Seattle Mariners Safeco Field ticket guide

DMZ · April 9, 2006 at 8:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I get asked questions about this all the time:
Where can I get a good ticket?
Are these seats any good?
Is this a good price?

I hope that in writing this up, I can help fans get more out of their ticket dollar. I’m also going to disclose a lot of my own ticket-buying strategies, so I really hope nobody reads this.

Where the best seats are

The Diamond Club seats. But good luck getting any. The best seats you can buy on the open market are the Lower Box seats (119-141). They’re $55/single game ticket. though. Season ticket holders pay $38/game, which can make this a nice pickup when you buy off them through some of the channels we’ll get to in a second.

Then you’re looking at the Field seats (110-118, 142-150). They run $38/game, and while they’re down the lines from the first-to-third sweet spot, a seat in the first couple of rows down even in the corner, like 112, is easily as good as one at the back of 124, which is mid-way between first and third, even before you consider the price difference.

The next-best value for your view dollar comes in the View Box seats ($25 single game). You’re only a couple of rows off the top-deck rail, so you’re significantly above the action, but you’re not really that far back at all. These are really good deals between first-and-third (~section 321 all the way across to ~339).

Keeping going from there: close tickets in the View Reserved section at $18 and the View Box seats further down the line are both equally good.

I’m not a fan of the Lower Outfield Reserved tickets (102-109 in right field and 151-152 in short left, over the manual scoreboard). At $25, you’ll get a much better view of the action from View Box tickets. However, the right-field tickets do get you close to Ichiro!

Terrace Club seats have generated a lot of controversy in discussions here. They’re a ripoff at $60 for the infield seats (which run from 217-243 and include a lot of seats even the most charitable soul wouldn’t call infield) and $45 for the remainder. The seats are nicer, the bathrooms are nicer, and there are those cool bar-type seating behind the last row where you can sit, but it’s not worth it.

Then for the dollar value, we’ve got the bleachers. The Left Field Bleachers run $14, and the Center Field Bleachers run $7. I find it hard to follow the action from either of those sections, but the center field seats do give a surprisingly good view of pitch location. Both tend to have crowds that are more fun but also sometimes annoyingly immature. And really, if you can attend seven games in center for the cost of a Lower Box seat, well, as Lenin said, quantity has a quality all its own.

Also, once you’re in the stadium, you can find all kinds of other places to watch the game with better views than your $7 stub. Which is why these sell out so quickly.

The Hit it Here Cafe offers a seat and $18 in food for $43. But that food voucher’s worth what, $10 in real-world food? Less? For $25, you could be in View Box seats and spend that $18 on a couple of Ivar Dogs and beer.


Handy Best Value Reference

Emphasis on view: Lower Box seats or Field tickets at least 1/2 the row number.
Overall: View Box between first and third
Emphasis on cost: Center Field Bleachers, low-row View Reserved tickets

$60 or less: Lower Box seats or Field tickets at least 1/2 the row number of a Lower Box section
$40 or less: Low-row number Field tickets, View Box
$20 or less: Low-row View Reserved, Center Field Bleachers
$10 or less: uh, all you get is Center Field Bleachers

Where to buy tickets


The good: You can buy over the internet?
The bad: Their “best seat” logic is designed to get you into seats that make them the most money, and you can’t override them to, say, show you available seats to choose from. Their whole site design is like nails-on-chalkboard. There are crazy extra charges. Want a ticket emailed to you, which is far cheaper to us? That’ll cost you. Want us to mail them? That’ll cost you. Ugh.

Team stores or box office

Like Ticketmaster without all of the crazy charges. You can talk them through what you want and they’ll got through the lists. Generally they’re friendly and pretty good at working with you.

Totally awesome Mariners ticket trick: This isn’t as much a secret as I’d like, but Ticketmaster and the Mariners’ team outlets will both have tickets come available randomly and in the run up to game time. Season ticket holders exchange their tickets for later games all the time, especially for mid-week games, and the team will release tickets they hold close to the game.

So it’s worth checking repeatedly, especially if you’re not concerned about going or not. If a crazy pair of tickets drop into your lap, you’re gold. If not, meh. I’ve bought bad tickets before, sat on them until something great came available, and then sold the bad tickets, even eating some of the cost. The total value is still much better than buying them on the street.

Mariners Ticket Market

Hey, the Mariners are scalping. Except they’re not, really. Ahem. Anyway, this is where season ticket holders can set a price and you can see a whole list of what’s on the market. Generally, you can find some really good deals about face price and below, and a lot of people fishing for suckers. They’re listed by price, descending, and it’s really hard to get a good idea of best value without going through with a seating chart, but there are values to be found.

Also, the tickets are guaranteed to be good. Which brings us to:


There’s a small secondary market on eBay. I don’t want to slag eBay, but it’s all about “buyer beware”. There are really good deals available if you’re willing to take the chance. Search for “Seattle Mariners m/dd” and you should see everything currently available. Like other outlets, it’s worth watching.

Scalpers and other secondary sellers

I haven’t bought tickets from a Safeco-area scalper in ages, and not for lack of trying. I’ve found their asking prices ridiculous, and their offering prices insulting. It seems like the reasonable guys I used to deal with have quit. There’s just no deal to be made. Your luck may vary.

That said, the way to go if you’re willing to risk it is to look for people with extra tickets who are not the scalpers: the people who have two and don’t want to give them to the scalpers. Often they’re just looking for face value and I’ve never been burned by someone face-to-face. Occidental’s where it’s at, but there are often people as far up as Pioneer Square.

Handy guide to identifying scalpers

  • Printed sign with “I need tickets” (especially a laminated sign) = scalper
  • Printed seating chart (especially a laminated sign) = scalper
  • Holding many tickets, or tickets that are obviously of different types (ie, season ticket holder, ticketmaster — this’ll be obvious by the overall color) = scalper
  • Shows you a Seattle police department badge and writes you up = not a scalper

Online ticket sellers

There are a bunch of these — many of them seem to be buying up our Google ad space. I haven’t used any yet because I haven’t yet found a better value on them, but I’m sure it’s going to happen, and then I’ll report back.

How I buy my tickets

For a game I have to go to

(like King Felix Day)
1. Check TicketMaster for an idea of how many seats are available and determine whether I need to buy now or not. Assume no.
2. Check eBay and the Mariner Ticket Market and see what’s currently on sale. If there’s something ridiculously good, buy it immediately.
3. Check other sources.
4. If the game’s in high demand, buy the best value tickets currently available.
4. Hang out, checking for new tickets. If much better tickets come up, buy them and set to selling the first set I bought.

For a game I don’t have to go to

(every other game)
1. Check eBay and Mariner Ticket Market. If there’s something ridiculously good, buy it immediately.
2. Repeat.
Then in the week running up to the game:
3. Check Ticketmaster/eBay/scalping sites/Ticket Market at least every day, and buy any great values.

Is there anything that needs clarification? Other questions I can try to answer? Drop me an email, and I’ll update this.


8 Responses to “Seattle Mariners Safeco Field ticket guide”

  1. Steve T on April 10th, 2006 12:31 pm

    One more thrill from the Ticketbastard experience: they pass your email on to third parties, including the team (both of them), the venue, and the promoter if any. This allows those third parties to get around any spam restrictions imposed by Ticketbastard itself. You’re guaranteed to get spam from Ticketbastard, which you can opt out of (though it’s probably already blocked or filtered out), but the third-party recipients have no obligations at all. They will sell your address on, and you are now part of the vast “opt in” pool of people who “have elected to receive exciting third-party offers”.

    You can never opt out of this, because you’ll only have contact with individual spamming companies, not the brokers who control your address. So: world of spam, all of it legal mainsleaze. I’m still getting spam from Manchester United because I used Ticketbastard to book tickets for a game at Qwest like four years ago.

    Welcome to the modern world of universal legally-protected spam, infinite and forevermore. 90% of all email, by some counts. It certainly is at my company’s mail server.

  2. DMZ on April 10th, 2006 12:43 pm

    Ticketmaster’s Privacy Policy is a skin-crawling read and one of the more consumer-hostile ones I’ve ever come across.

  3. Replacement level Poster on April 10th, 2006 4:59 pm

    I have two email accounts specifically for when I need to use an email account to validate myself online. So, yea my spam email box is filled to the brim. But my legitate email box is trully only real messages.

    I actually used one of the 3rd party online brokers to get tickets for opening day this year once I found out about the meetup. If I’m going to drive 4 hours to go to a game I want good tickets, and none were available from the Mariners at the time. I ended up using in the end I paid about $65 for $55 tickets. I went browsing today just to see what was avaiblable on stubhub for games in less demand, and it seems like you can get some good deals.

    For example, currently avaible box seats behind home plate on Saturdays game against the tigers are only 38 bucks, which would run 57 at the M’s site. I suspect its kind of like Mariner Marketplace, where season ticketholders are off-loading their extra tickets.

    Anyways, since DMZ didn’t have any experience with online brokers, and I just used one thought I’d chime in with my experiences.

  4. Replacement level poster on April 11th, 2006 11:45 pm

    Wow, I was really tired when I made that post. I’d like to think I’m better than that, and I apologize for all the errors.

  5. juustabitoutside on April 13th, 2006 7:50 pm

    Great info, DMZ. Thanks a lot.

  6. Arkinese on June 21st, 2006 2:19 am

    Regarding scalpers and pseudo-scalpers: If you want to get good seats from them down at the ballpark, it helps to know the single-ticket and season-ticket holder prices of the seating areas (as DMZ has outlined here). Since very few games have been sold out this year, this strategy works better than it would other years.

    For instance: Last year, the guy showed us the seating chart and said, “These tickets cost $55 a piece, in section 136. I’ll give them to you for $40 each.” Dad looked at the chart and said, “$35 each,” prepared to haggle.

    I looked at the chart and said, “You kidding me? We could get two tickets from a section 109 season ticket holder for 40 bucks total. I don’t think 136 is worth thirty more dollars.”

    Guy sold us the tickets for $25 each. Having a partner to play “good ticket buyer/bad ticket buyer” also helps.

  7. mariners23 on July 8th, 2006 1:26 pm

    [this is not IM]

  8. Dreams of October on August 11th, 2007 1:40 pm

    “Terrace Club seats have generated a lot of controversy in discussions here. They’re a ripoff at $60 for the infield seats (which run from 217-243 and include a lot of seats even the most charitable soul wouldn’t call infield) and $45 for the remainder. The seats are nicer, the bathrooms are nicer, and there are those cool bar-type seating behind the last row where you can sit, but it’s not worth it.”

    I wasn’t around when the controversy in discussion took place, so forgive me if this has been covered ad nauseum, but I must offer up a different opinion on the club seats. I used to have season tickets in the lower box level (Section 135) and switched to infield club (Section 221) a couple of years ago. I find the slightly elevated view of the field beneficial for tracking the ball. When sitting in lower box, I would often lose line drives in the background of the crowd. I don’t know, maybe it’s just my poor eyesight. Also, if you’re planning on eating at the ballpark, the food is vastly superior on the club level. The lines are also shorter, the concourse much less crowded, the seats wider, all in all a much more comfortable ballpark experience, and one I consider a bargain for only five more dollars (seven more for outfield club over field level).

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