Baseball season is coming. If, like me, you’re anxiously counting down the days till the gates swing open on Opening Day, you can catch a glimpse of the Mariners’ 2013 season at Safeco Field this weekend. No, there won’t be any actual baseball played, but there will be autograph opportunities, clubhouse tours, and a sneak peek at the changes the Mariners have been working on all offseason.
Here are four tips to make sure you get the most out of your visit:
1. If you’re angling for an autograph, make that your first priority.
The line you’ll see outside Safeco Field isn’t just for the baseball-starved—it’s for those who want to grab an autograph voucher handed out at Home Plate Gate. A voucher is good for two autographs, and the names you get depend on the line you choose. Wait time varies, but it’s safe to say that you’ll be hanging out anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour and a half. A handy guide for autograph procurement can be found here.
2. Stop by the Boeing Dugout Dialogue for a Q&A or two.
Dying to tell Eric Wedge how much you admired his mustache last season? Curious about up-and-coming stars like Mike Zunino and Taijuan Walker? Here’s your chance to get some answers. In case you don’t feel like dawdling in the Diamond Club for an hour, here’s another great opportunity to meet players and filch a couple of autographs. Even if you’re not looking for signed memorabilia, hang around the first base dugout for some fun, insightful conversations with the players and front office guys.
You can find quotes from last year’s Dialogue with Jesus Montero and Casper Wells here.
3. Try something new!
Perhaps you’ve run the bases too often or tired of shaking the Mariner Moose’s hoof. Thankfully, the Mariners are rolling out a few new activities for this year’s FanFest, including the opportunity to get your “Felixing” picture taken and ride a zip line through the outfield. That’s right, a zip line. If that doesn’t entice you to spend the afternoon at Safeco, I don’t know what will.
Also, don’t forget that the Mariners are in the middle of some pretty big renovations—from the super-sized Jumbotron to Edgar’s, a new open-air cantina along the left field fence.
4. Stay connected.
Last year, the Mariners utilized their social media powers to keep fans connected to the players and FanFest goings-on all day long. Expect more of the same this year, from player Q&A’s on Twitter to featured fan photos and tweets. As you tour the clubhouse, catch pop flies, and test your Mariners trivia knowledge, make sure to check in with the team on Twitter (@Mariners) and tag your tweets with #MarinersFF. And, don’t forget to check us out on Twitter (@NeedleBall)—the whole crew will be stopping by Safeco during the weekend!
FanFest runs from 11am – 4pm on Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27. Admission is $10 for adults and free for kids 14 years old and younger. You can purchase both tickets and parking passes online or at any team store. For more information, check out the Mariners FanFest page on the team website.