Sep 19, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches to the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field. Baltimore defeated Seattle 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Mariners Boost Their Attendance This Year?

Safeco Field has been suffering from poor attendance numbers. While some might attribute this to a wavering economy, many attribute this to a wavering interest in the Seattle Mariners – after all, when was the last time the won a pennant? The team seems to be comfortable keeping the bottom slot on the AL West rankings warm.

“King” Felix Hernandez certainly has star power, and with his perfect game last season, many may line up just to watch him strike out the opponent batters. However, it’s not clear this isn’t enough to bring people into the stands. I can’t help but think of the film Fever Pitch - not the original, but the remake based on the Boston Red Sox. What the team needs, frankly speaking, is a good strong season.

In 2012, the Oakland Athletics launched to baseball stardom int he second half of the season. They came back from trailing behind the Texas Rangers to win the AL West Division Championship. Talks of moving the team to San Jose were staved off once the Oakland Colosseum was filled. What the Mariners need is something of that magnitude. They need some good wins. They need some star players.  Frankly, they need to shake the bottom of the AL West reputation they’ve dug themselves into.

In order to do this, the Mariners will really need a lot more than some hitters who were strong players in the past. They’re going to need a solid team that really plays like a unit. They’ll need strong pitching, they’ll need strong hitters, and they’ll need guys who can get on base and make it around the infield. They’ll need infielders and outfielders who can hustle. The Ms have definitely had some stars over the years, but for it to be their time at the World Series, they’re going to need to turn those stars into a fully functional team.

I think they can do it. They’ve been to the playoffs before, they can get there again. They can fill Safeco Field. Sure they can rely on some of their silly commercials and on the various promotional days – but they will also need a solid season to attract the attention of the Seattle crowd who has given up on the team. They’ll need to rely upon those fans who have been sleeping through the past several seasons to wake up and care about their hometown team.

What do you think? What can the Mariners do to help fill Safeco Field with fans?

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  • Garry D Wheelock

    The key point you mentioned is they need a “star” player on NON-Felix Kings Court night! They have every 5th day covered. They ONLY player out there that could accomplish this around the rest of our youth is landing Stanton (the next Griffey Type player).

    I’m really not concerned about the cheap Ibanez signing. Seattle isn’t relying on an aging vet that ‘use’ to be good like what the Yankees actually build their team around. One cheap has-been vet like Ibanez to have around for some experienced leadership, especially when we have sooo many new youngsters on the scene, is actually beneficial.

    Dr. Z has build this Farm System from a pathetic ‘Bavasi’ state over the past 4 years. In 2008 it was ranked 26th and now it is ranked in the top 3 Farm Systems in MLB. Our roster, and Farm, is lined with top:

    1. Defense

    2. SP

    3. Bullpen & Closer Studs

    4. Young Potential Breakout Hitters (ie: Ackley, Smoak, Montero, Zunino, etc)

    The problem? All the hitters haven’t broke out as of yet…and “hopefully” they will. The Vargas/Morales swap was spectacular to land a switch-hitting middle order bat. STILL NOT ENOUGH though to get attendance to where we need it. You land Stanton for whatever cost it will be, and it puts us over the top with a payroll still in the mid-$60/M for 2013.

    Walker wasn’t even mentioned a few years ago and broke out of nowhere. Z has guys stepping up that would be a hefty price to pay for Stanton, but the fact that Z can re-build our Farm System quickly while having someone like Stanton to add to our lineup and ESPECIALLY have a payroll 2.5 times less than the Angels and half the payroll as Texas is amazing!

    CF Gutz
    2B Ackley
    DH/1B Morales
    RF Stanton
    1B/DH Smoak (Ibanez)

    LF Bay/Saunders (Ibanez)
    C Zunino/Jaso/Montero
    3B Seager
    SS Ryan/Franklin


  • Oprk

    The roller-coasters in attendance are usually the more casual fans who are fans when the team is winning. They’re also the type that prefers slug-fests to pitching battles so moving the fences in is step one and having our youth start reaching their potential is step two. Players with charisma is a bonus. If only step two was as easy as step one.