Mariners won't extend Safeco naming rights

Ballpark will be called something new when deal ends after 2018 season

June 13th, 2017
The Safeco Field naming-rights agreement was reached in 1998, and the Mariners will not extend the deal after '18. (AP)Ted S. Warren/AP

SEATTLE -- The Mariners' ballpark will be getting a new name after the 2018 season, as the club announced Tuesday that its 20-year agreement with Safeco Insurance will not be extended beyond its original deal.

The agreement for the Safeco Field naming rights was reached in 1998, and the ballpark opened in July '99. The Mariners have already begun preliminary talks with new potential naming-rights partners.

"Safeco Insurance has been a great partner of the Mariners dating back to the earliest days of the franchise, including the ballpark naming rights for the last 20 years," said Mariners president Kevin Mather. "We appreciate everything Safeco has done over the years to support our organization and look forward to continuing the relationship in the future."

That relationship will not include bearing the company's name on the ballpark, however.

"It has been an honor to host the naming rights for the last 20 years, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Mariners. While our marketing approach is changing, we intend to remain active partners with the organization for years to come," said Safeco Insurance president Tyler Asher.

. Safeco Field is owned by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District. The Mariners manage and operate all events at the park.

Ten of Major League Baseball's 30 current stadiums don't have a naming-rights sponsor: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, Kauffman Stadium, Marlins Park, Nationals Park, Oakland Coliseum, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium.

Many sponsored ballparks have changed names over the years. The Rangers' home has had four names since it opened in 1994, going from The Ballpark in Arlington to Ameriquest Field, then to an unsponsored Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and it changed to Globe Life Park in 2014.

The Giants' ballpark in San Francisco was called Pac Bell Park starting in 2000, then SBC Park in 2004-05. It has been AT&T Park for the past 12 years.

The A's facility has been among the most-changed names, as it was known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum from 1966-98 and 2008-11, but it was sponsored as Network Associates Coliseum from 1998-2004, McAfee Coliseum from 2004-08 and Coliseum in 2011.

The Astros initially played in Enron Field when their ballpark opened in 2000, but the name was switched to Astros Field in 2002 before landing a deal as Minute Maid Park.