The Seattle Mariners announced today that they are moving in portions of the outfield wall at Safeco Field for the 2013 season. The changes, which will primarily affect the left field power alley, are the first to the field dimensions since the ballpark opened in 1999.
After several months of deliberation and analysis, input from former players as well as from current and past front office personnel and coaches, the decision was made to make the adjustments.
Executive Vice President and General Manager Jack Zduriencik said, “Our goal was to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers. Considering the current field dimensions as well as the climate in and around Safeco Field, we feel this will be accomplished with this new layout.”
From the left field corner to a point about midway between the bullpens, the wall will be moved in four-feet. The biggest change will be from the left field power alley area to straightaway center, where the wall will be as much as 17-feet closer to home plate. From straightaway center to right center, the wall will be moved in-four feet.
Another noticeable change will be in the left field corner. The hand-operated scoreboard will no longer be in play, and will be relocated to a new location above left field as part of seating modifications that will be announced at a later date. Currently in the left field corner, the wall is 16-feet high with the hand-operated scoreboard in play. After the board is moved, the outfield wall will be eight-feet high there, making it the same height from foul pole to foul pole.
Members of the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District Board have reviewed and endorsed the changes. Major League Baseball has also been informed of the modification plans.
Description of the changes to the outfield dimensions at Safeco Field in 2013
- In the left field corner:
- The distance down the left field foul line remains the same at 331-feet.
- Instead of jutting out quickly to 341-feet, the wall will jut out to 337-feet.
- The hand-operated scoreboard will be moved, and as a result, the height of the outfield wall will be eight-feet from foul pole to foul pole.
- From the left field corner to the left field power alley, the wall will be moved in four-feet.
- The distance at the left field power alley will decrease from 390-feet to 378-feet.
- From left center to straightaway center field, the distance the wall will be moved in will vary from four-feet to a maximum of 17-feet. At straightaway center field, the distance will decrease from 405-feet to 401-feet.
- From straightaway center to the right center power alley, the wall will move in four-feet. The distance at the power alley will decrease from 385-feet to 381-feet.
- From the right field power alley to the right field line, the dimensions remain the same.