‘The M’s’ mammoth plans for Pyramid building



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Seattle Mariners to develop old Pyramid building Image: Seattle Mariners

John Stanton, Chairman of the Board of the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Seattle Mariners, hinted that the Seattle Mariners had plans in the works to further revitalize the SoDo district near their home ground – T-Mobile Park (US) – when the club formally received its 2023 All-Star selection.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that the Seattle Mariners, T-Mobile Park and the City of Seattle will be home to the 2023 All-Star Week. This marks the third time in franchise history that the Mariners will host the Midsummer Classic (1979 – Kingdome, 2001 – Safeco Field).

The 59,166-capacity Kingdome (officially the King County Stadium) was a multipurpose stadium located in the Industrial District (later SoDo) neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States. It was demolished on March 26th, 2000.

The T-Mobile Park was earlier known as the Safeco Field.

The ‘Seattle Mariners’ stated that on October 6th, those plans came into a much clearer scope.

The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle (US). They compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League West division. The team joined the American League as an expansion team in 1977 playing their home games in the Kingdome.

The T-Mobile Park is a retractable roof baseball park in Seattle, Washington, United States. Owned and operated by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District, it is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB) and has a seating capacity of 47,929 for baseball.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. As of 2021, a total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball – 15 teams in the National League and 15 in the American League – with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game, also known as the ‘Midsummer Classic’, is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball and contested between the All-Stars from the American League and the National League.

The Mariners announced that they’ve signed a long-term lease for the old Pyramid Brewery building located just West of the ballpark, a once popular pregame destination that the club hopes to revitalize and open by July or August of next summer.

The ‘Seattle Mariners’ further stated that immediate plans for the venue include a restaurant that will hold 250 people and a boutique brew pub, as well as flexible interior event space that could accommodate groups as large as 800 people. Interior demolition work is already underway.

The headliner is the brewery that will be installed – ‘Steelheads Alley’, named for the 1946 Seattle Negro League team, and run by Metier Brewing, the State’s first Black-owned brewery. Décor of the brewery, which will be located between the main restaurant and the event space once occupied by Pyramid’s brewing equipment, will pay tribute to teams and players from the Negro Leagues.

Said Rodney Hines, Metier’s CEO and Co-Founder, “When the chance to partner with the Mariners arose, we were incredibly excited by the opportunity to be part of this history and reach even more people with our award-winning beers and mission to inspire bigger dreams for all. We feel really fortunate to be joining the organization at such an exciting and critical time and look forward to the many ways this space will provide access to fans and community members from all backgrounds.”

A critical component in the space’s development is to create community space and support businesses with women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) ownership.

Said Fred Rivera, Mariners Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, “We hope to activate the space in ways that will provide economic opportunities and equitable outcomes for the broader community. But these are merely the first stages. The Mariners plan to renovate the 30,000 square-foot space to include an indoor/outdoor area and future office space. Above the ground level, which will be the main attraction, there is 6,000 square feet of space currently configured as offices on the second and third floors.”

The Mariners noted that plans for that area have not been finalized, but that it will likely be configured for “a number of different purposes including hosting, on a pro bono basis, small community nonprofits working to advance social and racial equity goals and programs that support women and BIPOC-owned businesses. The offerings could include free, shared workspace, mentorship, business development support, access to investment resources, and more.”

Andersen Construction is the General Contractor with SHKS Architects providing design and restoration consulting. Contractors have committed to meet goals for significant participation of women- and BIPOC-owned companies in all aspects of the project, including design, construction and supplies. This commitment is closely aligned with the Mariners’ aim to increase collaboration with diverse business partners. SHKS Architects are overseeing the design and restoration.

The lease is for 23 years. Rivera informed that the club will spend “tens of millions” on the renovation, which aligns with what Stanton said from the Space Needle at the All-Star announcement on September 16th. The Mariners’ Chairman and Managing General Partner said that the club will commit $50 million in enhancements to the ballpark and the neighboring areas.

Added Stanton, “We now know that we’ll have the All-Star Game in 2023, and that’s kind of a deadline for us to substantially improve those facilities to create more opportunities for fans to enjoy the game and the events that come before and after the game.”

These efforts follow a trend that’s been seen across MLB and other sports to enhance the gameday experience. The Ballpark Village in St. Louis and The Battery Atlanta are perhaps the most prominent such examples. But the Pyramid space will also be in use during NFL games played by the Seattle Seahawks.

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