The smell of fresh air with a hint of that signature ballpark hot dog aroma.
The crack of the bat and the subsequent roar of the crowd.
The relief of the seventh inning stretch and every fan singing "Take Me Out to The Ballgame" off key at the top of their lungs.
These are the images that conjur in my mind when I think about seeing the Mariners play at Safeco Field and the reasons that I make sure to attend at least a few games each year. However, given the recent stretch of mediocrity the M's have had, attendance numbers have been dwindling. Oddly enough, as most fans don't enjoy watching their team flail at the plate on their way to a 2-0 loss 80+ times a year.
I know I have had a rough time just listening to the M's on the radio as they've struggled these past few years. But that is no reason to give up on going to the ballpark though. There are still plenty of great reasons to go to a game at Safeco and most don't even involve the Mariners.
Every year the Mariners' PR department comes up with free stuff they can give people who attend games, like some sort of penance for actually coming to watch the Mariners. "Please! Just show up! We'll give you tchotchkes and brickabrack! Just buy a ticket! You don't even have to stay!" So, why not throw them a bone and go to a game every once in a while? Besides, free is the best price since the five finger discount.
Here are some of the more interesting promotions the M's are throwing out this year:
Smoakamotive Train Night (Friday, May 4 vs. Minnesota Twins, 7:10 p.m)
The trains have returned! The Mariners like giving out trains, I guess since trains roll by during games and rudely interrupt with their train-y whistles. But this giveaway train is cool. It's called the "Smoakamotive" and that's just awesome. So awesome, I'd be surprised if train lover Sheldon Cooper doesn't show up to get one.
Salute to Armed Forces Day - Military Coin (Saturday, April 21 vs. White Sox, 1:05 p.m)
This is part of the discount home games for members of our armed forces. However, I could see this going horribly wrong if fans get pissed. On the long list of things I would hate to get pelted with souvenior coins is definitely near the top, right under batteries, and anything that's sticky.
Bobbleheads (Friday, April 20 vs. Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m; Friday, May 25 vs. Los Angeles Angels, 7:10 p.m; Friday, June 15 vs. San Francisco Giants; 7:10 p.m, Saturday, July 28 vs. Royals, 1:10 p.m,)
*yawn* I personally don't see the appeal of the bobblehead, but apparently people like them. There are four different bobbleheads this year. One of them is sort of cool, I guess. It's the Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson hall of fame bobblehead. Which is a reminder of the "glory days" of the mid-nineties M's. Is it sad that I remember the glory days of a team that had Bobby Ayala as a closer? Probably.
Turn Back the Clock Night (Saturday, May 26 vs. Angels, 4:15 p.m)
This is the promotion that never gets old as far as I'm concerned. Recently they've been doing a great poster along with this promotion. Last year was the 80's, with a great Miami Vice style poster. This year is the 50's with a Grease inspired poster. Once again, Miguel Olivo is on it. Is this part of his contract? I'd love to imagine that he demanded a clause in his deal that he gets to dress up for a Turn Back the Clock poster shoot once a year. Miguel Olivo is hilarious.
Other than these unique promotion days, there are the usual Family Pack days, Senior Discount days, and Military Discounts on various home games. Plus, there's tons of other great features on various nights.
Notably, the King's Court is making a return (King Felix! Free t-shirts!) and the Pen will be open for happy hour before games with (relatively) cheap beer and food stuffs. So, come on out to Safeco early for the promotions and stay for the (hopefully not) mediocre baseball! At the very least, you can get free stuff.