Mariners FanFest Rewind
The temperature was in the mid-40s and rain fell throughout the weekend, but thanks to the retractable roof, weather was a non-factor as Mariners 2013 FanFest was a terrific two-day celebration of baseball at Safeco Field.
Nearly 18,000 fans took part in the activities and enjoyed the exhibits last weekend at this midwinter family event in what many believe was the best-ever Mariners FanFest. There was a huge increase in families this year, accounting for an increase of 8,000 more fans in attendance than in 2012. Just as importantly, there was a very positive energy throughout the ballpark all weekend long.
We had one of our best player lineups ever with 11 current Mariners (Franklin Gutierrez, Michael Saunders, Michael Morse, Blake Beavan, Carter Capps, Casper Wells, Jesus Montero, Tom Wilhelmsen, Brendan Ryan, Kyle Seager, Hisashi Iwakuma) and four futures (Nick Franklin, Mike Zunino, James Paxton and Stefen Romero) participating in autograph sessions, photo opportunities, question and answer sessions, social media chats and on-field clinics with the fans.
General Manager Jack Zdruiencik and Field Manager Eric Wedge did a great job of answering questions and clearly detailing for fans our plan to build a championship team and what to look for on the field in 2013.
We were also fortunate to have three Mariners legends join us: Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner and Dan Wilson. These three are great ambassadors of Mariners Baseball as they engaged fans around the ballpark on Sunday.
In addition to lining up for the autograph and question/answer sessions, fans took the field to run around the bases, catch pop flies and play catch in the outfield. A new and popular addition was a 200-foot “zip line” ride in right field, and thousands took the ride over the weekend.
The entire organization works together to plan and present FanFest at Safeco Field. It starts with the Marketing Department, but it took the coordination with almost every other department to make it happen: Baseball Operations, Ballpark Operations, the Grounds Crew, Ticket Services, Procurement, Ticket Sales, Maintenance, Community Relations, Corporate Business, Communications, Information Technology, Retail and Administration.
FanFest continues is a great springboard to the start of Spring Training in February and on to the regular season in April. We would love to hear your feedback on the event, so if you have anything to offer, leave a comment on this blog entry.
You can also catch up on several FanFest videos and a photo gallery of all the events at Mariners.com/FanFest.