Safeco Field

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Puget Sound, with the Port of Seattle in the foreground, Downtown Seattle to the right

I’ve been going to Utah a few times for business this summer. During one of the trips, I got to hang out with Scott White, a loyal A’s fan from the Beehive State. While we sat in some excellent seats for a River Cats-Bees game at Spring Mobile Ballpark (thanks Scott and Mrs. White!), he asked me for recommendations on a baseball weekend trip. He had been to Oakland, of course, but as a married guy in his early-mid 20’s he hadn’t done a ton of baseball travel yet. The most convenient trip, I argued, was Coors Field in Denver, a short plane trip or an 8-hour drive away. On the other hand, if he wanted to go to a more interesting city that has far and away one of the best ballparks in the world (and SF was already checked off the list), Seattle’s Safeco Field is a better choice.

Then again, I hadn’t been to Safeco for several years. It is a great ballpark, yet I had trouble conjuring memories of the last visit. So I used that as motivation to spend a weekend in Seattle, where I could stretch out and enjoy more than a few hours in SoDo. Boy, did I ever.

I don’t know that there’s a best way to approach Safeco Field. Taking light rail to the Stadium station allows for a meandering stroll to the park, where the roof dominates the landscape. The walk down 1st Avenue South from Pioneer Square and downtown is not terribly long and has little to write home about. VIPs at M’s games have their floors at an adjacent garage so they can avoid the riff-raff. The best thing to do is to walk along the west facade until you’ve reached the home plate gate, where the lovely rotunda is your entrance. An art installation made of white plastic bats called “The Tempest” hangs from the ceiling like a massive chandelier.

The Tempest

The Home Plate Rotunda, where The Tempest is installed

The challenge when conceiving the successor to the ill-fated Kingdome was to allow the Mariners to play games protected from Seattle’s seasonal downpours while making the overall environment feel like an open air ballpark. Of the new parks with retractable roof technology, Safeco Field has done it best. The roof retracts to the east of the stadium outside the seating bowl, so it doesn’t cause shadow issues like those suffered at Miller Park or Rogers Centre. And unlike Minute Maid Park, a similar design that opened a year after Safeco, or Marlins Park, it doesn’t feel like such a sealed off place when the roof is closed. Part of this is due to the more forgiving summer climate in the Pacific Northwest, which allowed the team and architects to forego air conditioning. Regardless, Safeco was put together with the knowledge that summer is actually pretty great in Seattle (outsiders aren’t supposed to know this), but to be safe the other seasons should be accounted for.

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Edgar’s Cantina, a bar that replaced a section of bleacher seats.

If there’s one thing to take away from Safeco, it’s that the place is meant for you to have a beer and enjoy yourself. Beer stands, often with quality craft offerings, litter both concourses. The entire left field bleacher area is devoted to two bars, one that greets fans that enter the center field gate, and Edgar’s Cantina, situated atop the visiting bullpen. Where AT&T Park is known for its kids-oriented facility, Safeco feels at times like one big party deck, or Wrigley Field with better beer.

I took a tour and went to two games, a night game followed by a day game. The night game was special, as it was Ken Griffey Jr. Day. The slugger was being inducted into the M’s Hall of Fame, and it was one of those rare occasions this season where 47,000+ fans showed up. During the induction ceremony, fans listened with rapt attention as their beloved hero was feted. Commemorative Junior bobbleheads were made for the occasion, though only 20,000 fans walked away with the memento. The vast majority of fans stayed through most of the game, even as Hisashi Iwakuma gave it up in the seventh, turning a pitchers’ duel into a Brewers blowout.

The Sunday getaway day game, which attracted 25,390 to the yard, was your classic King Felix start: low-scoring and quick (the game ran only 2:11). A few hundred fans sat in the designated King’s Corner, clad in gold shirts. This was the game that really showcased Safeco as an outdoor stadium, since the roof was open and a bright sun was filling the park. My seat was in the front row of the LF bleachers, which felt great despite it being 30 feet above and recessed from the outfield fence. Speaking of those fences, they’ve been moved in a tad. They’ve already surpassed their home run total from last year, so it seems to have worked, though Raul Ibanez skews things a bit. So far the M’s haven’t done anything with the limited space. There’s enough room for a row of overpriced field level seats if they want to go that route.

A replacement scoreboard was the other major change going into 2013. Larger than a basketball court, the new scoreboard replaces the old combo board flanked by static signage. Unfortunately, most of the time the retro-themed display shows replacement ads where the old static signs used to be. The M’s have ongoing advertisement and sponsorship agreements with various companies, so this couldn’t be avoided. The graphic packages are lovely, with a lot of motion and variety. The Fenway green background used during the game is somewhat gimmicky, but the detail and sharpness are so good that you could be forgiven for thinking the board was itself static – at least from the upper deck where I sat.

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New scoreboard above the CF bleachers measures 57′ x 107.5′, or slightly larger than two single family home lots back-to-back.

As one of the larger parks in MLB these days, Safeco isn’t intimate. The cantilevers aren’t aggressive, and when the smaller Sunday crowd was in there it felt too big at times. Yet somehow it isn’t cavernous, the way Chase Field tends to be when the roof is closed. It has the requisite multiple clubs, a boatload of suites, plus generous concourse space and amenities. Access is excellent and there are many places to hang out during the game, such as the aforementioned LF area or the rotunda roof behind home plate. It feels like an oasis. And when the sun sets over Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula, it’s hard to imagine a better spot in baseball. It’s even harder to imagine leaving.

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Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest & Mariners Hall of Fame

The best part of Safeco Field isn’t kissed by the sun or close to the action. It’s the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest, a carved out part of the lower third base concourse behind some concession stands. Practically hidden away, it’s a gem of a spot that frankly is the best reason for coming to a game early, better than batting practice or autographs. The Museum chronicles baseball history in the region, from the turn of the century era to the Seattle Giants to Sicks’ Stadium and the Pilots and finally the Mariners, the Kingdome, and Safeco. Included in the collection is the Mariners Hall of Fame, which has the requisite player monuments you’d expect (Big Unit, Gar, Alvin Davis, Buhner, etc.). Naturally, Junior’s monument is the newest addition. At one end of the museum are displays showcasing the various forgotten teams of the past. At the other end are family stuff, such as exhibits explaining the construction of bats, balls, and gloves, and a replica outfield wall where fans can take pictures of themselves making “leaping” catches. The piece de resistance is a craft beer bar called Power Alley, which has a dozen taps and numerous canned and bottled varieties. Whoever put this together prior to the 2007 season deserves a promotion.

While the SoDo neighborhood isn’t as lively as South Beach near AT&T Park or Blake Street near Coors Field, there are a few bars nearby. Pyramid Alehouse has an outpost across the street, which is convenient. Pioneer Square is a 15-minute walk away. I was so focused on the experience inside Safeco that everything outside it barely registered.

Baseball at the Kingdome was even more drab and gray than the Coliseum is now, thanks to the concrete everywhere you looked. It was dreary, depressing, and hopelessly artificial. The Mariners and NBBJ’s Dan Meis took a major compromise, a retractable roof, and managed to minimize it to as little as possible given its size and heft. Now that light rail runs nearby the park is even better integrated than it was when it opened. Given the circumstances, Seattle has made the biggest upward transition from old stadium to new ballpark. The team’s recent suckage has made the ballpark the biggest draw in recent years. Whatever happens next, many of the financial concerns have subsided thanks to retirement of debt two years ago. Regrets are few. That makes Safeco, in every sense, the exact opposite of the Kingdome. For that, Seattleites can rejoice.

55 thoughts on “Safeco Field

  1. DAMNIT R.M.! Why do you constantly gotta torture us with these beautiful photos of beautiful ballparks!? It would be akin to me living in a slum and my friends constantly showing me photos of their hillside mansions/estates. Of course I’m just kidding ;). Humor is all us A’s ballpark dreamers have left. As for Safeco, love those concourses and bars with field views. The museum is also an awesome touch. Something I hope us A’s fans will enjoy in our lifetime. Someday…someday..

  2. A Mariners “Hall of Fame?” I’d think they’d only need a single shelf on small bookshelf for that. This franchise has never even been to the World Series. But since they were able to get a new ballpark built, they play in a much better facility than our World Series title-laden A’s. And yes, ML is torturing us with photos of new ballparks…

  3. BTW R.M., do you think Safeco was designed TO BIG? I’m thinking if it were built now it would have a capacity of 36-38k seats, not 47k.

  4. Of course, all this drives home the fact that MLB teams from Miami to New York to Cleveland to Houston and on out to Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle have been able to get new ballparks done. But not our A’s. I am wondering which will happen first: the Orioles decided it’s time to replace Camden Yards, the first of the so-called modern, old-fashioned ballparks, or the A’s get a new ballpark to replace their long-ago obsolete multipurpose stadium that is nearly 50 years old.

  5. Wow! Just 4 posts since 5PM? Where are all the regulars and their commentary? I guess the photos, thread ARE really depressing the hell out of folks around here…

  6. Safeco appears to be one eff of a ballpark – the A’s will do well to copy it (minus the retractable roof)

  7. re: Just 4 posts… We can think Mr. Bud Selig, for keeping us all spinning our wheels for years and years and years while absolutely nothing happens with the A’s. There’s only so many ways to say the same thing about the same thing when nothing is happening. Sometimes I wish he’d just contract the team and be done with it; it’ll satisfy the Giants, who Selig is terrified of, and get the other owners out of subsidizing the A’s.

  8. @pjk That was funny”Hall of Fame”, perhaps they will fill it, in time. Good point about Camden Yards. Not only does every team have a new, or renovated ballpark, in the last 50 years some have their 2nd ballpark, heck we are down to Oakland and Tampa Bay, and when Tampa Bay gets their new ballpark, it will be their 2nd, all while our team sits, as the ONLY team to get NOTHING done in the last 50 Years, oh sorry forgot the football remodel in 1995. @Tony D. Someday, Someday, I guess we just need to hang in there.

  9. @duffer,
    Agree! Especially those wide concourses with polished concrete flooring and BEER THROUGHOUT! Love that Power Alley Beer Bar BTW. Heck, if Cisco Field offers the same beer amenities I might become an alcoholic during the regular season…

  10. @ Tony D. I really hope we see sothing like this, in the Bay Area, in our lifetimes (that is not AT&T). Safeco field, that is one nice ballpark. I love that rotunda (inside and out). Hell at this point, I would be happy to get their old scoreboard.

  11. Being a Seattle fan, I do wish Safeco Field looked like the home of the Mariners, instead of some generic ballpark. The dark gray roof and its trusses look very gloomy compared to CenturyLink’s bright white roof next door. My gripes with Safeco are mainly cosmetic, too dark and way too much generic green.

  12. I get the sense, that Lew Wolff would put together a really nice ballpark, on the level of a Safeco, Camden Yards, or AT&T. I know he really wants San Jose, but if (for whatever reason) that does not happen, I sure hope he continues to be part of the ownership group, if a new park is built anywhere in the Bay Area, because given his professional background, (hotel business), and judging from the little I pick up on, from his interviews. I would say the guy really is a dental oriented, creative person. I would expect that to show up in Cisco Field, or any project he puts his time, energy, and money into.

  13. Favorite thing: It’s the best lit roofed ballpark in the majors, whether it’s natural light or stadium lighting. The transition between closed and open roof is seamless (probably because they don’t have to worry about A/C like Minute Maid or Chase Field.

    Most ‘meh thing: Like Otis said, it doesn’t exactly feel like a Mariners’ ballpark. Citi Field and Marlins Park have the same issue but at least those have a city-specific homerun thingies. Overall, Safeco feels like a typical neo-retro ballpark, which feel like a 1998 Borders Books & Music. Angels Stadium doesn’t immediately feel like an Angels’ ballpark either, until you notice all the bedazzled booty jeans, then you’re like, “Yeh. It’s the OC.”

    When I’ve driven there, it’s a similar experience to AT&T Park with free street parking nearby. I prefer light rail because I like chatting it up with fans of fellow AL West teams.

  14. @Briggs
    Hay I was wondering, how many ballparks have you been to. Judging from your comments, it sounds like a few?

  15. There is no reason that they can’t put beer decks with good beer in at the Coliseum on either side of the plaza bleachers, or in the back of center field (tons of unused space there), or in the East Side Club. Or not close half the concession stands the majority of the time. Or understaff the ones that are open so that the lines are insanely long. Except for cheapness, of course.

    • @Brian – They have put in a “beer garden” in the south plaza area outside the Plaza Reserved seats, for use on the weekends. It’s not impressive, but it’s a start.

  16. / back of center field meaning first deck outfield concourse.

  17. @Brian,
    Because putting lipstick on a pig costs real money. Besides, having 26-47k paying customers regularly is a lot different than 10-15k.
    @all,
    Seeing these photos of Safeco (which appears to be located in an industrial area vs downtown core) makes me hope Wolff revisits Fremont/Warm Springs if Selig/MLB keeps f***king with him re San Jose.

  18. @Lakeshore: A quick count of me fingers says 12 current parks, then a handful more of the retired ones. Speaking for myself, I never enjoy myself as much when a ballpark is in the middle of nowhere and/or giant parking lot. Imagine if the Red Sox played in Fox Borough. It’s scary. People don’t mind driving to a football stadium in the middle of nowhere for a football game every now and then. Baseball is different. It’s with us daily. Major cities are the cultural capitals of their regions so the baseball teams need to be embedded in our collective common neighborhoods.

    Fenway, AT&T, Safeco, Yankee Std were really fun experiences, especially as a visitor. Angels Std, and Citi Field were dull. Middle of nowhere ballparks means: 1. No city to explore before or after games (no food, shopping, drinxx, adventures). 2. Sitting in traffic while arriving and leaving. 3. Sitting on public transit for 30-60 minutes until you arrive at where you actually want to be.

    The place “you want to be” should always be right outside the ballpark. Personally, it’s never a parking lot in a desolate industrial warehouse district.

  19. You know people, this post is about Safeco Field, not the usual A’s stuff. Will delete OT comments shortly.

  20. I wish I could’ve seen the Kingdome. I find the particularly bad ballparks the most fascinating. The Kingdome popped up around the same time as the Superdome. I’ll be in New Orleans in a few weeks and I’d like to check it out, but the Saints will be out of town and they no longer conduct public tours. In an alternate universe, the A’s might’ve played there.

  21. @RM,
    Totally get that this post is about Safeco. But when you present these gorgeous photos of newer yards and what they have to offer, I think it plays on all of our emotions because we all want that now for the A’s. Doesn’t matter where you are on the ballpark spectrum: whether (like myself) you want downtown SJ, (as backup) Fremont or you prefer they stay in Oakland. One thing we all agree on is wanting the experience of immaculate fields, wide/clean concourses, Power Alley Beer Bars and Cantinas in the outfield. We all want our version of Safeco NOW!
    Of course, we start talking about it, emotions/frustrations boil over, and threads go off topic. I’d hope you’d understand.
    So, re Safeco: is it to big or what?

  22. I don’t think Safeco’s too big. The M’s drew very well early on, but the on-field product the past decade has been terrible.

  23. I’m curious to see how long these neo-retro and post-neo-retro ballparks hold appeal. Barring some sort of disaster, all of them will stay in operation for several decades.

    Each of these ballparks could become their team’s longest home.

  24. @Briggs Yeah, I was thinking along those lines. The newer ball parks are going to last a long time. I think 50-100 years from now, they will look back at this time period, as a golden age of new ballparks, being built. One can only hope we, will be a part of it.

  25. agreed i don’t see any of the parks built post camden yards will be replaced anytime soon.

    imo the a’s, rays, angels, and possibly the blue jays are teams that likely will get a new baseball only park built eventually for their org.

  26. Easily in my top 5. Can’t wait to get back. Best of the roofed parks by far–you feel like you’re still outdoors with an massive umbrella protecting you.

  27. A giant clone of a Starbucks (Safeco) would be a far better option for the A’s than the current obsolete dump (Coli)

  28. I cant think of a bad ballpark, since camden yards, they are all so nice. I was looking at the remodels and man, they have done a nice job in K.C. I was also looking at those pick’s ML. posted on the left side of the blog, under comments around the web, of the Coli., back in 97, the old girl looked good, back then better then I recall, but I could say the same about my wife, when I met her 30 years back, and yes, she could say the same about my old a__.

  29. Sorry I think it was 93 not 97, fact is what ever year it was, the old girl looked good, darn good

  30. @Lakeshore: Yeah, the pre-Mt. Davis Coliseum was a nice place. I never liked those orange seats though. My final pre-Mt. Davis game there and I don’t think anyone could prepare for how hideous Mt. Davis would actually be. I recall a Spring Training A’s telecast where they showed an overhead diagram of the new field dimensions and Fosse commenting on how close the poweralleys were. Mt. Davis has been around for 17 seasons and I still can’t over how ugly it is.

    BTW, the left column of this site are ML’s tweets. He does a good job at spreading around local news and sports stadia news.

  31. I am such a douche these days. I promised to help ML with this post but had no time.
    .
    I recently went as well and I loved the place. I did my usual get there early and walk around the neighborhood, go in early and look at the fun stuff, hang in the seats I bought, move somewhere else, walk around some more, etc.
    .
    The best part of the neighborhood was about 10-15 minutes away: Ebbett’s Field Flannels. I picked up a vintage California League T Shirt but could have spent about $785,634,981 in the place.
    .
    I sat in the restaurant above right field and had lunch for a few innings. The sushi was good, something I didn’t really expect at a ballpark. The view up there was tremendous.
    .
    I sat down the right field line, in the lower deck for three innings. I felt dumb for buying those tickets because I have never been to a stadium with an easier free seat upgrade in my life. No one ever checked my ticket.
    .
    The Mariners/Seattle Baseball Hall of Fame was a whole bunch of fun. I have always thought I preferred compact parks, but this place taught me that the only real legit complaint about AT&T Park is that they could have done something this awesome with a few more acres. (my other complaints about AT&T and Safeco are generally cosmetic, and there are plenty of those about any park).
    .
    The East Coast is baseball nirvana, but it’d be hard to top a week long (obviously, travel time would suck) roadie that included stops at Petco, AT&T and Safeco. I’d prefer that to my weekend roadie of Nationals Park, Camden and Citizen’s Bank Park. By a looooong way.
    .
    To build an equivalent trip on the East Coast, with ballparks of the same quality, you’d need to do Baltimore, Boston and NYC (and I may take CitiField over Yankee Stadium on this hypothetical trip) and the West Coast stadiums would still be better.
    .
    Here are pictures from all over the Emerald City https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152516450866393.1073741839.621346392&type=1&l=219367cb38

  32. @briggs,
    Love RM’s tweets on the side. It’s where I found out yesterday that my union had a tentative agreement with SCCo! Lots of good links, reading as well.

  33. @Briggs
    Thanks, at the time I was writing, I was on my phone, and it does not give me the same access as my laptop (could not view the bar), so I should have known it was tweets, I can be such a dummy…

    @Jeffry
    Thanks, for the shot blurb, and I really like the pictures, that you took.

  34. @Briggs: I went to the Kingdome in the summer of ’98 (I was 17). It happened to be the first ever Turn Ahead the Clock Night, which made my virgin dome experience even weirder (chronicled here http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=lukas/080718). I voted for the night game over the day game the next day because a day game in a dome just sounded depressing.

    A few thoughts:

    Sat in the third deck. Except for the first few rows, they were all aluminum bleachers. My sister went up to the top row of our section just for the hell of it (where no people were) and said that there was trash all over the place from a previous game that hadn’t been cleaned up. The seats were pretty high. The Kingdome has a foul-territory layout similar to Tropicana Field where the seats go higher down the lines than they do behind the plate (to allow the seating bowl to fit inside the circular dome). Foul territory was pretty large but at that height does it really matter?

    The concourses were really really small (or at least the upper deck one was). The only vertical circulation that I remember were ramps that were outside the actual dome itself (must’ve sucked in bad weather) so I didn’t check out the others, but it was literally about 6 feet wide. For a baseball game with no one in the upper deck it was OK, but it looked like it would’ve been a disaster for a sold-out football game.

    The roof was solid gray at this point (this was after the ceiling tile fiasco in ’94), and looked like it was covered with stucco. Less funky looking than the Metrodome but more dreary as well.

    There were fireworks for the starting lineups and home runs which I’d never seen inside before. The PA seemed to be really over the top but I wasn’t sure how much was normal and how much was the futuristic nature of the promotion (when they put the players photos up on the Jumbotron, they manipulated the images to look like Star Trek characters). Not sure if it was as loud for most games.

    All in all, if Martians visited Earth, went to a baseball game, and decided to recreate it back on Mars, I think it would’ve resembled that game. How much of that was the stadium and how much was the promotion could be debated, but it was a different experience than anywhere else.

  35. @Brian: That sounds like a pretty cool experience. Those “Turn Ahead the Clock” promotions were bizarre. Those uniforms wre probably the ugliest ever used by MLB. I like a photo caption in the link you provide about the Royals payroll estimated at being $25m by 2027. Good stuff.

    One thing the Coliseum does very well is vertical circulation, especially considering its age. Every other pre-Camden Yards ballpark I’ve been to has issues with that.

  36. I know it’s off topic, but that was one hell of a bad lost today, and the fact that we took 3 of 4 does not make it better. We needed that one!!!

  37. Yes, an absolutely awful way to lose. The A’s simply can’t lose any games because Texas and Tampa Bay don’t lose any. We’ve gone from a no-brainer playoff spot (6 games up on first place about three weeks ago) to a longshot to make the post-season.

  38. God, that’s a painful loss…. but it’s just another loss. The opposing team scored 4 in an inning. It’s not the first time that’s happened, it just sucks that it happened in the 9th, on the road, on get-away day. In hindsight, Melvin should’ve pulled Balfour. Sucks he didn’t. Gotta focus on The Rays now and be positive.

    Oh, f*ck the Tigers BTW.

  39. Also off-topic (sorry ML – this needs’ to be addressed – now the gnats mgt. is short-changing their employees? (why is this so typical of the gnats organization and not surprising?)

  40. Hey ML. Your article is circulating around the Mariners organization and getting a lot of great feedback. I am part of the Engineering team for the Mariners and we work tirelessly on Safeco all year keeping the ballpark in top shape so the fans get the best possible experience. Thanks for reminding us that we work at one of the best ballparks in the Majors!

  41. re: Thanks for reminding us that we work at one of the best ballparks in the Majors!

    …Meanwhile, A’s fans are “treated” to the worst ballpark in the majors with no new facility in sight. 4 World Series for the A’s, 0 for the Mariners. But at least they have a good ballpark.

  42. Back in the early 2000s, my brother jacked my car so he could drive up to a Wrestlemania at Safeco Field. He just took it in the middle of the night without a word. I was pissed for two reasons. First, obviously is I don’t take kindly to anyone stealing my ‘sweat ‘sweat 1988 Corolla. Secondly, I would’ve gone just to see Safeco Field in person which was brand new at the time.

  43. @MarinerDad
    Hay, you guys do have a really nice ballpark. I was wondering, if you thought in a general since, did the roof (when closed), take away from the fan experience at all.
    BTW: Ken Griffey, Jr. Class act all the way.

    • Late reply here, but for the benefit of other folks, the closed roof experience at Safeco is surprisingly cool. It’s not hermetically sealed; more like some sort of Art Deco carport. You can still see outside beyond the outfield walls and feel the wind blowing as weather moves in.

      I do wish they’d built the stadium in the north lot of the old Kingdome, right on the edge of downtown. And with the smaller seating capacities favored by newer ballparks, they probably could have. Still a great place to catch a game, but longtime locals know different siting could have made it even better.

  44. from an examiner.com article last year, re: Safeco Field. Sounds similar to what happened in Miami, where financing was rammed through against the taxpayers wishes.
    Making things worse in Seattle, is the fact that the voters of Kings County voted down legislation to publicly fund Safeco field. It was not till a win in the 1995 ALDS and another threat to sell of relocate the team, that the state legislature stepped in and found a way to use public money to build the stadium.

  45. Very nice compliment from MarinersDad.

    duff, the actual unpaid back wages for 74 employees, over a distant three-year period, was about $250,000. (Under the law, the amount gets doubled for purposes of repaying the employees) So a crude average puts it at about $100 per month per employee. Not insignificant to a person earning minimum wage, I understand. But the Calif. Dept. of Labor got me and my co-workders more than that back in the 80s from an employer in Berkeley who simply didn’t understand statutory lunch-break policy. For the Giants, it appears that some employees were misclassified as OT exempt and that others working split shifts technically were not. (Maybe getting to watch part of a baseball game in the middle of your work day counts as payable time if you’re technically on call–I don’t know.) But for an organization that large, the total isn’t really eye popping. Meanwhile, the Labor Dept. says it’s now going to investigate labor practices at other mlb teams, because the same sorts of violations easily could be happening elsewhere.

  46. PJK, that’s been the game plan for at least half of the major league facilities built since 1990. They’re rammed through by city “leaders” that either get payoffs or “don’t want to be the mayor that lost Team X”. If every stadium funding mechanism in the US was put to a vote, the O.co would still be above average.

    To say nothing of the fact that when something is voted down (a la Seattle), the team and the politicians in its pocket can just try again the next election cycle. But once a stadium is approved and contracts are signed, there’s no going back.

  47. I have a theory! And it’s eternal optimism at its best 😉 RM’s doing a backdoor “study” for Lew Wolff to see what we want (and don’t want, care for) for the future Cisco Field. Present most of the new ballparks with gorgeous photos and such, write about/describe what they have to offer, have us chime in on what we like/don’t like and Lew/Keith Wolff will do the rest. If the Wolff’s read this: a 36k seat, roofless Safeco Field with a canary facade for our A’s! And don’t forget the beer (Safeco style)…

  48. @Tony D.
    Sounds like the plan!

  49. @Tony D. I love you, for that one my Man.

  50. Love y’all to! And of course I meant cannery, not a damn bird; GO A’S!

  51. Cannery facade and water tower in the outfield plaza with Cisco Logo.

  52. @Larry E.,
    You’re speaking my language 😉
    Go A’s and aloha from da islands brah!

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