The Seattle Public Facilities District leases Safeco Field to the Seattle Mariners which manage operations and maintenance for all events in the facility.

Finance

Total cost of the ballpark was $517 million of which the Seattle Mariners contributed more than $126 million.   

The King County Council voted to sell Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds in 1997 to the finance the public portion of Safeco Field's construction costs. These bonds, which financed the public's contribution to the construction of Safeco Field, were completely paid off in September 2011 -- five years ahead of schedule. By paying off the bonds early, the public saved about $44 million in interest costs.   All taxes created to fund the construction of the ballpark have been ended with the exception of the 5% admissions tax, which continues to help pay for maintenance of the ballpark.

Revenue to pay off the bonds came from:  

  • 0.5 percent sales tax on food and beverages sold in King County;
  • 5 percent admissions tax on events at the ballpark;
  • 2 percent sales tax on rental cars in King County;
  • 0.017 percent of existing state sales tax generated in King County; and
  • Sales of special baseball themed lottery game and license plates. 

The PFD owns Safeco Field and leases it to the Baseball Club of Seattle L.P. (Seattle Mariners). Under the
lease the Mariners are fully responsible for the management of Safeco Field, maintaining it as a "first class"
facility.  In exchange, the Mariners retain all the revenues generated by the facility and pay rent to the PFD
with annual escalations.  The lease also contains provisions on profit sharing and public benefits that ensure
reasonable access for baseball fans.  The PFD oversees the Seattle Mariners' compliance with the terms of
the lease by reviewing the annual Ballpark Management Plan.

Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District