SoDo is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, that makes up part of the city's Industrial District. It is bounded on the north by South King Street, beyond which is Pioneer Square; on the south by South Spokane Street, beyond which is more of the Industrial District; on the west by the Duwamish Waterway, across which is West Seattle; and on the east by Metro Transit's Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and SoDo Busway, beyond which is the International District and the rest of the Industrial District.
SoDo was originally named for being located South of the (King)dome, but since the stadium's demolition in 2000, the name has been taken to mean South of Downtown, and includes Seattle's downtown stadium district of Safeco Field (where the Seattle Mariners play baseball in Major League Baseball) and CenturyLink Field (built on the former Kingdome site; where the Seattle Seahawks play football in the NFL and the Sounders FC play soccer/football in Major League Soccer). The Mariners' popular marketing campaign in the early 2000s used the SoDo moniker in the catchphrase "Sodo Mojo."
SoDo deliberately echoes SoHo in New York City, where, during the 1970s, cheap spaces vacated by departing factories were converted by artists into lofts and studios. SoDo has undergone a similar process but has not experienced much of the gentrification experienced by its putative model. Some of SoDo's warehouse buildings remain in their original use; others have been carved up for artists' lofts, art galleries, and an assortment of other businesses. One building directly across from Safeco Field houses Pyramid Breweries, Inc. downstairs and a variety of small offices upstairs. As one travels further south along First Avenue S., these conversions peter out, and light manufacturing, warehouses, and warehouse-style retail stores predominate. Starbucks world headquarters is housed in a converted Sears building at First Avenue S. and S. Lander Street.
Safeco Field (originally rendered SAFECO Field and sometimes referred to as Safeco) is a retractable roof baseball stadium located in Seattle, Washington. The stadium, owned and operated by the Washington-King County Stadium Authority, is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB) and has a seating capacity of 47,476 for baseball. It is located in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood near the western terminus of Interstate 90.
During the 1990s, the suitability of the Mariners' previous stadium—the Kingdome—as an MLB facility came under doubt, and the team's ownership group threatened to relocate the team. In September 1995, King County voters defeated a ballot measure to secure public funding for a new baseball stadium. Shortly thereafter, the Mariners' first appearance in the MLB postseason and their victory in the 1995 American League Division Series (ALDS) renewed a public desire to keep the team in town. As a result, the Washington State Legislature approved an alternate means of funding for the stadium with public money. The site for the stadium—just south of the Kingdome—was selected in September 1996, and construction began in March 1997. Construction lasted until July 1999, and the stadium hosted its first game on July 15, 1999.