You're going to see something new when you go to a Mariners game at Safeco Field this season -- an entirely new field.
The entire playing surface was replaced this offseason for the first time ever. The Mariners say that, except for the replacement of the infield and foul territory grass before the 2012 season, the playing surface was mostly same as it was when the stadium opened 19 years ago.
The old grass was shaved down to its roots. Sand was excavated, followed by leveling of the subsurface and installation of new infield dirt and new turf.
The Mariners say the new turf is a mixture of sand, peat and other amendments to help maintain moisture and airflow. Just as it was with the original turf, the grass came from Country Green Turf Farms near Olympia.
The infield is being replaced with about 260 tons of clay from Salt Lake City.
Safeco Field's turf was the oldest in Major League Baseball, according to the Mariners. As the turf has been patched up over the years with thin layers of sand, the field elevation has been raised. This project lowers the elevation by about four inches.
2018 will be the final season the stadium is called Safeco Field. The insurance company and the Mariners announced last year that the naming rights agreement would not be extended. The new name of Safeco Field for 2019 has not yet been announced.