The Seattle Mariners won’t be playing in Safeco Field following the 2018 MLB season. Well, they’ll still be playing in the same stadium, but it will have a different name. On Tuesday, the team and the insurance company announced that the naming rights deal for Safeco Field would not extend past the 2018 season, the final season under the 20-year deal originally signed by the two parties.
“Safeco Insurance has been a great partner of the Mariners dating back to the earliest days of the franchise, including the ballpark naming rights for the last 20 years. We appreciate everything Safeco has done over the years to support our organization and look forward to continuing the relationship in the future,” said Kevin Mather, Seattle Mariners President & COO.
“It has been an honor to host the naming rights for the last 20 years and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Mariners. While our marketing approach is changing, we intend to remain active partners with the organization for years to come,” said Tyler Asher, Safeco Insurance President. “Safeco and our parent company Liberty Mutual are committed to our presence in the Seattle community, by providing jobs to thousands of people in the region and supporting non-profits that help make Seattle one of the finest and exciting cities in the U.S. and across the globe.”
The naming rights for the stadium are now up for grabs, though the team did say it was in the midst of preliminary discussions with interested parties.
If the Mariners do stay local, which most teams do when inking a naming rights deal, there will be no shortage of potential companies to have plaster their name on the park. But let’s be honest here – most stadiums are named after banks, insurance companies, or media entities. So instead of something potentially cool, like Starbucks Park, Amazon Field (call it the jungle!), or Microsoft Stadium, the new title sponsor will be something lame, like Capital One Field or T-Mobile Park.
For what its worth, the Seahawks and Sounders play at CenturyLink Field, the Storm (and formerly, the Sonics) play at KeyArena, and Alaska Airlines has slapped its name on the Washington Huskies’ football and basketball venues.