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Safeco Field


Safeco Field
June 17, 1999

Everybody's talking baseball

Journal staff

Here's a collection of quotes from Safeco Field's neighbors and city and business leaders about the new stadium and the impact it will have on Seattle.

I'm very excited. It's filling in a painting, which starts with where we are on Lander Street with the Starbucks Center and moves up to Yesler. And it maintains a diversity of industrial, sports, entertainment and office uses. With the ballpark being the anchor, it really makes for a neighborhood, a cohesive neighborhood, and that's what is very exciting.

- Frank Stagen
president of Nitze-Stagen development company

From my perspective, the design of the ballpark makes a fine extension to Pioneer Square with the massing of its base structure, the masonry colonade, the metal overhangs and the ground level details. Given its location, the use of "traditional" architectonic expression is probably one of the most appropriate applications of this approach anywhere in the country. My only reservation and it is slight is that the ballpark is more a part of the SoDo District. It is simply unfortunate that that part of SoDo doesn't have much in the way of distinctive architecture to relate to.

- Mark Hinshaw
architect and urban designer

The real estate team assembled three city blocks, relocating 21 businesses with a total of 1,000 employees and 400 subtenants. Even after the passing of two years, it is still hard to believe that it was done in a short six months! Now when I look at the magnitude of tasks put before The Seneca Real Estate Group, NBBJ, Hunt Kiewit, and all the other companies who built the stadium in record time, I'm truly amazed. I look forward to bringing my grandchildren to Safeco Field and saying, 'Hey, I was apart of this great place!'

- Craig Kinzer,
president of Craig Kinzer & Co., assembled land for the ballpark

A Major League Baseball team with a quality facility like Safeco Field are terrific assets for our regional economy, but the International District has not benefited from the Kingdome. The ID is a parking lot for the Kingdome... The promise of jobs and contracts for Asians never materialized at the Kingdome... Safeco Field can be a positive for not only the Mariners and their fans but also the ID. This will happen if the PFD and Mariners view themselves as ID neighbors. Will the Mariners have an ID Night and donate a portion of the night's gate to ID community organizations? That's neighborly. Will the PFD and Mariners do business with ID businesses? That's neighborly. Will they participate in joint marketing with the ID? That's neighborly. Our challenge is to entice Safeco Field fans to visit the ID. Not just our Asian restaurants, Uwajimaya and many other ID stores, but the Wing Luke Asian Museum and Northwest Asian Theatre.

- Tomio Moriguchi
chairman of Uwajimaya Inc.

Some people have stars in their eyes over the stadium. It's the market place that will determine future development - that and transportation.

- Bill Vivian,
VP for Gull Industries, a neighbor of the new ballpark

We expect that the majority of our facilities in our district will be used by people from outside our district.

- Pauline Zeestraten,
executive director, Chinatown/International District BIA

Safeco Field will prove to be a great addition to our city. At a time when the eyes of the world are on Seattle, it is vitally important that we capitalize on this interest and invest wisely in our city. I hope that as a community we embrace important civic projects - like the library and the renovation of our public schools - with the same vigor and success.

- Rick Redman
chairman, Sellen Construction Co.

A symbol of prosperity and pastime, a Seattle defining landmark, Safeco Field means that downtown has a sophisticated state-of-the-art baseball park. Safeco Field is the cornerstone in a vast wave of development transforming south downtown. The opening of Safeco Field will test our abilities to forecast, to plan and to change.

- David Brunner
Pioneer Square Community Council member
South Downtown Foundation board member

A world class city can't achieve the type of success we would like without a balance of economic segments, and that includes sports. We think sports create a vibrant downtown. People will make downtown a destination for attending games, and merchants will have an opportunity to sell them something. Safeco Field creates more reasons for more people to visit downtown.

- Blake Nordstrom
co-president, Nordstrom
Downtown Seattle Association chairman

Safeco Field is a tremendous economic asset. It will be something that will sustain the economic health and vitality of the city for many years to come.

- Richard Conlin
Seattle City Council member

Blue sky, green grass and the carrying on of an American tradition into the 21st century: this is a great new piece of Seattle. I'm looking forward to seeing Ken Griffey Jr. flip his shades down as he races to the fence for a long fly ball to deep center. I'm looking forward to sitting in the stands and watching the sun set on our beautiful city as the starting pitcher takes the mound. And when it's needed, I'm looking forward to the roof closing on a cool October night as the Mariners' lead-off hitter digs in to start a playoff game.

- Mayor Paul Schell

There's a special magic and romance to watching baseball played outdoors on real grass. I'm thrilled that the region's young people will have summer memories of watching the game under the stars.

- Sue Donaldson,
Seattle City Council president

We were all thinking about the Mariners yesterday. The weather was just the kind of day you could imagine yourself sitting outside, looking at the mountains and water and watching a baseball game. We're all very excited for when the stadium opens. It will be an asset to downtown.

- Kate Joncas
president, Downtown Seattle Association

With all the excitement surrounding the opening of Safeco Field, it is important to remember that the new stadium sits on industrially zoned land at the hub of one of the most congested freight, rail and ocean transportation corridors on the West Coast. Pressure to redevelop land in this area increases property values and lease rates, forcing industrial businesses to relocate. The cumulative impacts of these large projects gradually undermine the viability of the manufacturing and industrial job base, replacing it with lower paying service sector employment. If industrial vitality, freight mobility and family wage jobs are to be preserved for future generations, it is imperative that any redevelopment be confined to a small area contiguous to the new ballpark.

- David R. Huchthausen
co-chair, Greater Duwamish Planning Committee

I think it is great, even though expensive. I'm glad we did this. In retrospect, the undertaking was a bit beyond us but we will grow into the commitment.

As a building it clearly belongs to Seattle and the local context. It meets all of my urban design aspirations as a "place." The ballpark is the part of beginning to believe in ourselves as a well-rounded city that can sponsor and build good design. Now, lets do the same for our other endeavors: the libraries, City Hall, the aquarium and others.

- Gordon Walker
architect and urban designer


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