The Seattle Mariners will look for the largest pay day that they can to adorn their crown jewel stadium with a corporate branding. The question is who will the Marines sell out to? Fortune 500 companies abound and there is no dearth of wealth in the Seattle area. Yes we know T-Mobile got the sponsorship, it is fun to speculate what could have been. For this exercise, we at SSU have grabbed the 10 largest employers in the area (by employee population) and come up with some desirable stadium names.
There was a time that Seattle was a company town. That company being Boeing was such a huge influence on Seattle that at one time, the Emerald City was known as “Jet City.” While their HQ moved away a decade ago, it still employs more people than can fit in Safeco—twice over. With this heritage, it would be right to use the sponsorship to refer to the stadium as “Jet City Field.” If Edgar Drive did not already have a name, we would have suggested it be called “Dream-line Drive.”
Joint Base Lewis – McChord (56k)
JBLM is not a company, we know that, but the military base has a similar heritage to Boeing in that the Army and Air Force bases have been a staple in the Puget Sound as long as baseball has. McChord is the home of an Airlift group who use the C-17 transport plane (nickname Moose). To honor the men and women in service, we could refer to the stadium after the plane and call it “Moose Park.”
I do understand this nickname presents multiple problems, one being that different branches of the service call the C-17 different names (like Barney) and the Mariner Moose is the actual mascot; other than that, it is a darn fine idea.
The advent of DOS, the rise of Windows, and the global domination of Office has made Paul Allen and Bill Gate’s company the world leader in computer software. Once again let me state that clearly—the leader in the world in computer software. It is undeniable that Seattle was a sleepy hamlet company town that became a tech giant that rivals Silicon Valley and that is in no small part to Microsoft’s influence. In honor of the complete tear down of the M’s this off-season, let’s call it “C:\>Format Field.”
Jeff Bezos has a lot of money, as it the most in the known world. He has built an empire that rivals the rise of Boeing and the Rise of Microsoft here in Seattle. Reinventing online ordering, media, and AI Amazon has offered a lot to the world and region so what would happen if they named the stadium? The choice is obvious “Alexa….play ball park!”
University of Washington (25k)
Yeah I was as shocked that UW ranks so high. But think about it if there are 40K students, someone has to teach them. Add in that UW is one of the major research facilities world wide and has services like a hospital and sports venues, it makes sense that it is a major influence in the region. But what would they name this park? Well with as awful as the M’s have been for the last 17 years, would “Dog Park” be out of line?
Yeah who knew? But with supercenters in Bellevue, Lynwood, Tacoma, Everett…there is still not one Walmart in Seattle. Not that I have a love for Walmart, kitty litter is cheap there I must confess, there is a way the company can make its way into a city it was frozen out of—naming rights for the stadium. This one should just keep the company name and stick with “Walmart Stadium.” It will make a lot of snooty rich people and hipsters unhappy in Seattle and for many of us in the ‘burbs, that would be hilarious.
Weyerhaeuser is a blue blood in the Seattle business scene. Before the rise of tech and aerospace, timber was “the” industry in the Pacific Northwest. Weyerhaeuser is still around and going strong moving their business segments into timberland management and real estate management for natural resources. Hearkening back to the era of the lumberjack, logs used to be slid down Yesler way from first Hill. Seeing as how the M’s have hit the skids as far as their lack of winning history, we could adopt “Mariner Grounds at Skid Row,” at least the stadium name would be as depressing as the M’s chances next year.
Fred Meyer (15k)
Technically based in Portland (boo), Fred Meyer basically was the original one-stop-shopping location in the PNW. Freddys has been a mainstay for people like me who don’t like shopping and can get everything we need and be back home in time to watch sports (yeah!). Fred Meyer is owned by Kroger now and if they were to take the sponsorship, I would like an amalgam of their two names and turn it into “Freddy Kroger’s Field.”
King County government (13k)
Well King County hires a lot of people for necessary jobs that make our lives better like judges, police and librarians. Then again they also have bureaucrat and politicians? Kind of a wash I suppose. For our younger readers, were you aware that the voters actually voted against the stadium back in 1995? True story, and in a nod to those who voted against the ballpark lets call it “Wait, what happened to democracy park?” Yeah it is cynical I know, but who isn’t with politics these days?
Starbucks wasn’t on this list for employers but we all know how iconic they are. Born in the 70’s they are now synonymous with coffee even more than Juan Valdez. The coffee giant should have their name thrown in the ring and it is obvious what name they would give to the stadium: “Starbucks Field at Coffee Grounds.”