Improving Safeco

Conor · October 7, 2008 at 6:56 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Derek wrote the other day about improvements he’d like to see to the pregame show so, in that same vein, here are a few improvements I’d like to see made at Safeco Field…

Go green

Several teams have recently started to make their stadiums more environmentally friendly but, surprisingly, the M’s aren’t one of them. I know they do a great job at recycling but that’s not enough. The Pirates recently launched a great program that includes an emphasis on recycling, printing team materials with soy-based ink, converting their cooking oil into bio diesel, installing motion sensors for lights in the offices, eliminating all Styrofoam, and making all U.S.-based scouts drive Chevy fuel flex vehicles. The Red Sox and Giants recently installed (or plan to install) solar panels, the Mets new park is being built with recycled concrete and steel and the A’s have converted to corn-based beer cups that can be composted. Even minor league teams are going green. Baseball America reported last year that the Lake Elsinore Storm would conserve a million gallons of water every year by simply installing flushless urinals. 

Allow noisemakers

Currently “noisemakers” are banned at The Safe — no thunder sticks, no cowbells and the Tuba Man has to stay outside. Here’s what the M’s site says on the issue:

For the comfort and enjoyment of our guests, noisemakers of any type (e.g., air horns, cow bells, etc.) are prohibited.

Now, they’re certainly not alone in that stance. I looked at every team’s stadium guidelines (except the Mets who took Shea’s down already) and here are the other teams that also prohibit all noise makers: Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Marlins, Nationals, Padres, Red Sox, Rockies, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees. The Indians, who have a season ticket holder that brings a drum to every game, ban “plastic bazooka horns, air horns, bugles, cow bells or any other type of noisemaker that is deemed offensive or dangerous to fans.” Dangerous? Is a shotgun considered a noisemaker?

Some teams have limited restrictions, such as the Angels (team-issued noisemakers only), Blue Jays (no pressurized air horns), Giants (no air-powered noisemakers) and the Royals (no bullhorns or air horns).

That leaves the Astros, Athletics, Cardinals, Cubs, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers and Rays with no restrictions.

So, depending on the Mets, it’s almost 50-50. But, to me, banning noisemakers at a ballgame is just crazy. It’s not as offensive as banning books from schools, but there’s a parallel level of counterproductivity.

Bring back fireworks

I’m not even a big fan of fireworks—I never go out on the Fourth and I never stay after minor league games when they have fireworks nights—but there’s something fun about a few loud, colorful bursts after one of the players jacks a three-run shot. A lot of the things the Mariners do just don’t make sense, but I’ve never understood why they shot off fireworks in a dome but not an open-air stadium.

More local food options

I know there’s already Dixie’s BBQ, Ivar’s and Kidd Valley—all solid choices. But how great would it be if they had Matt’s Famous Chili Dogs, a Daily Dozen donut stand and replaced Kidd Valley with Dick’s. Hey, a (fat) guy can dream, right?

Allow season ticket holders in early

The Orioles do this—probably other teams too, but I know the Orioles do because I bought a season ticket from someone when I was there a few years ago and got to go in 30 minutes before everyone else—and it’s a nice treat. Plus, a great selling point (“Tired of watching the M’s not hit during the actual games? Become a season ticket holder and you can come in early and watch them taking batting practice!”)

Kiss cam!

Now that the Sonics are gone, no teams in Seattle are utilizing the awesome kiss cam. You know, where they play that song from The Little Mermaid or “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer, put the camera on couples and get them to kiss on the big screen. It’s cute, it’s funny and I have to admit that I get a kick out of it. Hate the wave, love the kiss cam…

And I saved the best for last…

Starbucks race

Here’s another dose of improved between-innings entertainment—a live race! Peace out, Digital Dave. This would be like the sausage race in Milwaukee or the Presidential race in Washington, except with a Seattle twist—Starbucks cups! This is essentially advertising, but entertaining nonetheless. And that’s not uncommon. The hydroplane race on the big screen is sponsored by Oh Boy Oberto and Milwaukee’s sausage race is sponsored by Klement’s sausages. For the Starbucks version, there could be a the traditional white paper cup, the clear Frappaccino cup, something else (A mermaid? Biscotti? My “best idea” isn’t 100 percent thought out), and the kicker…a bag of decaf beans that, like Teddy Roosevelt at Nats games, never wins! If Starbucks goes through with this, I expect free drinks for life.


62 Responses to “Improving Safeco”

  1. Typical Idiot Fan on October 7th, 2008 6:55 pm

    Going green isn’t about politics. It’s about preserving our planet—the one that’s home to Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Communists, Socialists, etc. Although, as others mentioned above, it can also save money too.

    I’m afraid I have to disagree that it isn’t about politics. While preserving our environment is simply in humanity’s interest for survival, the levels of environmental protection and regulation is where the politics start to chip in.

    I have no problem with limiting harmful gas emissions, finding more efficient and cleaner forms of energy, preventing toxic materials from being introduced to nature, or other such directly negative health risks to the public. However, when someone says I can’t expand my house because doing so would cut down a couple of trees older then my grandparents, I am more then prepared to give someone the finger.

  2. Conor on October 7th, 2008 7:45 pm

    I have no problem with limiting harmful gas emissions, finding more efficient and cleaner forms of energy, preventing toxic materials from being introduced to nature, or other such directly negative health risks to the public. However, when someone says I can’t expand my house because doing so would cut down a couple of trees older then my grandparents, I am more then prepared to give someone the finger.

    Ok, well I’m not asking the Mariners to limit the expansions you can make to your house.

  3. Willie Mays Haze on October 7th, 2008 7:58 pm

    Per Dick’s at the stadium. I have always thought this was a brilliant idea. Dick’s is a greasy guilty pleasure and a great drunken snack, which would make it great for the ball park.

    From what I was told, they wanted Dick’s at the stadium but wanted to jack up the prices. Dick’s wanted to offer their product at their normal prices. The disagreement ended up with Dick’s not selling their food in the stadium.

    Conor, as far as the bio-degradable corn cups in the suite. I work up in the suites an i can tell you the bags those cups are thrown into are not bio-degradable. Now, we do use bio-degradable corn bags in the pantries but quite often compostable and non-compostable co-mingle in said bags. Which is to say nothing of the dumpsters the suites level trash goes into or its destination downstairs in the trash room

  4. mln on October 7th, 2008 8:33 pm

    How to improve the Safeco experience?

    Three words: Rally Fries Galore.

  5. rrwrayiii on October 7th, 2008 8:34 pm

    How about get rid of the stupid music that used to be cool? We can only take Louie Louie for so many years, and the stupid “funk blast”. Put out some cool music that all people would enjoy. Just don’t stay with the same crap everyday.

  6. Conor on October 7th, 2008 8:40 pm

    We can only take Louie Louie for so many years …

    Blasphemy! What’s next? You want to get rid of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame?”

  7. mark s on October 7th, 2008 9:41 pm

    First two things I would include:

    1) Expanding the Sounder for week day games would be great! The team has to get a lot more popular for that to happen. I hate driving from Olympia to Seattle 30+ times a year for a baseball games.

    2) $1 dollar water for children. $4 bottle water is nuts. The M’s can make it a PR thing. Put the M’s Moose on a re-useable water bottle and pass them out to kids.

    Go green


    Allow noisemakers

    I am with you on the thunder sticks and cowbells and the Tuba Man being allowed in.

    The other stuff shouldn’t be allowed.

    Bring back fireworks

    Fireworks for wins might help keep some people around to the end of the game.

    More local food options
    …replaced Kidd Valley with Dick’s

    Awesome! Love it their shakes and fires.

    Allow season ticket holders in early

    Please, YES!

    Kiss cam!

    Please, NO.

    Starbucks race

    LOVE IT!
    Maybe … Latte, Mocha, Frappuccino

  8. vitalogist on October 7th, 2008 9:44 pm

    [ot, the Schultz/Sonics thing has been beaten to death]

  9. TomTuttle on October 7th, 2008 11:11 pm

    More local food options and CHEAPER food options in the ballpark:

    Go green:
    Absolutely, however you can go green, do it.

    Bring back fireworks:
    A cooler home run song, and the return of the U.S.S. Mariner complete with cannons would work just as well as fireworks.

    Kiss cam:
    HELL NO.

    Starbucks race:
    HELL NO.

    Allow season ticket holders in earlier:
    Sure, why not?

    Allow noisemakers:
    To an extent. I certainly don’t want a airhorn being fired off 2 feet away from me, but hey, let’s at least start with bringing Tuba Guy inside with tuba and all.

    Did you know he’s never played the national anthem before a Mariners game?

    Just thought I’d mention that. . .

  10. TomTuttle on October 8th, 2008 4:04 am

    Here’s another improvement everybody’s forgetting:

  11. Typical Idiot Fan on October 8th, 2008 1:23 pm

    Ok, well I’m not asking the Mariners to limit the expansions you can make to your house.

    No you’re not but that comment wasn’t really directed towards your requests, just a general feeling of mine when it comes to enviromentalists.

    I do have to ask, though, exactly how does it improve SafeCo to go green? It might improve like-minded folks’ enjoyment of the place, but I seriously doubt there’s a huge difference in overall fan enjoyment between paper cups and corn/vegetable based ones.

    Just sayin’.

  12. cliff29 on October 8th, 2008 3:50 pm

    Have Ichiro host a Japanese Game Show before every game.

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