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SBD/April 15, 2013/Franchises
The King And I: Mariners Shift Marketing Plans Around Felix Hernandez
Published April 15, 2013
TRENDING DOWN: In Seattle, Larry Stone noted the 12 smallest crowds in Safeco Field history "have all come since 2011, and eight of those have been in April -- including the two lowest (for now) on Tuesday and Wednesday last week against the Astros (10,745 and 10,493)." It appeared that a "bit of a buzz was building for the ballclub in spring training," but after winning the first two games of the season against the A's, it has been "a perfect buzz-kill storm." Seattle's days as "one of the reliably rabid baseball towns are long past." Crowds at Safeco Field have been "on a steady, precipitous drop ever since the 2002 peak of 3,540,482, tops in the major leagues and just short of a full-season sellout." Mariners season tickets after last season "dropped to between 8,000 and 8,500, the lowest since Safeco Field opened, down from a high of about 22,000 in 2002." The Mariners will "continue to sell season-ticket packages until mid-May," but the final numbers are "expected to be slightly down" from last year. The team is "working from an attendance base in the 8,000s, reliant on walk-up sales for the rest." April is "never ... a great walk-up month" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/14).