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LL’s Guide To Safeco, 2017

Where to park, where to eat, how to buy beers for your hardworking LL writers

General View

It’s almost Opening Day 2017! While the season is not off to...the greatest start, things are always a little rosier inside Safeco’s spacious confines. The smell of garlic fries mingled with the tang of salt air and fresh cut grass is a signal that summer days are right around the corner. Whether you’re making your first trip to the ballpark or are a regular member of the King’s Court, here are some tips to get the most out of your day at the Safe.

Getting tickets (where to sit, where to buy):

For certain giveaways, you’ll need to purchase a special ticket through the M’s website (still ruing having missed out on flannel shirt night). I like Gameday for third-party tickets when all I want is to get in the door: the interface is really clean, ticket delivery is right to your phone, and I’ve never had an issue with them selling fraudulent tickets (looking at you, Vivid Seats). Plus you can see the view from the seat you’re buying right in the app. It’s not the cheapest, but if you’re going on a random Tuesday in July you’re not paying that much to begin with. -KP

Because I am in college and poor, I always buy the cheapest tickets I can find on Gametime. Then around the third inning I usually try to sneak into the empty seats in the 100 level. It still irks me that the ushers try to stop people from filling the open seats in the lower level, but usually you can sneak past them if you set your mind to it. Pro Tip: When scoping potential seats to hijack, check Gametime for seats still for sale during first pitch because odds are nobody will show up to them if they haven’t been purchased yet. -AG

I too am a poor college student and also use the Gametime app. Let me tell you, I've gotten some cheap tickets that way. Similar to Adam, I typically find a way to sneak into the 100 level in the early innings. -LM

As far as where to sit in the cheap seats, I love the 300 level along the first base line, especially 318 (once while sitting there, pre-writing for LL, I rather rudely spied on someone in front of me who was commenting somewhat fervently in the GT). You get an expansive view of the field, and it’s the perfect place to sit if you’ve dragged a somewhat reluctant baseball fan along/you’re watching the 2010 Mariners, because you can ignore on-the-field happenings and simply admire the Seattle skyline. It’s also one of my very favorite places to watch the sunset. -IM

Being from Spokane, I usually can't just last second decide to get tickets at the gate. The two main ways I obtain my tickets are either purchasing the cheapest tickets I can online from the Mariners website (I usually hang out in The Pen anyways) or I use a free ticket voucher I’ve obtained from FanFest back in January. They provide a voucher for two free cheap seats to a game of your choosing (barring a couple specific promo days or Yankees/Red Sox/Cubs/etc). The vouchers are given to the entire winning team of a fun, MLB/Mariners themed Family Feud style trivia game that any FanFest attendees can participate in free of charge. -BT

Getting there (public transport and parking):

The light rail will drop you off a block behind the stadium. All you have to do is get downtown from points north, east, or west, and you can pick it up from Westlake or University stations. If you’re coming from the far south, you can park at the Tukwila park-and-ride as long as it isn’t a weekday game and catch the light rail from there. Other than that, there are many buses which you can find using the One Bus Away app. Driving is miserable, stress-inducing and expensive, and only to be done under extreme duress, in my opinion. -KP

I second Kate. After getting introduced to the light rail, I vow never to drive to another game. I usually have to walk about a mile from my house to the station next to Husky Stadium, but it's well worth it. You’re dropped off a short distance from the stadium and don't have to pay an absurd price to park. - LM

There is fairly reliable free parking along 3rd Avenue South, just south of the stadium. I usually try to get there at least an hour in advance, and can usually find something within half a mile of the stadium. -ZG

Again, being from Spokane, I typically drive over. I always park for free near the Jack In The Box and Taco Bell a couple blocks south of the stadium. I've parked in the restaurant parking several times now and never had a ticket/towing occur [Ed. note: It should be noted that Ben is very lucky, and also has the musculature of a bootcamp instructor, so perhaps that’s why he’s never been ticketed.]. -BT

Pre-game eats, drinks, and activities (both family-friendly and non):

The Pyramid Brewery beer garden is a great option on a sunny day. It’s right across 1st Avenue from Safeco. It’s 21+ to get in, but they have good food and beer at decent prices. It is, however, cash only. -ZG

Altstadt is an excellent German brewhaus on 1st with half liter and liter beers that are one and two dollars off during happy hour, respectively. The sensation of holding a beer glass a viking would quaff is reward enough, but their selection is excellent. It’s a bit pricy outside of happy hour, but the food is excellent too if you have time/like sauer stuff. Flatstick also has an excellent selection of beers and great tacos. -JT

If you are saddled with a pack of kids and need food that will make them happy but also beer you can drink, Pizza Pro on Occidental Ave has you covered. The pizza is tasty, the street is a little less hectic-Pioneer-Square-y, and did I mention beer? You can also then shuttle your brood over to Occidental Park and let them run around while you relax under the shady London planetrees. -KP

As a snooty beer nerd I probably shouldn’t share this, but it’s not like it’s some closely guarded secret. Collin’s Pub in Pioneer Square looks like your average downtown Seattle watering hole, but it’s actually a beer nerd nirvana hiding in plain sight. The owner is super craft beer savvy and keeps an impeccable tap list at all times. It also boasts some good happy hour eats and an excellent burger at all times. It’s been my go-to spot when heading to games from downtown after work for years now. Table service can be VERY hit or miss, so sit at the bar if time is of the essence. Otherwise, grab a table in the back and be gracious and patient. -ES

This is supposed to be our guide for you, but if any of you wise folks know of bars around the stadium with free peanuts/popcorn/other deliciously free bar snacks, please share them in the comments. Thanks! -IM

I also will sing the praises of Pyramid on a nice day. I've been there a few times, and only ever noticed $5 happy hour beer/cider last time I was there, which was also a Saturday (weekend happy hours are always nice). I've never checked out Pioneer Square pubs since I typically park on the opposite side of Safeco, but I've popped in to the Hawks Nest, just a block or two North of Safeco on First. It's just a typical divey sports bar; but they had decent priced buckets of beer (5 Silver Bullets for $22 I believe?). As far as food goes, an awesome family-friendly MUST is the hot dog vendors in the alley between Safeco and CenturyLink. The dogs and drinks (soda and water) are reasonably priced, and there's several team shops you can pop in to get some gear below stadium prices. Pre-game alley dogs (I faithfully stick to the stands with yellow tents) have been an integral part of the Mariner game and experience for me as long as I've been attending games. -BT

The team store pre-game gives me the vapors. If you’re looking for baseball merch but slightly less stranger armpit, you can visit one of the stores Ben mentioned, or for a more vintage flavor you could also detour into Ebbets Field Flannels on Jackson Street. It’s across the street from Temple Billiards, which is a fun place to shoot some pool if you’re looking to kill time before the game. I also like the Central Saloon or Merchant’s Cafe for a pre-game beer with a side of Seattle history. -KP

After hastily looking this over, I see my colleagues have failed to mention that you can get $2 Rainiers at the triangle. You will probably not be able to sit anywhere and I advise against making eye contact with any of the patrons, but you will be adequately prepared for a Gallardo start for approximately $10. -SG

During the game (where to stand, what to eat, where the cheap beer is):

The cheapest beers that I’ve managed to find in the stadium are $6 tallboys of Rainier in the Hit it Here Cafe. You don’t actually need to have tickets to the Hit it Here - you can just walk in the bar from the mezzanine level in right field. If you have actual standards, you’re going to be stuck with $12 pints of (pretty good) beer at stands throughout the stadium. -ZG

There are bacon wrapped hot dogs in Edgar’s Cantina and on the right field line of the suites level. They’re 10/10 and very justifiable for only $7, just don’t blame me for any ensuing heart attacks. -AG

Garlic fries, garlic fries, garlic fries. They are both delicious, and ensure that you will not be bothered by anyone during your game experience. **If you happen to be gluten free (either medically, or by choice, no judgment here), feel free to reach out to me in the comments/on Twitter, and I’ll happily share all that I’ve learned about navigating through Safeco. Pro tip: the cotton candy is always safe to eat. -IM

As I mentioned earlier, I frequent the standing room in The Pen when I attend games, or occasionally grab a spot on the railing by either bullpen if I can find a place for my entire posse. I definitely wouldn't recommend The Pen to anyone who’s hoping not to miss a pitch or keep score, as your vision will likely be obstructed for a majority of the game. This season, I plan to forgo hitting The Pen and instead plan to plop down in the 300 level with some snacks to actually follow the game, and then move in on some 100 level seats towards the middle innings. I've had more success sticking to the back portion of the sections in the right field corner. Another spot I've enjoyed watching from is atop the stairwell in right-center field that leads towards the Hit It Here Cafe. You can lean on the rail, and you're in close proximity to the $6 tallboys. -BT

The dirty tots in the Pen are big enough for two people to share, and contain all the essential food groups (potatoes, cheese, BACON); get a side of ranch dressing and thank me later. You can also buy two happy hour beers at once in the Pen if you get there an hour before game time; I like to go as early as I can, get my HH beer on and watch some batting practice/bullpen throwing (I just realized there will be no more Tom Wilhelmsen with a super soaker before games and my heart broke a little), and then slink away when The Pen starts to fill up. The center field bleachers are underrated cheap seats if you don’t care about seeing the video board. Also, the food in the Hit it Here Cafe is actually good—try the homemade chips with Rogue creamery blue cheese melted on top. -KP

My section of choice is 320. Mainly, the view is incredible and the sunset is sensational. Additionally, I do not enjoy listening to other people talk during sporting events. I have a group of friends that also hate hearing other people talk over baseball games, so we usually hide up in the 300-level down the right field line at first. Eventually, we tend to find our way down to the 100-level. The less packed the section, the more optimal for my viewing experience. - LM

I don’t know how I, a child-free person, wound up writing all the kid parts, but: if you have a wee one who is antsy, the kids’ play area on the 100 level behind centerfield is very fun, as is the Moose Den and the pitching game and all the other stuff they have over there. That whole area can get pretty crowded on weekends, though, so if you have a little one who hates waiting in lines, your runner might enjoy the ramps on the east side of the stadium, near the right field gate. The concourse of the 300 level closest to centerfield also tends to be much less crowded and good for a kid who has energy to burn or needs a break from the madding crowd, and you can still catch parts of the game on the TVs mounted at twenty-foot intervals. If your kid is wildly overstimulated and needs a break from people, the stairs over at the left field gate are always pretty quiet during gametime, and right by the LF entrance are some benches near some faux open fireplaces if your kid (or you!) just needs a second to retreat. -KP

Postgame eats and drinks:

This is where I go to the previously-mentioned Alstadt, typically with whoever I still feel like talking to after a long night at the ballpark, but sometimes just alone to decompress after the Mariners have (usually) broken my heart again. There’s almost always something interesting and new on the menu; when I was there after Fan Fest I had something called onion butter and it changed. my. life. -KP

It's definitely not special, and almost always unbelievably slow, but if you spent way too much on beer at the game and are parked near Jack In The Box/Taco Bell, you could always swing through the drive through on the way out of town. Most of the Alley Dog vendors outside the stadium offer 2 for 1 specials post game as well, which I highly recommend. -BT

As a 20-year-old I am legally prohibited from having fun, so I usually just go home and make eggs. - LM

You should probably go home and make eggs after the game too. -SG