The Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball franchise has announced that US insurance company Safeco Insurance has decided against renewing a naming rights deal for the team’s home ballpark.

Safeco Field has bore the company’s name since opening in July 1999, but Safeco will not extend this agreement beyond the 2018 season.

However, the company has confirmed that it will retain a relationship with the team and continue to support the franchise in other ways.

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

The Mariners said that preliminary talks have already commenced with other companies that could potentially take on naming rights to the ballpark.

Mariners president Kevin Mather added: “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.

“We appreciate everything Safeco has done over the years to support our organisation and look forward to continuing the relationship in the future.”

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