|The city of Seattle finally got a real baseball park with the opening of Safeco Field in 1999. While I never saw a game in The Kingdome, from all accounts it was one of the dreariest parks ever built. But that didn't stop fans from coming out when the Mariners had a winning record. So it shouldn't be any surprise that the M's have continued to draw very well in their new ballpark, especially with the fine teams they have had recently. As with most new ballparks, prepare to bring a wad of cash - you'll need it. From parking ($10-$20) to tickets ($30-$45 for field level seats) to concessions ($6-$9 for many items), there are no bargains to be found at Safeco. But once you get over the high prices, you'll find one of the nicest new ballparks. Sightlines are excellent, seats are close to the field (except those in the upper deck), and there are plenty of places to explore in the park. The main concourse on the first level is littered with concession stands offering a wide variety of foods (pizza, garlic chicken and fries, sausages). More concession stands are located in the area known as "Bullpen Pub", which is on the same level as the bullpens. Here you'll find sushi, stir fry, and other ethnic foods. The array of concessions at Safeco is really quite impressive. Another nice feature is the large number of benches and tables scattered along the concourse areas. These provide a place to eat or people-watch. The seating at Safeco is almost all green folding chairs with the exception being the metal benches that make up the outfield bleachers. While the seats on the field level have a very gentle slope (which can pose a problem if you have a tall person in front of you), the upper deck seating is quite steep. Leg room is very generous. Safeco is set south of the downtown, right next door to new Seahawks Stadium. The exterior is an attractive red brick, but there is an ugly dead space behind right field where the retractable roof is stored. Like Minute Maid Park in Houston, and unlike Miller Park in Milwaukee, Safeco actually feels like an outdoor park when the roof is open. The atmosphere here is almost like one of a party. Music is constantly being blared and fans seem genuinely into the game (rather than their cell phones, which is the case at some parks). Safeco certainly ranks up with PNC Park and AT&T Park among new ballparks - just a fun (albeit expensive) place to see a game.