Report: Mariners losing fans faster than any other pro sports team

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners are losing more than just games. The team is also losing fans.

According to a report released by 24/7 Wall Street, the Mariners’ average home-game attendance has dropped more than any other team in the four major league sports (NFL,NBA,NHL,MLB) over the past 10 years.

The report marks the Mariners’ 10-year attendance decline at 51. 4 percent.  The Mariners also filled Safeco Field to an average of 44.4 percent capacity in 2012, the worst percentage in baseball. And during the past ten years, season ticket sales have declined by 61 percent.

The second biggest drop in attendance over ten years is the Cleveland Indians, who saw a decline of 38.7 percent.

The report, released Monday, offers a variety of reasons as to why teams’ attendance can drop. Poor management and being based in a market with a struggling economy can contribute to attendance loss. A drop in attendance can also occur as the luster of a new stadium, such as Safeco Field, wears off.

However, the number one factor in decreased attendance is a losing record.

“The best way for teams to keep fans coming to games is to win games,” the report stated.

The Mariners finished last in the American League West division with a record of 75 wins and 87 losses last year.

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30 comments

  • dirtbags8

    It’s not even close to the result of a “bad/struggling economy”. The reason the mariners are losing their fan base at such a rapid decline, starts at the top with Howard Lincoln and chuck Armstrong. These two clowns have so terribly managed this baseball team and alienated their own fans its comical. The mariners are losing, their owners and management act like they don’t care and they STILL raise ticket prices! Il until this team is sold to an ownership group who actually cares about winning games and putting butts in seats they will not get their fan base back.

    • ARS Alaska

      I agree totally I'm tired of hearing we are building a winner,Bull S—–. as long as you have owners that only want to put money in there pockets you will have a looser. with Lincoln and Armstrong running things they will always be a looser.

  • Eric

    Compare any similar market team from its peak popularity time (coincidentally 10 years ago when the M's were coming off 10 7 years of contention) and it's worse performance period and you are going to see similar trends. The reason the M's are the worse over this 10 year period is it perfectly coincides with their best and worst times at either end so you will see the greatest drop. Do a 5 year analysis and one will probably see that the Mariners are pretty normal for a losing team in terms of attendance trends.

  • Sonya

    Uh, the ownership and front office are the main reasons people are not going to games anymore. Those two things are what are causing the losing record!

  • Postman

    no stars dhunt? Just a Cy Young winner from two years ago…
    Last season showed that we are turning the corner.. I expect to see more fans this season. It almost always takes one full season for the fan base to catch up with the direction of the team. If we could sign a power hitter in this off season, we'd be sitting even better. Gotta spend $ to make $

  • Tucker

    Can't think of any fans who have many issues with the Safe at all. And while the economy is certainly a factor, there's still a fair bit of disposable cash around these parts. That leaves management and product on the field. Management's vocal opposition to the basketball arena in SoDo certainly hasn't done them any favors with the fanbase either.

  • Darren

    Letting Ichiro go to the Yankees was proof positive that the M's have little interest in selling seats. The losing record is definitely not helping. Both will shut your club down, though. Ichiro was not what he was when he started, but come on!!! At his age he was still doing his job better than most of the team. AND he was single handedly selling seats. I moved away from Seattle in '03 and it is really hard to watch yet another season of "rebuilding."

  • Laporbo

    “The best way for teams to keep fans coming to games is to win games,” the report stated.

    No, the Mariners think the best way for them to keep fans is to fight the arrival of a new basketball team that will suck off more of their fan base.

  • ZoeJRT

    People have ZERO faith in Armstrong and Lincoln, and are tired of hearing this rebuilding scheme.

    Face it, The Seattle Mariners have a stadium called Safeco Field. Things happen there, and the Mariners don't really care what that is, as long as people pay to sit in the stadium.
    The team and winning are secondary.
    They need $100.00 from a fan each time they show up at the Safeco Field, that is all Lincoln and Armstrong care about. it is all they ever have cared about.

    They have no pride in winning baseball games, only profits.

  • Brandyn

    This needs to get fixed. Iv loved the Mariners since i was born ('92) and I will continue to root for them. But i struggle rooting for them when we go from "The New York Yankees" of the American League West to "The New York Mets" of the American League West. We need answers and we need them now. Having a young team isnt always best, and we need to stop going after the younger guys and giving away our vets. This season better get fixed and it better get fixed now.

  • Nicj

    Ive been a life long Mariner fan (30 yrs) I will share by I've been losing interests in the Mariners. #1 we don't win games, so yes the article is right, no one likes a loser. #2 coaching, management and front office, I can't say any one person takes personal pride in their role and I consider some to be liars. Take Zach for example, I'm tired of hearing that he is going to bring bats to Seattle, lie. When a player does find his bat or grove, we trade him. Take the fence in so we can make it a hitters park…. We are just going to lose by more. #3 variable ticket pricing, the cost of tickets go up when a good team comes to town, we are paying extra to see a quality team play and not paying for our Mariners, its a joke. The concessions at the games are
    the highest I've ever paid at any sport venue ever!!! My last rant buying the worlds biggest TV…. Haha, no I can just watch my team lose in HD from any seat in the house and remember the good days of Mariners baseball.

    -Disappointed Fan

    PS. I bought my first MLB hat that was not the mariners for the first time two nights ago!

  • MzSportyOne

    What do you expect attendance-wise when we’ve been “rebuilding” for the last ten years? Losing teams don’t.attract fans and spectators. This isn’t rocket science. Spend the money to put together a good team that has a winning record and people will come watch. Duh.

    • Frutrated Fan

      I am all over that! I soon as I read the news I called the Mariners and ordered four box seat season tickets. I could not pass up the opportunity to drop about $40,000 for my family and I to see an ENORMOUS High Definition view of three cartoon Hydroplanes in a fake race around an animated lake, 81 times! And if we do not get the chance to dance along with "Louie Louie" (Please someone, drill a hole in my head and shove a fork into my eye.) EVERY game like we have for the last 20 years, we'll be devastated. It's just too epic to pass it up.

  • hlywdsm

    I'm a huge Mariners fan that has gone to at least 15 games a year. Once variable ticket pricing went into place I stopped going. I went to one game last year, and that is only because I found a great ticket on StubHub, 8 rows off the field, for $15. If the Mariners want to act like a scalper, then they should decrease ticket prices as the game goes on so that I can walk in during the 3rd inning for less money that I have to pay in the 1st inning. I think the future of this team is bright with the great minor league system, and I hope they put the fans experience as a #1 priority. But the reality is….if they win, they will come.

  • Frustrated Fan

    How about some better coaching? All of them. Watching Carlos Peguero bounce back and forth between Triple A and the Big Club and EVERY time he gets called up he comes to Seattle swinging the bat like he is Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols, the problem is, he's not! He swings damn near out of his cleats at every pitch trying to hit the ball to Lake Washington. Where is the coaching? Peguero sucks when he tries to play like that. You see this kind of repetitive failures throughout the team. Where is the coaching?

  • Josh

    Safeco field is not fan friendly, the people working there are always acting like fake cops intstead of acting like they want you to have a good time.
    Raising ticket last year was stupid raising them this year was SUPER STUPID!
    They got rid of the traditional Homerun Cannon and the SS Mariner and then got rid of homerun fireworks, they need to bring back the fireworks atleast because kids love them it gets them interested and they wake ppl the hell up, god knows Mariners fans need to be woke up!
    The nazi alcohol enforcement needs to be irradicated, they are more like fun police who bust you or kick you out for having fun, just their prescence makes Safeco feel like a police state.
    Beer and food prices are outrageous.
    Hating in the Sonics arena was a stupid move!
    Dirtbag givaways are a slap in the face to fans, that was an all time low for promotions!
    They need to do some inner city campaigning and get a better more exciting type of fan in there and lowering the cost of tickets can help that..
    They need to stop with all the fake hype and losing and start winning, then maybe we can forget about all the stupid stupid moves like trading Adam Jones and Mike Morse…
    Doof!
    The Mariners are big corporate greedy maggot blood sucking vampires, they wont get a red cent from me this year!

  • Priced Out Fan

    The final nail in my coffin was their new dynamic pricing system and hiking the price of the cheapest seat in SafeCo by 147% just because of the day of the week a given game fell on. I call this a total lack of customer care by M's front office!

  • Devo

    DYNAMIC PRICING! Didn't give them a penny this year. When I go to a game with my girlfriend I buy 2 $65 dollar seats. Between us we buy about 4 beers at $7.50 a piece. So, on average I spend about $160 per game and I go to at least 10 games per year. Multiple times this season I went online to buy tickets to some high profile games, and my $65 seats were raised to $85. So in an effort to get an extra $200 from me the Mariners lost the usual $1600 I spend per season.

  • Mike

    The attendance has declined more than any other sports team in the country because the management team is the worst of any professional sports team in the country. It's as simple as that, they are the laughing stock of all sports venues.

  • Neil

    One word. BORING. It's not just the losing, it's the inability to score runs. For most people, other than the "purists", a 2-1 game is simply boring. It's one thing to be a bad team, but a bad and BORING team? Hopefully, the new outfield dimensions will help. Also, we live in the PNW, we have MANY Summertime options to choose from as far as activities…Unlike many other cities. Put a crappy product on the field? We'll go hang out in the mountains for the weekend.

  • Orion

    Went to several games last year only to find the Mariners were more interested in promoting the non-sports related elements of the experience than the team. Not a real surprise considering it's hard to promote a team who didn't have a player bat over .260.

    That being said, there's nothing worse than going to a game and seeing them hand out Mariner pedicure sets or promote Viva Las Vargas night. I mean what was that all about?! Jason Vargas didn't even pitch and I can't figure out why people would come to the park for a Vargas or Vegas themed night.

    Instead, they should highlight technology and sports at the game. There should be a stats-geek corner instead of the beer garden and it could cater to real fans, Find ways to reward real fans for coming out to games and stop trying to cater to everyone and their mom. Oh, and improving the team would help too.

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