Seattle Mariners: 5 Creative Ways to Bring Fans to Safeco
So far in the first month-plus of the 2012 season, it has been well-documented that the Seattle Mariners have struggled to bring fans out to the ballpark. The team has struggled most of the year and fans haven't really had much reason to show up.
It's not all to blame on lazy fans, though. There are some things that could be done by the Mariners marketing team to make coming out to the park a little more attractive to the average fan.
Here are a few of the possibilities.
Partner with the Sounders
This hurts a little to say, but it might be a really smart thing to do from the Mariners perspective.
Since their promotion to the MLS, the Seattle Sounders are the most popular team in Seattle during the summer. The team is good, and the atmosphere of the games fits the Seattle culture perfectly.
That's why, until the Mariners are able to get their fanbase back, they should look into providing some sort of deal to Sounders ticket-holders. Maybe fans who wish to attend both the teams' home games on a certain Saturday are treated to a $10 food coupon during the evening Mariner game.
Just an idea, but it's definitely something the Mariners could take advantage of, if they are willing to swallow their pride just a bit.
Market the Future
This one isn't all that creative, but it certainly would help fans feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Mariner fans.
There are currently six Mariner hitters age 26 or younger who are regulars in the starting lineup. Add in Felix Hernandez and the trio of young arms who are certain to make an impact in the big leagues soon, and you have an outstanding core of talent who could do damage in the AL West in the years to come.
Giving fans hope and showing them that Mariner baseball is changing for the better could go a long way to finally bringing the fans back to Safeco Field.
Bring Back Jay Buhner Buzz Nights
Once a year from 1994 to 1999, the Mariners would hold a promotion called "Jay Buhner Buzz Night." It was a tradition truly unique to the Mariners and would surely get fans excited and out to the ballpark.
In the past, any fan who showed up to the stadium with a completely bald head or participated in getting their own head shaved prior to the game would receive a free ticket to the game in right field (where Buhner played).
Over 16,000 people had their heads shaved during the course of the promotion, including nearly 200 women.
Ticket Discounts for Good Seats
Currently there are a few ticket discount deals that the Mariners hold. Some of them are even weekly. But the discounts are usually for the "view reserved" section of the stadium and are in no way the most comfortable place to sit, especially on chilly weeknights.
In fact, the cheapest ticket you can find for the field level currently is $30 (before the ridiculous fees). Let's say, for example, once a week in April and May, fans could buy a field level ticket for $15. This would certainly help to eliminate some of the sparse crowds that we've seen so far this season during weeknight games.
High-Stakes Hydroplane Races
Let's face it, there have been way too many Mariner games in the last few years where the hydroplane boat races are possibly the most exhilarating thing that happens.
For those of you who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, take a look at the video. It happens once per game and no matter what the score is, just about everyone gets involved.
Why not reward the fans who pick the winning hydroplane correctly? Fans can text in their choice of the winner one inning prior and if they pick the right one, they are treated to some sort of coupon. It may help the casual fan feel that they are getting that much more out of their dollar.