12. Safeco Field
- Year Opened: 1999
- Capacity: 47,943
- Defining Features: Downtown views, retractable roof, extensive food and local beer selection
Leaving the dingy Kingdome behind and moving to Safeco Field at the turn of the century, the Seattle Mariners have one of the finest parks in baseball today. Safeco is the highest-rated domed stadium on this list, but it is a necessity in the rainy city in the Pacific Northwest. The umbrella roof does not enclose the entire building, and is a spectacular feat of engineering.
Safeco Field allows for incredible views of the city of Seattle, and the views are preserved even when the roof is closed. The stadium is built along the same template of the retro-modern stadiums that dominated the 1990s and early 2000s, and has an intimate seating bowl and a field with quirky dimensions.
Seattle is known for its exciting food scene, and Safeco Field was one of the first in baseball to get behind the local food and beer craze and serve things besides hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries in the concession stands. This year, the Mariners debuted toasted chili-lime grasshoppers, and they are the talk of baseball. Safeco is on board with the crazy ballpark eats trend for now, but there are also more mainstream options that go outside the realm of typical ballpark fare.
Unfortunately, the Mariners have only reached the playoffs once since the new stadium opened almost 20 years ago. The new front office is working hard to build an athletic team that can play winning baseball in a pitcher-friendly park, and the Mariners are expected to make a run at contention in 2017.