Safeco Field Ticket Guide
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.
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.