SEATTLE - Crews are getting Safeco Field ready for Monday’s Opening Night for the Seattle Mariners game versus the Houston Astros.
On the eve of Opening Night, a color guard rehearsed with a huge American flag and groundskeepers cut the grass and painted a banner on the field.
As of Sunday evening, there were still a few thousand seats available for the big night, which is usually a sellout.
“They just released some tickets for some opening game package holders so I was lucky to get right behind home plate,” said fan Bob Orvella.
Orvella walked up to the box office outside of Safeco and was stunned to find good seats for Monday’s game.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Chris Legeros spoke with an official with the Seattle Mariners if fans may be holding back to save money for the NBA’s possible return to Seattle in the fall.
“You know, we don’t honestly see the Sonics as competition. We were all in this city before a number of years and everybody seemed to get along OK. We don’t see that them coming back would in any way jeopardize our sponsorship in dollars or our fans who buy tickets,” said Director of Public Information Rebecca Hale.
One fan agreed that a professional basketball team shouldn’t hurt baseball in his town.
“I don’t think the Mariners should have a concern for it. Different seasons. Basketball is a winter sport so I just don’t see it affecting the Mariners in any way. I don’t think it’s going to take away from their bottom dollar to take fans away from the Mariners going to the Sonics,” said fan Kevin Annibal.
Officials with the Mariners said they do not think efforts to bring a professional basketball team back to Seattle are a threat to baseball ticket sales at all. They also point out that often, the remaining tickets are sold the day of the opening game.
The Mariners do have lingering concerns about traffic and logistics if a new basketball arena is built next door to Safeco Field, and the possibility of congestion if there are events scheduled at both venues on the same day.
Hale said the details have yet to be worked out with the city.