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Safeco Field


Safeco Field
June 17, 1999

Stats class: A state-of-the-art diamond

Journal staff

Safeco Field playing field

With that spectacular rolling roof it's easy to overlook the actual playing surface at Safeco Field. Don't.

The state-of-the-art field features a custom designed drainage system and a custom grass mixture of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Installation of the drainage and irrigation system was under the direction of the Mariners' head groundskeeper Steve Peeler and Roger Bossard, head groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox.

The patented system includes:

  • 7,000 linear feet of drainage pipe
  • 2,000 tons of pea gravel
  • 5,000 tons of sand
  • 600 tons of infield clay
  • 106,000 square feet of turf

Infield clay was provided by Santana Trucking and Excavating of Redmond which supplies infield clay to a number of stadiums include the Kingdome. The clay will be mined near Issaquah and mixed with 20 percent sand to hold moisture and cushion the ball. The pitcher's mound and batter's box are made of Mississippi River clay brought in from Illinois.

One-inch plastic hoses circulate warm water under the turf to stimulate growth and make up for the low level of sunlight. The drainage system features a 150-horsepower machine that can vacuum or blow air and water through the turf to maintain proper moisture levels. It can handle 130,000 gallons of water and have the field ready for play in about 45 minutes.


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