When fans come to Safeco Field next April, they will see a very different look in the left field corner. Changes to the outfield wall (announced in October) will result in the creation of an open air restaurant and a new gathering place for fans, both named for Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez.
The restaurant, which will have a South of the Border flavor, will be an extreme makeover of an existing space and the new lounge will be created by converting most of two seating sections into a casual space similar to The 'Pen, a popular gathering place before and during games. The changes were set in motion by modifications to Safeco Field's outfield wall dimensions. The outfield wall is moving in from four-feet to up to 17-feet from left field to right center field, which presents a unique opportunity to create two new attractions that are sure to become fan favorites.
"Being asked to be part of this new project at Safeco Field is a great honor. Safeco Field is already one of the best ballparks in baseball and the new restaurant and lounge will only make it better. I hope the fans have a good time at Edgar's," said Martinez.
Blow the Roof Off
As part of the outfield wall modifications in left field, the hand-operated scoreboard will be relocated to a new façade above its current location in front of seating Sections 151 and 152. To make way for the scoreboard's new location, all but a few dozen seats in the two sections will be removed, opening up the roof of the existing restaurant, which is directly underneath the seating sections.
What remains of the two seating sections will be turned into an open air lounge of around 1,100 square feet that will be accessible from the Main Concourse. It will be similar to the popular gathering place in The 'Pen, located behind the centerfield wall. Mariners Season Ticket Account Managers are working individually with season ticket holders in the two affected seating sections to relocate them to other areas of the ballpark.
Ethan Stowell's South of the Border Flavor at Edgar's
The new lounge, which will also be called Edgar's, will have a Latin-themed menu similar to that of the current restaurant, known since 2010 as the Flying Turtle Cantina. "The new lounge is going to be a great space, it's like The 'Pen goes vertical, so we knew it needed its own hospitality identity. Working together with our local consulting Chef Ethan Stowell, we created a Taqueria featuring what we call Northwest Mex, classic tacos like Carne Asada and Carnitas built from locally sourced ingredients, a best of both worlds type deal. To wash it down, we feature South of the Border beers at the Cerveceria," said John Sergi Chief Design Officer of Centerplate, the Mariners hospitality partner.
Martinez, the Mariners Hall of Famer and one of the greatest Designated Hitters in baseball, will make occasional appearances at Edgar's during the baseball season, and his line of artisanal mezcal, known as Zac, will be available in the restaurant. Zac is one of the oldest and best-selling mezcal brands in Mexico. Through a business partnership with hair salon mogul Gene Juarez, Martinez introduced the award winning liquor to Washington in 2010.
Edgar's restaurant and lounge are part of an estimated $15 million maintenance and capital improvement plan for Safeco Field to be completed before the 2013 season starts. In addition to the outfield wall modifications, restaurant and lounge, a new LED high-definition scoreboard is being installed at Safeco Field. All improvements are scheduled to be completed in time for Opening Day on April 8 vs. the Houston Astros. Since the ballpark opened in 1999, the Mariners have invested over $80 million in Safeco Field maintenance, capital improvements and operations.