Editor's Note: Opening Day at Safeco Field is tomorrow. Here is a guide we posted last year to help you fully enjoy a baseball game at Safeco Field. Enjoy!
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To get everyone prepared for the season, I have compiled a guide on how to enjoy a game at one of the best ballparks in the majors. How does one truly enjoy a game at Safeco Field? There are a variety of ways to create a perfect experience for yourself at the Safe, so I will give you my take on how to make your trip to the ballpark one for the ages.
There are several ways for you to purchase your tickets. The easiest option would be purchasing them online at SeattleMariners.com. You can also try your luck on Stubhub, Ticketmaster, eBay or on Craigslist, where you could easily find yourself a bargain. Then of course there is always the option of getting your tickets at the box office at Safeco Field or any Seattle Mariners team store location. Depending on the day and the type of game, you are almost always guaranteed to find someone scalping tickets (for either cheap or expensive).
People that buy from scalpers usually do so on spur-of-the-moment, "I have to go to the game" feelings. There are also those that are way too lazy to buy tickets in any other form than from a stranger with a sign or holding two tickets outside entrances into the stadium. To tell the truth, I hardly ever spend any money on Mariners tickets. The trick is to befriend someone rich with season tickets. This is what I have been doing my whole life!
Here is an entire article dedicated to buying Mariners tickets and a guide to where the best seats are: [USS Mariner]
Photo Source: Flickr
Choosing Where to Sit
Center field bleachers is the place to watch a baseball game from when considering ticket price. The price is $7 any day before the game, then the price rises to $8 the day of the game. The only problem with the center field bleachers is that you do not have an adequate view of the huge scoreboard. This means no hydroplanes and the hat trick loses its appeal because you are located underneath the hats so the hidden ball is in plain view.
However, I think the price makes these seats a steal. You also want to consider how much the shade means to you, so keep that in mind. However, there is always the option of purchasing a stylish bucket hat that makes the sun cower in fear. If you do not regularly go to games I highly suggest getting tickets on either the 1st base or 3rd base lines. You will have a brilliant view of the game at these sections and will just feel closer to the players.
Oh yeah, and do not be tricked into thinking that the Terrace Club is the cats pajamas. Your seats are a little more comfortable and you have a little more foot room, but that is about it. Definitely not feline nightwear worthy.
How to get to the Mariners game
Depending on the day and time, parking availability and prices are going to vary. On weekday games parking is usually readily available, the closer you are to the stadium the more money you'll have to play. If you are willing to walk more than a couple of blocks, some parking comes as cheap as $10-$15 on weekday games. On weekend games parking is still available, just a little pricier. Taking the bus is always an option, just use the nifty little trip planner here. I highly recommend using the light rail if you live close to a station.
The light rail is fast, affordable, safe, and will drop you off about two blocks away from Safeco Field.
What time to arrive
Gates open two hours before each game. For some popular giveaway promotions like bobblehead nights, the gates might open up a little earlier. There are a lot of advantages to coming early. You miss the game-time crowd that rushes to get in the game and the long lines at concessions while getting to enjoy some batting practice, hopefully snagging a couple Milton Bradley batted balls to later throw at your family and friends.
Batting practice is the time to get yourself an autograph baseball from one of your favorite players. Simply walk down toward the dugouts with a sharpie and a baseball. Some players love to sign autographs, but some players will snarl at you. You just have to get lucky. Showing up early has its perks, just make sure to bring a friend along with you, and your day at the ballpark will get that much better.If you don't want to show up early, I suggest arriving at the ballpark at least 30 minutes before game time, just to get settled in your seats and see all the player introductions, honorary first pitch, honorary second pitch, national anthem, honorary third pitch, etc.
Food For the past seven years or so, I honestly just came to Mariners games for the food. If you have money, the food at Safeco is worth it. The selection is pretty solid. If you are willing to sacrifice having your clothes and breath smell like crap, go for the garlic fries. Being that I have always struck out on my moves on the ball girls after downing some garlic fries, I have tried to curb my garlic fries addiction. But once someone sits down around me with those fries, it is not possible for me to restrain myself.
I personally enjoy Dip n' Dots, even if some people insist on how gross they are. They may not have the creamy flavor, but to all the haters..."It's the Ice Cream of the FUTURE"! You can't argue with the facts. Ivar's also is a good choice. It is way over-priced but you really can not go wrong with fish 'n chips. If it's a cold night as a matter of fact you just cannot go wrong with two types of food conjoined with an "'n".
Photo Source: Flickr
I also highly suggest a bowl of clam chowder. If you are savvy enough, you will go and buy all your food outside the stadium. There are dozens and dozens of street vendors around Safeco Field and on the Qwest Field alley. Try something new every time you go to the ballpark, you might find something quite delicious. The food outside the stadium is cheaper, tastier, and you can bring it into the stadium. Just don't bring any bottles...(Safeco is stingy about water bottles, but in these days of environmental uncertainty, who isn't?).
What to do during the game
Always bring someone you could handle talking to for a couple of hours. Baseball is a real passive sport to watch, so you are going to want to sit next to someone that you can handle talking to. They do not even have to be a super into baseball. The ball park is a great place to go out on dates. It is totally relaxing and you just sit and watch. Seems like an easy date, right? Wrong. Oh and don't bring that guy that everybody has who would marry his turtle if society would allow it. Everybody has a friend like that, and bringing him to a game will prove to be an insufferable experience.
Please do not be obnoxious though. Fans that make a scene or talk loud often make a fool of themselves. I suggest leaving your seat at least once every three innings, just to see some sights of the ballpark and enjoy the rest of Safeco Field.Leaving Early It really depends on the score of the game and the traffic. Baseball purists frown upon those that leave early, however, traffic is a legitimate concern, especially in Seattle. You definitely want to beat the crowd more than anything. Post game walking traffic is a pain. I hate being shoved around on my way to the exit. It hurts my feelings. Beating the post-game walking traffic can be as easy as leaving with 1 out in the top of the 9th. You don't have to leave super early, just before the game ends so you can get a head start.
Did I miss any key points? Is there anything you disagree with? Let me know in the comments!