No Opening Day for the Mariners means you have to make your cream cheese hot dog at home
Today was supposed to be Opening Day for the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. But with everything shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ballpark – and nearby hotdog stands - will stay quiet.
This time last year baseball fans could tune in and hear “the Voice of the Mariners” Rick Rizzs open the season on the radio: “Look at the ballpark! Absolutely filled T-Mobile Park. The roof is wide open, we have a glorious Thursday afternoon out."
But this year on Opening Day Seattle sports fans won’t hear his voice, come within six feet of other fans, or smell grilling hot dogs.
“This is completely devastating. We have pretty much completely shut down now,” said Ian Smith, who runs Secret Sausage. It’s one of the many hot dog stands downtown you pass on the way to the stadiums.
Smith’s stand is named after the Seattle-style hot dog.
“Our bread and butter - or I guess bread and cream cheese - is the Secret Sausage,” Smith said.
Smith said he saw this shutdown coming weeks ago when Seattle-area businesses started making employees work from home out of concerns of spreading the coronavirus. Secret Sausage’s catering events started drying up, too.
"All the weddings for this summer, all the festivals, they're all canceled,” said Smith.
The Mariners’ Opening Day, he said, is usually really busy for all the street vendors.
“It would be like kind of a reunion-style day with all of our fans,” he said.
Sportscaster Rick Rizzs talks about the delay of Mariners opening day
Sportscaster Rick Rizzs talks about the delay of Mariners opening day, March 26, 2020.
The Mariners have not yet announced when their season might start. In a statement the team said, “While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration.”
Classic Mariners games -- like the 2001 debut of Ichiro -- will be broadcast starting today.
That’ll have play-by-play from Rick Rizzs and the original voice of the Mariners, Dave Niehaus.
You will have to make your own cream cheese hot dog at home though.