Section 101 to go away

DMZ · September 21, 2004 at 9:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

… sort of.

At the Public Facilities District meeting yesterday, a woman (no info on who yet) got up and laid into the Mariners for the center-field landing bleachers and covering up her brick in particular.

Chuck Armstrong, Mariners president, apologized about the bleachers and said that they would only be deployed when the team had already sold out the game. Which I’d be a little angry about except that I don’t think the M’s are going to sell out a lot next year. Still, it does leave open the question of whether they’d push them out all the time if they could, or if they see this as an easy give-back to the public since they’re not selling anyway. If they were selling those 240 seats out every game, I don’t think they’d be coming out this early in the fight.

Talking to the PFD this morning, I asked them if they had anything to do with this and they said “I think it was the public that did it.”

Good job, public.


26 Responses to “Section 101 to go away”

  1. JP Wood on September 21st, 2004 10:56 am

    Chalk one up. And thanks for sensing where the limits of this battle were.
    Hats off.

  2. Troy Sowden on September 21st, 2004 11:15 am

    Overall, this is good news, but again I feel like the focus has been taken off of the beer garden and placed on the bricks. The bricks being covered is tragic and dirty and if I had one I’d be pist to be sure, but we’ve already seen other suggested *solutions* to the brick dilemna that include moving the bricks and keeping the stands. If by some act of God the M’s go out and and sign Beltre and Beltran and The House That Edgar Built sells out, section 101 will still be there, and the bricks will have been moved. This is a victory, but a minor one, if your goal is restoring the beer garden to its rightful place at the Safe.

  3. Jim Thomsen on September 21st, 2004 11:22 am

    Congratulations to Derek for his leadership on this important issue. Don’t sell short your own contributions to public enlightenment on Section 101. I hope you would have been the one to blast off like Mussolini from the balcony at the PFD meeting had someone else not done it.

    I know it’s early … but is this going to be a great USS Mariner Pizza Feed this year, or what? The reader interaction component of this site has, I’m sure, a lot of people wondering what some of the other “regulars” are like in person. Be sure, when it comes time to post info and invitations to the event, that everybody from the Mariners should be encouraged to come as well.

    And plan on a place that can seat a few hundred people, perhaps. Count me in for logistical/planning help, if you need.

  4. Bryan on September 21st, 2004 11:37 am

    Being that I don’t live in Seattle and get to many Mariners games, but yet being a big fan of the M’s, I can understand some of the angst towards the Section 101 seats. However, I have seen and heard many people blast Seattle fans that attend the games for not being true fans of baseball but rather using attendance at games as a social setting. I’ve read dozens of message boards that have long drawn out arguments about all the cellphones that show up behind home plate. Now the biggest fight with fans and the organization seems to be the beer garden which is just another social setting for people to drink and chat and just overall socialize at the game, rather than follow the action on the field closely. Mariner fans have long been accused of being docile at the games, and not truly following or understanding the game as a whole. Now I know this is not the case with most of the readers here, but it just seems to me, that perpetuating the importance of the beer garden for social activities at the game, is perpetuating the belief that Mariner fans as a majority to really care about the game, but rather view it as, a sidenote to a social activity. To me, the more relevant issue would be the bricks that were covered up that were paid for by loyal fans, rather than the importance of the size of the beer garden in the centerfield area.

  5. The Real Trent on September 21st, 2004 11:42 am

    The best thing about the Beer Garden Bryan is that it encourages socializing and yet it doesn’t interrupt anyone else’s enjoyment of the game (unlike people on cell phones etc. during the game).

  6. Bryan on September 21st, 2004 11:48 am

    Trent, maybe because I don’t get to go there and experience it myself don’t understand it, but I really don’t see what the difference is between a group of people standing in centerfield socializing with everyone around them and someone sitting in a seat with the game in front of them talking on a cellphone. Either way, only half your attention is focused on the game at hand. Now I’m not saying that everyone should solely focus on the game the whole time, all I’m saying is that I really don’t see the difference between those that talk on the cellphone seated behind homeplate, and those that are standing out there in the landing talking and drinking.

  7. DMZ on September 21st, 2004 11:51 am

    Bryan — Um, maybe if you haven’t been there, and don’t have any idea of what it’s like, you shouldn’t bitch about what’s it’s like and lament the state of socialization there.

    When I’ve been there, I had a beer and watched the game. There’s a lot of hanging out and chilling, but there’s game-watching going on.

  8. DMZ on September 21st, 2004 11:54 am

    Also, I don’t think the focus has been taken off the larger issue, it’s just that the brick issue is easy to pick up and bash the M’s over the head with.

  9. Jim Thomsen on September 21st, 2004 11:59 am

    Uh-oh … I see a thread coming on about “The Correct and Incorrect Ways of Watching A Baseball Game,” with the self-appointed Baseball Integrity Police hijacking the conversation.

    Bottom line, to me: Watch the game as much or as little as you choose … as long as you don’t impact other people’s ability to watch as much (or as little) as they choose. A few simple guidelines: 1) If you don’t feel you can turn off your cell phone, at least set it to vibrate, and when you take calls, leave your seat and conduct your conversation in one of the concourses. 2) If fans around you voice stupid opinions (or ones with which you disagree), don’t engage them in verbal or physical fisticuffs. 3) No PDA in a PFD place.

  10. Bryan on September 21st, 2004 12:15 pm

    Sorry for offending you DMZ with my honest questions about the importance of a beer garden. I have been there, but I don’t get there very often because of where I live. I have no problem with people that want to socialize at games, I have no problem with people that want to drink at games, and I have no problem with people that talk on cellphones during the games. They are all paying customers and have the right to do as they wish while the attend the games, and none of them have ever impeded on my ability to enjoy a game. But I can see this is definitely a touchy issue with you so I’ll refrain from further comment on the other side of the fence.

  11. Eric on September 21st, 2004 12:38 pm


    the diffierence between socializing int he beer garden and talking on your cell phone is that peopel who go to the Beer Garden are expecting there to be socialization and choose to go there where they may be distracted fromt he game. When some jerk talks on his cell phone in the stands he is distracting those around him he didn’t choose the option.

  12. Eric on September 21st, 2004 12:39 pm

    Oops a typo in my lats post it should read “he is distracting those around him WHO didn’t choose the option”

  13. Paul Weaver on September 21st, 2004 1:17 pm

    Also, the beer garden is well below the majority of the stands and won’t interrupt the people in CF. Fans are a mixxed bag. I am a hardcore baseball fan, but view the actual going of to games as a casual event – barring pennant races.
    Actually Bryan – being favorable to online confrontations myself – I wouldn’t mind some counterargument here. I never go to the beer garden myself, but like the fact that it is there. I have been largely on the side of keeping the beer garden there – it’s a good atmospheric touch and a place to send groups of people who aren’t getting their share of drinking/socialization sitting amongst soccer moms on the third floor.

    However – if it’s the stretch run, and the Mariners are battling the A’s for a division title – screw the beer and lollygagging!, screw the bricks!, this is serious baseball, and I’d rather sit in those crappy seats yelling and whooping my head off for our pitcher’s third strike, or that solid hit with RISP. (I miss how loud the Kingdome got)

    I would say situational, rather than permanent for those seats. Only if it’s a qualified sell out the day before, should those seats be broken out. -my two cents

  14. DMZ on September 21st, 2004 1:46 pm

    “Sorry for offending you DMZ with my honest questions about the importance of a beer garden.”

    Please knock off the martyr routine, it doesn’t suit you.

    My point was this — you said “perhaps it’s because I don’t experience it…” and yet you’re making comments about how it is there. Then you’re saying you’ve been there, yadda yadda yadda…

    It’s not about being on the wrong side of the argument. It’s about this “I don’t know you or what you do for a job, but I don’t understand why you’re paid for it” thing.

    If you’re going to make an argument that the center field landing isn’t important, you could say:

    “Why is this an important feature that needs protection? When I was there, it was just some tables and a lot of UW students drinking beer, flirting with each other, jostling my drink, and barely paying attention to the game.”

    Saying that you don’t have any experience with it and pleaded ignorance as to its value and then saying that you do have experience with it and know it has little value is, at best, a pretty lame debate tactic.

  15. Bryan on September 21st, 2004 1:55 pm

    OK DMZ … you want to argue the point fine. I’ll debate it. First off any beer garden that takes up viewing space is a stupid idea any way you want to put it, so I don’t need first hand knowlege of Safeco’s beer garden to make my point. A beer garden is a social atmosphere and whether its important to you or not is not the issue. If you feel that there is nothing more important than being able to go to a Mariners game, stand around with a bunch of people and watch a game fine, more power to you, but the seats that they put in are exactly the same thing except you have to sit. It doesn’t stop you from socializing… it doesn’t stop you from having a beer, it just sits your butt in a chair instead of being able to roam free. And from my experience at Safeco field, if you don’t want to sit there are plenty of other places that you can wander to that allow you to sit.

    So no I’m not playing any type of Martyr, I just don’t like people that have to escalate a disagreement on importance of stupid and pointless beer garden. Now if you want to talk about how it affects people that bought into bricks, that laid money down, that’s a whole different story.

    Now being that you are one of the people that run this site, feel free to ban me for making my point, that is your right, but as a fan of the Mariners I have a right to my point and if you are so nearsighted that the most important issue of Safeco field is the right to stand and have a beer while watching the game, then thrre is not much more for me to say, than…. I feel sorry for you.

  16. Chris W. on September 21st, 2004 2:14 pm

    Bryan, I’m not sure whether you’re arguing just to argue at this point, but, if you’ve been reading the threads related to this issue, you know that the seats at issue are, and have been, 90% empty since they were installed. I’ve NEVER seen the beer garden 90% empty during a game. That’s the first point… no matter how slice it, it’s a stupid allocation of resources when the team isn’t selling out games. The second point is more subtle: unique features at baseball stadiums just make stadiums better, regardless of whether you, personally, go there. Period. It’s like art. The benefits aren’t necessarily tangible but it makes the world a better place. I am a happier person because the troll is under the bridge in Freemont, even though I haven’t seen it in 5 years. Beyond that, I could try to describe to you why having a group of people socializing and drinking beer in centerfield is inherently good, but it would require an essay.

  17. Eric on September 21st, 2004 2:16 pm

    So Bryan you think a baseball stadium should be nothing but a bunch of stands and sitting in your seat is the only way anyone should watch the game? Baseball stadiums should be utilitarian groupings of seats and exits and anything added for architectural interest is “stupid and pointless” I guess all stadiums should just be like Riverfront or other generic 60s multi-use parks?

    A beer garden adds some nice variety and a unique feature to the stadium, personally I like to go down and grab a BBQ pork sandwich and beer and stay there for a while to eat (bringing those things back to your seat is pretty messy) It is nice to be able to do that and still watch the game.

    You know I find it funny that you attack DMZ for his debate tactics and then turn around and do they exact thing you accuse him of.

  18. Old Man McMurray on September 21st, 2004 2:18 pm

    Damn kids these days! They just don’t know how to enjoy a game, lollygagging and standing around and drinking their malted beverages and crap. Why, in my day we sat down and stayed there, and if we got up our dad belted us – and good! And scorecards – why, we had to remember the whole game in our heads. Pop even quizzed us, and if we didn’t remember that “Bum Legs” Burnaham struck out on a slider, we got belted again! And what’s with these fancy foods like Ichiwhattevers? All we brought was hardtack – and we liked it!

  19. Jon on September 21st, 2004 2:42 pm

    The M’s are saying, as I understand it, that the bleachers will be removed next season, BUT could return if a game or series is otherwise sold-out. Interestingly, I have always felt that the center field landing (a terrific place) is most needed and useful when there IS a sell-out. It allows fans a place to expand into and keeps down the congestion in the corridors.

  20. The Real Trent on September 21st, 2004 2:50 pm

    My last post on the subject, but here goes. When I sit in my season ticket seats 11 rows behind first base I expect to watch the game in great detail. If someone was talking loudly the whole time or talking on their cell phone it would annoy me to no end. However, it is nice to have the option to meet a buddy for a beer and not worry about getting in anyone’s way or talking too loud (or loud enough to distract anyone from the game). Does that make sense? Both groups of fans can be happy if we have the beer garden. I don’t really know how else to explain it.

  21. JP Wood on September 21st, 2004 3:17 pm

    I’m way, way out of town and I’ve been to the landing only once, with one of my brothers who loves it. He works downtown and sees a lot of games. He also does triathlons and doesn’t drink beer or anything else that destroys your liver, but he meets friends who aren’t seated where he is and talks baseball with other fans who are strangers that he’d never meet anywhere but there.
    That’s where he became enamored with Mike Cameron and his enormous smile and grace, where he realized that Safeco could really smell like freshly mowed grass, where he scrambled more than once with a swarm of fans to try to snag a HR ball. Where he could take his two boys, walk around with them next to center field and watch a game almost as if it were Spring training.
    At least that’s what he told me.

  22. David J Corcoran on September 21st, 2004 6:23 pm

    Thank. God.

  23. JP Wood on September 22nd, 2004 2:15 am

    Even if the Times sports writers haven’t picked up the ball on this, the business writers have. Check out this from Heidi Keim in Bus & Tech:

  24. JP Wood on September 22nd, 2004 2:25 am

    Sorry, that’s “Kristi Heim” and not “Heidi Keim”. I must be getting dyslexic.

  25. PaulEnumclaw on September 22nd, 2004 9:37 am

    What gets me about the beer garden is that you can’t tell me that the M’s couldn’t sell 240 “Standing Room Only” tickets. Why, then, do they bother selling the bleacher seats?

    I have never been to a game at Safeco where there weren’t people standing up, wandering around, etc. There are ALWAYS empty seats, and quite a few, because there’s so many neat places to stand up, wander around, watch the game, have a brew, etc.

    Just delete the bleachers and sell 240 tickets to sold-out games as “SRO”, and they’ve achieved the same effect.

    Personally, I suspect that the M’s Morality Police are the reason the team doesn’t seem to give a rip about the CF plaza. They don’t like the idea of people drinking beer- they’re willing to accept the massive profits from it, of course, but they’re *not happy* about it.

    Add to that the notion that some of those people are young, and healthy, and probably using that CF plaza to meet each other and drink beer and then go somewhere else and HAVE SEX(!)… nope.

    That plaza has to go, the team can’t be having people thinking that Safeco is a good spot for baseball fans to meet other baseball fans to have sex with.


  26. Wiz on September 22nd, 2004 12:49 pm

    Beyond the “covered bricks” issue it is essential to the overall experience, feel and personality of Safeco Field to have the CF landing open. This area is a perfect place to meet with friends that are sitting in different sections, a perfect place to enjoy the baseball atmoshpere when the M’s are 29 games out of first, and a perfect place to watch the game for an inning or two when you are unable to sit in one place for three hours…like me. I LOVE a good baseball game, I am a true fan, and I know the game intimately but I still like to spend a few innings per game on the landing…it’s all part of what Safeco Field has to offer. It has also been the deciding factor for me to attend a game when I can’t get good seats. I can promise though that I will never buy a ticket for the bleachers that they put there.
    Sitting in those bleachers is not even close to standing with friends and strangers around a table socializing AND watching the game as an earlier post suggested.
    I’m sure that lost beer sales will more than offset any revenue generated by 240 bleacher seats and if not the gain would still be pretty minimal…are the M’s really ready to destroy part of the Safeco atmosphere for what could only be an infintesimally (sp?) small gain in their overall revenue? Wait…maybe I shouldn’t ask that…