Attendance, or lack there of.
By JJ Keller
I got a text from a friend who is at the game today, saying that there was almost no one at the game, and that the usher said they were expecting less than 11,500. And while low attendance on a Monday in Septembr against the Orioles is expected, this is embarrassing. Earlier this year, on April 18th, the Mariners set the record for smallest crowd in Safeco Field history at 11,343. That got me thinking about the fan base. Do we not have one, or is it just filled with band-wagoners and fair-weather fans? Might be a little of both.
When talking to people who don’t follow the Mariners closely or aren’t a fan of the team (By the way, no one likes a box-score fan), the term “The Mariners suck,” or some variation comes up. This automatically shows that the person doesn’t have a great idea of what is going on. Sure, the Ms have a losing record and didn’t have a great season, but they are from from “suck”. To me, that is reserved for teams with less than 70 wins, and/or have no bright spots. So while the Mariners only won 67 games last year, they had some good young guys, and were bound to improve, which they did. At 70 wins, they surpassed last year, and should finish in the 76 to 78 range. People are beginning to assume that the Ms will always be a below average team, and that is just not true.
I understand that offense are exciting, and that we are last in the league in just about every offensive category (Billy Butler please), but “fans” need to start showing some support. The same person that complains about us not spending enough money, isn’t helping the situation by not showing up. Unfortunately, this is a business for the owners, and they want to make their money. If they see that people are showing up, they have two choices: spend some money to get fans excited, or keep the money because they aren’t selling as many tickets. Knowing the history of our owners, they will probably tend to go with the latter.
Seattle is generally thought of as a big market with a good fan base, but something has to change. I hate to bring this up, but look at the Sonics. The fan base was solid, but starting to decrease, and the team was taken. That wasn’t the only reason, but you get the point. We have the resources. We have a great stadium. We have some good young players. Now all we need are more dedicated fans. The lack of fans show how many fair-weather fans there are around here. I go to about game a month, no matter what. I love winning just as much as the next guy, but I think this shows that I, and the other fans who show up consistently, love the team more than most. We care about the team, not the numbers next to it.
Don’t not show up because the team has a losing record. Instead, show up for the possibility of getting about .500. Show up for the love of the game. And most of all, show up to try and do your part to turn the organization around, and bring winning baseball back. This organization is on it’s way up, and the future looks bright. An upgrade or two and patience is all we need.