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Mariners plan big improvements at T-Mobile Park

Club spending $30 million to enhance fan experience in 2020
@DKramer_
September 26, 2019

SEATTLE -- Change is coming to T-Mobile Park in a big way. The Mariners on Thursday unveiled plans for $29.8 million of restorations that will give the 20-year-old ballpark a major facelift that fans will notice for the 2020 season. The projects are part of a 10-year, $280 million commitment

SEATTLE -- Change is coming to T-Mobile Park in a big way. The Mariners on Thursday unveiled plans for $29.8 million of restorations that will give the 20-year-old ballpark a major facelift that fans will notice for the 2020 season.

The projects are part of a 10-year, $280 million commitment to maintain and improve the ballpark as part of the Mariners’ 25-year lease that began this year with the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities (PFD) district.

Here are the most tangible upgrades that fans will see by Opening Day:

Expansion of the T-Mobile 'Pen
The 'Pen -- the standing-room area that stretches from center to left field and overlooks both bullpens -- will expand to include more concessions as part of an overhaul to the left-field gate, which will remove a ticket office and add 15 additional entry points to assuage congestion and allow quicker access to the 'Pen. The area will also add TVs that will screen the game.

“The 'Pen is obviously one of our most popular areas here at the ballpark, and so we really want to get people into it faster and increase the capacity of that, so this solves both of those problems,” Mariners senior vice president of ballpark operations Trevor Gooby said.

Part of the 'Pen’s allure is its casual setting, which offers unobstructed views at field level -- all included in a general admission ticket. Gooby said that the Mariners are still determining which concessions will be added. The 'Pen mostly offers Seattle-specific dining and beverage options.

Lookout Landing will add a rooftop bar
Mirroring the likes of Coors Field and others, T-Mobile Park will add a rooftop bar in the highest Northwest point of the 300 level that will fill in Lookout Landing. The area will be patterned to a casual backyard, with bench seating and picnic tables -- all while retaining the sweeping views of downtown Seattle, the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The space will be available for group sales and will be open to all fans when it’s not in use for groups.

“That's one thing that we've noticed is that fans want these gathering spaces,” Gooby said. “They're looking for spaces obviously to watch the game, but also just to hang out with their friends, socialize, maybe watch TV, listen to a DJ, do different things like that, and so that's really a great trend that we're seeing [in MLB], and we want to make sure that we're giving our fans the experiences that they're asking for.

Rooftop Boardwalk
The Mariners are hoping to put more distinct use to the home-plate rotunda behind the LED T-Mobile Park sign. That is the premise behind the addition of a raised walkway for enhanced views of the Sound (particularly during sweeping sunsets, where it’s a popular spot), bench seating and tables, outdoor LED video monitors, destination concession stands and Kids Corner baseball-themed activities. The area will also be available for group sales.

Terrace Club
The club level will create a new seating concept along the first-base line only intended for more of a social experience, said Frances Traisman, Mariners senior vice president of sales. The ballpark will remove select areas of single seats and replace them with 10 sets of four-person padded sofa-style seats. The Terrace Club will also add 18 table-style seating areas that will each fit four. Both concepts will include video monitors, charging stations and in-seat waiting staffs, with exclusive menu items that lean heavily to a Pacific Northwest flavor.

$20.56 million in 49 infrastructure improvements

• $7 million to replace the ballpark’s original sound system

• $3.14 million in miscellaneous painting, equipment, concrete and fixture improvements

• $2 million to refurbish roughly eight axles as part of a roof wheel replacement, which is in phase five

• $1.6 million to replace the point-of-sale system at concession stands

• $1 million in roof access safety

• $600,000 in Americans with Disabilities Act fan improvements

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.