MLB’s Mariners extend Safeco Field lease

Major League Baseball team the Seattle Mariners has finalised a new long-term agreement to continue playing at Safeco Field.

The Mariners agreed the 25-year deal with the Public Facilities District, the body that oversees the stadium.

The Seattle Times newspaper reported that the PFD Board approved the lease and related agreements during its quarterly meeting with a 7-0 vote in favour.

The Mariners will be responsible for all maintenance, operations and improvements at the ballpark, with the team’s investment over the course of the 25-year term expected to be more than $600m (£478m/€530m).

Mariners chairman John Stanton said in a statement: “We want this ballpark to be our home for a hundred years.

“This lease continues the public-private partnership that has made this ballpark one of the best homes for professional baseball, a perennial fan favourite. Our agreement continues the Mariners commitment to invest substantial club revenues to ensure the ballpark remains a first-class facility. Thanks to our partnership with the PFD, baseball fans will continue to enjoy Major League Baseball in a first-class facility for many years to come.”

PFD chair Virginia Anderson added: “The new lease not only keeps the Mariners here for another 25 years, it substantially strengthens the PFD’s oversight role and ensures that we have locked in the financial commitments needed to keep this ballpark among the best in the country.

“The club will continue to upgrade this publicly-owned facility, and – with our new non-relocation agreement, one of the strongest in Major League Baseball – we are protecting the public’s investment in the facility. We appreciate the Mariners’ desire to keep our ballpark among the top in Major League Baseball, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the club as we steward this facility in the years ahead.”

The deal comes with telecommunications company T-Mobile having been heavily linked to a naming-rights agreement for the stadium from 2019. The Safeco Field moniker will be replaced at the end of the year and last month it was reported that T-Mobile has agreed a deal. The Seattle Times now reports that the deal could be announced in the coming days following the signing of the new lease agreement.

The Mariners have played at Safeco Field, which has a capacity of 47,000, since it opened in 1999.

Image: Cacophony