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Improvements pitched for Safeco Field area

Seattle MarinersDowntown Seattle could be better integrated with Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, while the ballpark area could see many improvements, under an ambitious redevelopment plan under consideration.

The Stadium District Concept Plan begins with a basic premise — that a lot of folks are attending Mariners, Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and Seattle Sounders (MLS) games without actually spending a whole lot of time in downtown Seattle. Part of that is how the Seattle stadia are set up — there are some definite barriers to the north and to the west — and part of that is a lack of destinations aside from the stadia.

So the public bodies overseeing the sports facilities, Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District and Washington State Public Stadium Authority, have put together a draft report on how the area around the facilities can be enhanced with better access, new destinations next to the facilities (like a new parking ramp with a green park on the roof) and attempts to draw more investments to the area for housing and retail. You can read the report here.

As noted, it’s a draft report, but it’s a fascinating look at how downtown Seattle and its core components (Pioneer Square, the 1st Avenue corridor, Chinatown, SODO, the waterfront) can be better integrated to take advantage of the traffic already flowing into the area. These sorts of second looks don’t usually happen after a facility opens; maybe it can be a blueprint for other cities looking to leverage the traffic generated by a popular ballpark.


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