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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Seattle

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Seattle, WA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Seattle's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Seattle. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Seattle, WA. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Seattle, WA

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Seattle,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Seattle, WA

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Seattle, WA

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Seattle, WA

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Seattle, WA, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Seattle, WA

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Seattle, WA

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Seattle, WA.

 Greek Grocery Store Seattle, WA

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Seattle, WA

Latest News in Seattle, WA

Morocco to host Club World Cup

Although many details are yet to be revealed, you can start thinking about plans to travel to the men’s Club World Cup. On Friday, FIFA revealed that Morocco has been selected to host what could be the final CWC under the current format.That announcement means that 2nd place CAF Champions League finishers Al Ahly (Egypt) will return to Morocco, where t...

Although many details are yet to be revealed, you can start thinking about plans to travel to the men’s Club World Cup. On Friday, FIFA revealed that Morocco has been selected to host what could be the final CWC under the current format.

That announcement means that 2nd place CAF Champions League finishers Al Ahly (Egypt) will return to Morocco, where they lost the final to Wydad AC.

Running from February 1 to February 11, the mini-tournament ensures all but one team at least two games. The first round will be between the Oceana winners and Al Ahly. That winner will advance to the second round with the Seattle Sounders, Wydad, and the AFC Champions League selection. The AFC western region still has not played their knockout matches, with the Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan) having waited since August for their opponent. The AFC CL ‘22 final is scheduled after the Club World Cup.

Seattle’s preseason camp opens on January 4th. They’ll have little time to prepare for the needed fitness against the world’s best clubs. Morocco in February typically has temperatures peaking in the upper 60s and low 70s, which will be similar to the preseason camps that the Sounders have traveled to in Florida, Southern California and Arizona.

This will be the third time that Morocco hosts the tournament. In 2013 Bayern Munich beat Raja Casablanca in the final. In 2014 Real Madrid defeated San Lorenzo.

Previous host stadiums have been Stade de Marrakech (in Marrakesh), Stade Adrar (in Agadir), Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium (in Rabat) and again in Stade de Marrakech. More recently, Morocco hosted the 2022 Women’s AFCON, with games in Rabat (Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium) and Casablanca (Stade Mohammed V), and the 2021/22 men’s CAF Champions League final in Stade Mohammed V.

Most Moroccan stadiums are the classic low-angle bowl with running track. Stade Mohammed V holds 67,000 and Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium holds 53,000. These are probably going to be the sites for the CWC.

FIFA also announced that the men’s Club World Cup will be shifting to a massive 32-team event starting in June 2025 and a women’s Club World Cup will be created as well, without a format or date announced.

NFL Week 18 schedule favors Packers, Aaron Rodgers, and Seahawks have reason to be upset

Cries from coaches, players and fans that the NFL is biased to popular teams and/or superstar players is one of the few criticisms that the NFL will always push back on.Competitive balance is the league’s mantra, after all. Any Given Sunday, and all of that. Most of the conspiracy theories don’t exactly shake out, either. No, the refs weren't trying to set a certain matchup when they missed that pass interference call.Yet then the NFL does something like ...

Cries from coaches, players and fans that the NFL is biased to popular teams and/or superstar players is one of the few criticisms that the NFL will always push back on.

Competitive balance is the league’s mantra, after all. Any Given Sunday, and all of that. Most of the conspiracy theories don’t exactly shake out, either. No, the refs weren't trying to set a certain matchup when they missed that pass interference call.

Yet then the NFL does something like set its Week 18 schedule and, well, you can see why the claims of favoritism persist.

Entering the final week of the season, the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks are competing for the final playoff spot in the NFC.

Green Bay simply needs to defeat Detroit to earn the bid.

Seattle needs to beat the Los Angeles Rams and then have the Lions defeat the Packers.

Detroit, meanwhile, needs to beat Green Bay and have Seattle lose.

The obvious thing to do — the proper and fair and smart thing to do — is to have the Detroit-Green Bay and Rams-Seattle games take place at the very same time. That way, should Seattle win, it wouldn’t impact Detroit’s competitive drive. The Lions wouldn’t know they were eliminated before they started playing.

This is the exact standard used in other professional leagues under such scenarios, most notably in European soccer, where regular season standings determine the champion.

However, instead of having all three teams play at the same time — namely the late Sunday afternoon window — the NFL decided to flex the Detroit-Green Bay game to 8:25 p.m. ET Sunday night. Yet Seattle will still play LA at 4:25 p.m. ET

That means, if Seattle beats the lowly Rams, then the Lions would be eliminated prior to kick off.

Maybe that influences Detroit’s effort. Maybe it doesn’t and they’d play just as all out in an effort to just win a game and spoil Green Bay’s season.

No one knows. Seattle shouldn’t have to risk finding out though.

This is a clear advantage for Green Bay, which, perhaps not coincidentally, is as a historic franchise with a far bigger television draw and features one of the league’s biggest stars in quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

It doesn’t take much of an imagination to understand the NFL and its broadcast partners would rather have Rodgers and the Packers in the playoffs than Seattle and its QB, .

If the NFL has one thing going for it — and something Seattle fans can rest their hopes on — it's that , knee-biting Dan Campbell. The chance to win, the chance to ruin Rodgers and the Packers' season, the chance to just compete, will likely be enough.

Major Link Soccer: Get Well Damar Hamlin

What happened last night is a reminder that sports are about more than the score and the standings but about the players who play the game. Our thoughts are with Damar Hamlin and his family. In addition to the news below, we’ve included links to AED and CPR education from the American Heart Association, in case you want to know more about those.Damar HamlinBills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, was administered CPR and later exited in an ambulance Monday night. He’s in critical condition at a local hosp...

What happened last night is a reminder that sports are about more than the score and the standings but about the players who play the game. Our thoughts are with Damar Hamlin and his family. In addition to the news below, we’ve included links to AED and CPR education from the American Heart Association, in case you want to know more about those.

Damar Hamlin

Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, was administered CPR and later exited in an ambulance Monday night. He’s in critical condition at a local hospital, per the NFL, which postponed the game between Buffalo and host Cincinnati. Damar Hamlin collapses on field; Bills-Bengals MNF game suspended

Hamlin collapsed on the field on Monday evening. NFL community rallying around Damar Hamlin by donating to his toy drive - Buffalo Rumblings

Athletes and figures in the sports world offered words of support after the hit that sent Hamlin to the hospital Monday night. NFL players, sports world react to Damar Hamlin's injury - The Washington Post

Many NFL players and teams, and others in the sports world, quickly offered their support on social media for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Damar Hamlin: Sports world reacts to Bills player collapsing on field

View resources for Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Implementation - including guides, flyers, laws, and more. AED Implementation | American Heart Association CPR & First Aid

First Aid, CPR & Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC). Learn more about resuscitation science, training in your community or organization, and other CPR programs. American Heart Association CPR & First Aid

Seattle

MLS

Charlotte FC have signed English midfielder Ashley Westwood from EFL Championship leaders Burnley, a source tells MLSsoccer.com. Source: Charlotte FC sign Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood | MLSSoccer.com

Houston Dynamo FC are finalizing a deal to sign free-agent left back Brad Smith, sources tell MLSsoccer.com. Insider notebook: Aaron Long sweepstakes, Ronaldo's talks with SKC & more | MLSSoccer.com

Over 100 players have officially declared for the event, with teams making their selections on Jan. 12. The top 2023 NWSL draft prospects - Sports Illustrated

Italy’s Sara Gama and Brazil’s Rafaelle Souza discuss equality, crowds and building the women’s game with the BBC World Service. Sara Gama and Rafaelle Souza: Two trailblazers discuss their journeys to top - BBC Sport

After a historic year for women’s football, can 2023 go one better and see more growth in the WSL? Women’s Super League: Will women’s football be bigger in 2023? - BBC Sport

The Atlético Madrid midfielder is back playing after cancer and being ‘sunk’ by an accident that left her mother in a wheelchair. The Guardian Footballer of the Year Virginia Torrecilla: ‘When people say I’m a fighter, it’s lovely’ | Guardian Footballer of the Year | The Guardian

USA

‘Tis the season of new gym memberships, diet plans and self-development books – in other words, the season of New Year’s resolutions. USMNT: 3 New Year's resolutions that must be tackled in 2023 | MLSSoccer.com

The Recreation and Parks Department has begun selling reservations to an app that books soccer fields and charges people for pickup games. 'Just Play' app profits off public SF soccer fields

Weston McKennie is the latest American in the transfer rumor mill, with Bournemouth and Borussia Dortmund among the teams interested. Weston McKennie wanted by Dortmund and Bournemouth

World

Espanyol have filed a complaint against Barcelona for fielding an ineligible lineup after Robert Lewandowski started Saturday’s Catalan derby. Barcelona face LaLiga probe for fielding 'ineligible' Robert Lewandowski

Fifa will ask every country in the world to name a stadium in honour of Pelé, its president, Gianni Infantino, has said. Fifa’s Infantino will ask every country to name stadium in honour of Pelé | Pelé | The Guardian

World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister says he is “really happy” at Brighton and is in “no rush to leave”. Brighton: Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister in ‘no rush to leave’ after World Cup win - BBC Sport

Chelsea have spent £274m on new players, yet somehow contrived to make their team worse. Is it owner Todd Boehly or manager Graham Potter to blame? Chelsea's lavish transfer spending hasn't made them better

Brentford manager Thomas Frank praises the performances of his “incredible” players after their stunning victory over Liverpool. Brentford 3-1 Liverpool: Thomas Frank praises 'incredible' Bees - BBC Sport

Darlington appeal for witnesses after the alleged abuse of a female official at their National League North game at Scarborough. Scarborough v Darlington delayed after alleged ‘misogynistic remarks’ at official | Soccer | The Guardian

Frank Lampard’s side are 16th, a point above the drop zone, leading a fan group to demand ‘better leadership for the future of our club’. Everton fans plan fresh protests over ‘incompetent management’ of club | Everton | The Guardian

Erik ten Hag is confident Luke Shaw can thrive at centre-back if the Manchester United left-back is asked to play out of position again. Ten Hag confident Shaw can thrive as Man Utd centre-back

Former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique started a unique seven-a-side tournament this weekend. Chicharito played, and this is what it’s all about. What is Pique's Kings League? Chicharito, golden cards, more

What’s on TV?

10:00 AM - La Nucía v. Valencia - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

10:00 AM - Cartagena vs Villarreal - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

10:00 AM - Espanyol vs Celta de Vigo - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

11:45 AM - Arsenal vs Newcastle United - Premier League - USA Network

11:45 AM - Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League - Peacock

11:45 AM - Leicester City vs Fulham - Premier League - Peacock

12:00 PM - Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth - Premier League - Peacock

12:00 PM - Cacereño vs Real Madrid - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

12:00 PM - Ceuta vs Elche - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

12:00 PM - Levante vs Getafe - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

12:00 PM - Sporting Gijón vs Rayo Vallecano - Copa del Rey - ESPN+

6:00 PM - Empire vs Florida Tropics SC - Major Arena Soccer League - Twitch

Pete Carroll: Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks has 'legit' ACL injury

Seattle Seahawks starting inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks will miss the rest of the season because of an ACL injury, coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday on Seattle Sports Radio 710 AM.Brooks, the NFL's ...

Seattle Seahawks starting inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks will miss the rest of the season because of an ACL injury, coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday on Seattle Sports Radio 710 AM.

Brooks, the NFL's third-leading tackler, was hurt in the second quarter of the Seahawks' 23-6 win over the New York Jets on Sunday when his right leg planted awkwardly while he made a spinning tackle of tight end C.J. Uzomah on the sideline. Brooks immediately grabbed his right knee. He was helped off the field and into the medical tent, carted into the locker room and quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Carroll called it a "legit" injury, his way of describing an injury as significant. He later told reporters at his Monday afternoon news conference that Brooks will undergo ACL surgery but needs to wait for swelling to subside first.

"That's a shame, man," he said. "What a great, great player and a great teammate."

The Seahawks drafted Brooks 27th overall in 2020 and played him part-time as a rookie. He became a full-time starter last year and finished second in the NFL with 184 tackles, topping the single-season franchise record that Bobby Wagner had set earlier in the year. The Seahawks cut Wagner this past offseason and made Brooks their new middle linebacker, which has meant him playing virtually every snap and relaying the defensive playcalls in the huddle. His 161 tackles are third in the NFL behind Foyesade Oluokun's 171 and Nick Bolton's 165.

Brooks had a pressure of Jets quarterback Mike White on Sunday, forcing him into an errant throw that resulted in the first of his two interceptions. He also finishes the season with a sack, a forced fumble and five passes defensed.

Brooks' injury deals a blow to a Seahawks team that's making a late push for a playoff spot. Seattle would claim the NFC's final wild-card berth with a win at home over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18 and a Detroit Lions win or tie versus the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Cody Barton, the other starting inside linebacker in Seattle's 3-4 defensive front, will slide into Brooks' role. Tanner Muse, who has primarily played on special teams and hasn't started a game since entering the NFL in 2020, took over Barton's duties against the Jets, finishing with two tackles and a pass defended.

"Cody becomes the Mike," Carroll said. "He's been the backup Mike the whole time, which isn't that big of a deal. He's a very good playcaller, so he'll handle those duties well. Tanner Muse played well yesterday. Jonny Rhattigan and Alexander [Johnson], we want to see all these guys contribute to help us out. Guys have got to step up, and that's what they'll do."

Brooks' rookie deal runs through 2023, but the Seahawks could keep him under contract through 2024 by exercising his fifth-year option before the May 1 deadline. Overthecap.com projects that option to cost around $11 million.

Wide receiver Tyler Lockett, meanwhile, suffered what Carroll called a lower leg contusion Sunday. Lockett, playing 13 days after surgery to repair a broken bone in one of his hands, left the game late in the first half and didn't return until the start of the fourth quarter.

"He's better today," Carroll told reporters Monday. "The report is that his leg feels a little better today. It got banged. It's not a serious injury, but it bothered him immediately afterward. He recovered enough to get back in, and then I went up to him and said, 'We're going to win this game. We've got a big game coming up. You're out.' He was chomping to get back in."

In addition, Phil Haynes, who has been regularly sharing time at right guard with starter Gabe Jackson, has a high ankle sprain. Safety Ryan Neal (knee), right tackle Abe Lucas (knee) and backup running back Travis Homer (ankle) all have a chance to return this week from the injuries that kept them out against the Jets.

Kraken to host 2024 NHL Winter Classic outdoor game at T-Mobile Park

On an October day the Mariners were to play one of their first divisional playoff games in two decades, their top ballpark officials met with NHL counterparts about a completely different sporting event featuring the crosstown Kraken.The culmination of that meeting and others was announced Monday, with the Kraken being awarded their first-ever outdoor game to be played next Jan. 1 at T-Mobile Park against the Vegas Golden Knights. Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said in a phone interview Monday the NHL’s decision to play the 2024 Discove...

On an October day the Mariners were to play one of their first divisional playoff games in two decades, their top ballpark officials met with NHL counterparts about a completely different sporting event featuring the crosstown Kraken.

The culmination of that meeting and others was announced Monday, with the Kraken being awarded their first-ever outdoor game to be played next Jan. 1 at T-Mobile Park against the Vegas Golden Knights. Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said in a phone interview Monday the NHL’s decision to play the 2024 Discover Winter Classic in a city known for rain this time of year had plenty to do with the Mariners’ flexibility in making their retractable-roofed ballpark available for several weeks.

“They were just so impressed that they were even meeting with them the day of one of their playoff games,” Leiweke said of the meetup, which took place in the hours leading up to a Mariners road contest against the Astros in Houston. “And given the uncertainty of the weather and the risk involved, it helps to have that safeguard in there.”

Beyond the team’s flexibility in making T-Mobile Park available for the lengthy process of building the temporary hockey rink inside, the NHL liked that it would have the ability to only partially close the stadium’s roof directly over the rink if it rains. That would enable them to keep the remainder of the venue in an open-air environment the league believes is crucial to the appeal of its outdoor games.

The Winter Classic the past 15 years since its 2008 debut in Buffalo has evolved beyond just a regular-season game into a marquee NHL showcase event, preceded by days and even weeks of side activities that can boost local tourism. It is generally held on or around New Year’s Day and separate from the NHL Heritage Classic and NHL Stadium Series outdoor games.

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This year’s event took place Monday afternoon at Fenway Park in Boston, with the hometown Bruins scoring twice in the third period for a 2-1 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Previous Winter Classic events in 2011 and 2012 were delayed due to rain and other weather, which can cause dangerous cracks and bumpiness in the ice surface. Two years ago, the NHL delayed the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday event between Colorado and Vegas by nine hours in between the first and second periods after mild temperatures and sun glare caused problematic conditions for players.

And the 2014 Heritage Classic — an NHL outdoor game played in Canadian cities — took place completely indoors at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver after officials made a late decision to keep the retractable roof closed due to inclement weather. Tickets were still available the day of the game and many fans in attendance complained it lacked a true winter feel, something the NHL has since tried to avoid repeating.

During a January 2019 visit to Seattle shortly after the Kraken franchise was awarded, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said a steady downpour of several days taking place at the time was the chief concern in staging an outdoor game here.

“There are two things that are a problem for us with outdoor games … sun glare — well, that’s not a problem here — and rain,” Bettman said. “We can play in snow, but rain’s a problem. So, we’re going to have to study whether or not it’s feasible.”

When it was pointed out that T-Mobile Park has a retractable roof, Bettman said: “But then it’s not an outdoor game.”

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But Steve Mayer, head of NHL Events & Entertainment, said in a conference call Monday the plan is to build the stadium rink beneath a partial section of T-Mobile Park’s roof so that if needed on game day, only that portion would be closed. Where the NHL built its Fenway Park rink between third base and second base, the plan for now is to reconfigure the T-Mobile Park rink more between third base and first base so that it “fits perfectly under the slab of roof” that can protect the ice from any rain.

“If there was a rain, we know that we could put at least one part of the roof closed over the rink,” Mayer said. “And having been there and experienced it, it still feels pretty open air to us. But I do feel that was a determining factor over the other incredible stadiums in Seattle as to why we chose the baseball stadium.”

Mayer said the league chose Vegas as an opponent instead of the more regional Vancouver Canucks because of a strong belief Seattle could support the game on its own without needing British Columbia residents to help fill the stands.

“We love the storyline between the two last teams to enter the league,” he said.

Mayer said the NHL has looked into staging a winter event here since the Kraken franchise was approved in December 2018. He’s made multiple trips here, including in staging the July 2021 outdoor expansion draft event at Gas Works Park and before the team’s Climate Pledge Arena opening against the Canucks in October 2021, and had a chance to tour various venues.

Mayer said his team staged three meetings with Mariners officials specializing in ballpark operations, including the October one before the playoff game against the Astros.

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“We got in early before the game started and were able to spend as much time as we did with the core group … but we respectfully decided to take a break during the game and we went across the street and had a lovely lunch while we watched the game ourselves,” Mayer said. “We left them in peace as they watched the game and then we met afterward once again to sort of close up that particular meeting.”

Leiweke, in an earlier conference call with local media members Monday, said Commissioner Bettman’s decision to play a marquee outdoor game here has plenty to do with “rewarding” Kraken fans for their patience during an at-times trying franchise launch in 2021-22.

“I think he’s seen what’s happened here and he’s been totally inspired by it,” Leiweke said. “This totally happened on his watch. And he’d long talked about Seattle. But we fixed the arena. We brought this team to life under pretty difficult circumstances for our fans. It was hard for us, but for fans that first year with a global pandemic and a team that was a work in progress on the ice, I think what the fans have done is inspiring.

“And I think that when I talked to Gary about it, we talked about rewarding our fans for amazing, amazing support.”

Leiweke added: “This is going to be an incredible, incredible reward for them to show up and invite literally tens of thousands of their friends, neighbors and other sports fans across the region … and he bought that idea that we owed it to our fans.”

Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or [email protected]; on Twitter: @GeoffBakerTimes. Geoff Baker covers hockey and is a sports enterprise and investigative reporter for The Seattle Times.

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