Stadium name change not only thing Mariners fans will notice this year
After 20 years of being known as Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners stadium has a new name: T-Mobile Park. The contract with T-Mobile runs through 2043.
Besides splashes of the telecom's signature magenta color seen outside and inside of the ballpark, fans will notice a few other new features.
"There is the T-Mobile pen out in the outfield," the team's information manager Kelly Munro said. "There is also a special entrance on South Royal Brougham Way for all T-Mobile customers. We now have the Coors Light recliner seats in the outfield, a few new vendors and the roof lights up."
The new name became official on Jan. 1, 2019. So far, the transition seems to be smooth. Munro says there haven't been many complaints from fans about the changes.
Within their newly-named park, coaches and players are also seeing differences in training equipment.
Assistant coach Nasusel Cabrera throws balls during batting practice for the players and also helps them with their swings. In March, he got a new piece of technology to work with. It's a machine called HitTrax that gives hitters the statistics like exit velocity, launch distance and angle.
"We work on different things each day," Cabrera said. "Usually in [batting practice] the players will start with around seven hits to the opposite field. The next round, they'll try to go up the middle five times. Then they try to practice in game at-bats to try to hit the ball hard. When they feel good, they stop. Usually they want to end on a good one but not always."
The Mariners play their third game against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 4 — both teams have cinched victories over the other in the two previous games this week.
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