5. Attendance will continue to trend upward, but the Mariners still won’t crack 2.5 million through the gates at Safeco Field.
In the last five or six years, Seattle has been a very football-dominant city, in two ways. The Seahawks have become a powerhouse franchise, playing an irresistible style of football that cannot fail to pack the stands to nearly beyond capacity. The Sounders have also steamrolled through the competition in their first 6 MLS seasons, winning 4 US Open Cup trophies, including 3 in a row from 2009 to 2011.
Since 2004, the Mariners have limped their way to only 3 winning seasons with a big donut in the playoff appearance department. In the three seasons previous, they went an astounding 302-184 before the wheels fell off and Lou Pinella was stealing cigarette breaks in a Tampa Bay dugout. During that span of regular season dominance, the M’s easily drew over ten million fans. Since 2004, they have faded further from the 3 million plateau in attendance almost every year, until last year, that is. Fairweather fans be damned.
However, I don’t think that last year’s playoff hopes being dashed on the last day of the season will be enough to bump attendance back up north of two and a half million. Last year, with a team 16 wins better than in 2013, attendance barely creeped over the two million mark at 2, 064, 334, to be exact. That’s an average of 25, 486 people per game. And while the trend is going back up, I remain doubtful, because I’m not sure people in Seattle even know what good things they have (Felix) and may come (playoffs?). I mean, really people, one of the games I went to last season was expressly to watch Felix pitch and hardly more than 13,000 people showed up. What?!? You have the opportunity to watch one of the 3 best pitchers on the planet and you’re too busy Snap Chatting on your iPhone 6 in one of a trillion Starbucks to make it to a game when he’s on the hill??? Yeah, so weak attendance again.
At least I won’t have a problem getting tickets!