pm

    sure you *could*, but who’d want to?

  13. G-Man on August 29th, 2004 6:30 pm

    I was at The Safe on Friday, and I looked around for other revenue enhancement possibilities that they might try.

    You see those bullpens? Would those make some nice seating areas? Heck with all the neat stuff about the pens being where they are, that’s money waiting to be made. Where will the new bullpens be? No problem, stick them behind the center field fence in that open area. To maintain the hitting background they’ll just raise fence 5 feet. It’ll pretty cozy for two bullpens, but they’ll just make the relievers buy tickets and sit in the stands when they’re not warming up.

  14. Paul on August 29th, 2004 11:44 pm

    Eric, the seats only put in “additional” fans during the sellouts- which there are fewer of this season, thanks to the team’s horrible record.

    In any case, adding 240 seats increases the capacity of Safeco approximately one-half of a percentage point. It’s miniscule, and when you consider that it only does that on sellout days, it’s even less than miniscule.

    What we need is fewer flat-out rants (see my first post) and a better organized drive with where to concentrate complaints/input (also see my first post).

  15. James on August 30th, 2004 1:14 am

    I think everyone agrees that section 101 detracts from most fans’ enjoyment of a game at “Safeco”, while adding to the volume of cash ownership is raking in. However I think what everyone is overlooking is that “management” doesn’t really care what you or I think. IE: “Your 2004 Seattle Mariners”. You can put on your best Dylan Thomas face, you can rage against the good night with all your might, but like death inevitable it is. Look I’m not saying don’t cause a fuss. I’m just saying this season has crushed me, and signing Melvin to a contract extension gives me no hope for a bright future. Those seats don’t surprise me one bit. Nor do I see anything changing. It’s par for the course as far as I’m concerned. But It’s not like I don’t get the point of the poem or anything. I’m just saying. So keep showing us who to complain to, and maybe at some point someone will start listening to “the fan”.

  16. James on August 30th, 2004 1:20 am

    Sorry a little dyslexic of me. Try this URI to curse me instead.

  17. Ralph Malph on August 30th, 2004 8:48 am

    Yes, eponymous coward, this is a “day to day” operational decision.

    When they make a bad operational decision, it is time for some “oversight”.

  18. JP Wood on August 30th, 2004 8:54 am

    There are much more important messages than the Section 101 revamp to get across to Mariner management. There is an important theme in Derek’s writing, though, that comes out again in this rant, which is hitting management for not respecting the vaunted fan experience. I would add that the landing was also an attitude builder, as in “I’ve got attitude”. The Mariners definitely shouldn’t shortchange anything that adds attitude to Mariner games (the team needs all it can get) and fan experience is one of management’s 10 commandments. So this works on both levels. I think Derek has a point and with some success and local support might be able to at least open some eyes that count.
    Then, the sky…

  19. Erik on August 30th, 2004 9:59 am

    Why don’t they just sell 240 standing room only tickets? Or 480 at half the cost of each of those 101 seats?

  20. eponymous coward on August 30th, 2004 10:00 am

    With all due respect, Ralph, the ballpark is primarily there for the M’s to make money operating it as a MLB franchise. While the foofy rhetoric’s on the PFD’s site is nice, warm and fuzzy, like I said, what the M’s can and can’t do is likely covered by the lease for Safeco. I find it unlikely they’d do something not covered by the lease in converting the beer garden to seating…but weirder things have happened.

    Since I have a wild hair up my posterior, I’ll call the PFD and see if I can get a copy- I would assume it’s a public document.

  21. Ralph Malph on August 30th, 2004 12:28 pm

    Obviously you’re right about the lease, that governs what “oversight” the PFD can do.

  22. Paul Weaver on August 30th, 2004 12:39 pm

    If the fans make enough fuss, someone will listen. If the fans feel that the management is totally uninterested in them, then their interest will wane, and that’s bad for buisness.
    Letters to the editor are read and regularly printed.
    How many more ammenities would management wish to remove in favor of possibly more lucrative ones? Eventually it has to hurt the pocket book to remove great luxuries.