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Mariners tell city: Keep weed away from Safeco Field

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Updated: 8/03/2013 12:34 am
SEATTLE, Wash. (KIRO) -- The Mariners don't want marijuana production near Safeco Field, telling the Seattle City Council the stadium area is a place "where more kids come than almost any other single place in the city."

The letter was sent earlier this year because the city is working on zoning legal marijuana businesses, and likely will not allow them in Pioneer Square or around Pike Place Market. The Mariners want that same exemption for an area around the stadiums.

"The Stadium Transition Overlay District is very different from the general industrial zone that lies to our south in terms of the population who comes here," wrote Bart Waldman, the Mariners executive vice president of legal and government affairs. "We attract families and kids in great numbers. Our surveys and records indicate that, since Safeco Field was opened in 1999, almost six million kids under the age of 15 have attended Mariners games here, roughly 15-16% of our total attendance."

However, Mariners attendance has been in the basement this season, averaging just more than 22,000 fans per game. The team's attendance is 25th out of 30 Major League teams, according to ESPN.

Waldman said those kid numbers don't count “the many thousands of additional youngsters who have been here for tours, school events, high school tournaments, graduations, Weather Day, FanFest and other events.”

This isn't the first time the Mariners have objected to potential neighbors. In 2008 and 2009, the team tried to stop Dream Girls strip club from opening a short walk from the stadium. Mariners attorneys argued that a 60-foot area south of Safeco fit a "public park and open space" designation that would have kept the strippers away.

But a King County Superior Court judge ruled the space used for parking and traffic wasn't the same as a park. Dream Girls opened in 2010.
The Seattle City Council has not yet passed a marijuana zoning plan, but is expected to later this year.
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