Beset by miserable offensive production in their home park, Mariners will move 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 facility’s dimensions since the ballpark opened in July, 1999.
The Mariners said they opted to adjust the park’s dimensions following several months of analysis and input from former players, as well as from current and past front-office personnel and coaches.
Our goal was to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers,” said GM Jack Zduriencik. “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.
The left-field wall, from the left field corner to a point about midway between the bullpens, will be moved in four feet. The biggest change will be from the left-field power alley to straightaway center, where the wall will be moved as much as 17 feet closer to home plate. From straightaway center to right center, the wall will be moved in four feet.
Another change will be in the left-field corner. The hand-operated scoreboard will no longer be in play, and will be moved the above left field wall as part of seating modifications that the Mariners will be announce later.
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, making it the same height from foul pole to foul pole.
Safeco Field’s dimensions now, and in 2013: