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The Mariners don’t normally make it to the playoffs…. in fact, if Seattle is still mathematically in contention come September, that’s considered a good year.. heck, a GREAT year. As of today, the Mariners are 3.5 games behind Anaheim in the AL West. But, we are 1st place in the Wild Card standings (a half game above the NY Yankees). This is good stuff. The Mariners control their own fate and have a decent shot at making it to the post-season… which starts in 45 days.
I’m also a Mariners season ticket holder. Granted, I only have a 1/4 season, but still, I get all the rights of a full season ticket holder. The team just came out with post-season tickets. Apparently, the league “authorized” them to sell post-season tickets since they were likely candidates to make it to the playoffs. So, given that I have a quarter season ticket license, I assumed that the Mariners would enable me to purchase a quarter of playoff games in my regular seats. Makes sense, right? That if you have the rights to the seats during the season, those rights should extend to the post-season too. Well that argument fell on deaf ears in the Mariners ticket office.
I was offered the rights to purchase post-season tickets…. but not in my normal seats, or even seats close to it. The way the Mariners ticket office explained it to me, was that I got the best available seats after fulfilling team and league requirements. I’m sure that sounds very official and all, but really, I’ll translate it for you. What they’re really saying is, “We’re giving all our season-ticket holders worse seats in order to be able to sell the best seats in the house to higher-paying customers and give friends/sponsors of the team/league the seats near the field.” As a customer-service based business, the Mariners need to realize that the season ticket holders are the ones that pay the team’s salaries during the good years and bad years. We’re the ones that show up to games throughout the year…. and we should be rewarded with at least the seats we normally have. The ticket execs may want to reward their friends/sponsors just because they have the power to…. but that’s wrong. This equates to standing in a long line and watching someone cut in front of you just because they know someone.
I think this builds bad customer relations and keeps the best fans from the best seats. Really, would they want a bunch of team/league VIPs sitting down close to the field, who may not be avid fans? Of course not… you want the die-hard crazy fans up close to show lots of spirit…. not some old executive who doesn’t get out of his seat to clap, or who can’t even name 3 players other than Ichiro. Wake up Mariners, it’s time to reward those fans who’ve been there this whole season… it’s time to dance with the one who brought you…. it’s time to man-up and play fair with ticket allocations. Otherwise, you’ll lose the true fans and be stuck with those VIPs who just want to show up in October.