Will The 2017 Mariners Challenge The Franchise Attendance Record?
By Adam Levi
The 2016 Mariners brought in the fourteenth largest attendance in the team’s history. The more than two million two hundred thousand fans that went through the turnstile at Safeco Field was the most Safeco has seen since 2007. With the major addition of Jean Segura as well as the many other new Mariners joining the upward trending Pacific Northwest franchise, could this year’s team possible set or at least challenge the organization’s attendance record set back in 2002?
Baseball is back in Seattle. The 2016 Mariners gave a winning hope to its fans that they haven’t felt in a long time.
Fans showed their newly sparked passion for the M’s by turning out to Safeco Field in the largest numbers in nearly a decade. But, this wasn’t too much of a surprise, the Mariners had been increasing their attendance every year since 2012, and have surpassed seating two million people for last three years.
And with the M’s collecting their eighth highest total of wins while fighting for their first playoff spot in fifteen years -which they barely missed- it was no shock that people showed up in droves.
Related Story: Time For Mariners Fans To Fill Safeco
Now that the M’s picked up an instant MVP-candidate in Jean Segura, “The King” is working on getting his groove back into Cy Young form, Cano and Cruz are ready to pick up where they left off, and so much more, I expect fans to rush to Safeco in great masses. Potentially creating one of the highest M’s single-season attendance jumps since the epic 1.1 million increase of fans from 1995 to 1996 after the M’s made it all the way to the ALCS in their first playoff appearance ever.
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Back in those days, it was Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez and the rest of the gang that had fans swarming to Safeco.
A few years later that was followed by the remarkable hitting master, Ichiro (and Martinez’s final seasons) that helped pack crowds that totaled about two and a half million people on average per year.
Twice fans surpassed the three million mark, something the M’s had achieved at Safeco or the Kingdome only two other times before.
Below is a video of Dave Niehaus’s Top 10 Mariners moments as of the 30th Anniversary of the franchise. Many of these moments were to the sellout crowds you should expect to see a lot of this season, especially if the M’s make another playoff run.
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Now the Mariners have five potential all-stars (Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Segura) and a couple of possible MVPs in Cano and Segura, so why not pack Safeco like rarely before?