Welcome back to our annual guide to the home of the Mariners, T-Mobile Park. As a staff, we’ve collectively attended hundreds of games, and we’re here to share our best tips so you and yours can have a great day at the ballpark. Whether you’re a seasoned park veteran or someone inspired by the team’s recent success to spend more time at the corner of Edgar and Dave, we think you’ll find something here to help you make the most of your trip to T-Mobile. Bookmark this page and come back to it often, and don’t forget to also check out the comments for things we’ve missed!
Tickets (price and location):
Jake P: You can typically score some left field bleacher seats for super cheap if you’re looking last-minute or willing to go on a Tuesday against the A’s. I scored a pair of Thursday night tickets for $7 each last summer.
Eric: Ever since last season, decent tickets prices up front have pretty much disappeared. If you’re willing and able to wait until the last minute like Jake is describing, yes, you can definitely find deals on the secondary market apps. Buying upfront is gonna cost you now, though, except for whatever $10 center field bleacher seats might be available for any given game or series. The price of success!
Kate: It’s worth doing some back-of-the-envelope math and seeing if season tickets, or a flex membership, makes sense for you. I always thought season tickets were for retired people or Serious Businessmen but if the Mariners are your main summer squeeze, you might as well get some of the season ticket holder benefits and guaranteed seats–especially now that said seats are likely going to be in higher demand.
Brittney: I’m a ten-year season ticket holder and I love it. I started with a partial plan, but realized I was spending so much buying additional tickets I might as well go all in. I get decent prices per seat, always get to sit where I want, and sometimes get fun perks like going on field for the fireworks.
Grant: One other season ticket benefit (and the Flex membership includes this!): 15% off at the Team Store and across the street at Hatback Bar & Grille and Steelheads Alley. While the Team Store discount isn’t new, the 15% off at Hatback is new (to my knowledge).
As for where to sit, the LL staff has their faves: Kate and Eric are bleacher creatures (left field, obvs). John favors 330, right behind home plate, so he can scout pitchers with his eagle eyes. Jake M. swears by section 321 for the perfect combo of skyline views, field sightlines, and price. If you’re splurging on main concourse seats, stay away from seats on the third baseline behind the away dugout if the Mariners are playing a team with a particularly annoying fanbase. It’s no fun trying to see around someone’s giant powdered Aaron Judge wig.
Jake P: If you’re visiting from out of town, take the light rail! There’s a station that lets out right next to T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field. It’s super convenient and you can’t get lost because you can follow all of the Mariners merch to the gate.
Zach G: +1 for the light rail. Just be aware that it can be a zoo when you’re taking it home. Lime biking/scootering is also a good option if you’re coming from within a few miles, but they get gobbled up quickly after a game, so you might have to walk further to find one to take home. If you’re planning to drive, my relative old age has me believing that the Mariners garage is worth the $20-ish if you pay ahead of time. If you’re still young or young at heart, you can usually find free parking South of the stadium on 3rd Ave if you get there early enough. Depending on the game, “early enough” can be anywhere from 1-3 hours.
Kate: The light rail is obviously the best way to get to the park, but if you aren’t lucky enough to live near a station, you can take a variety of buses, most of which drop off at the Sodo Busway, an easy walk to the stadium (check out the trip planner here). As a West Seattle resident, I usually ride the 21, which drops off right by the stadium, but the C line also works when I don’t mind a bit of a walk (that’s also the best way if you’re coming from the Fauntleroy ferry). If you’re coming from further afield, like Everett or Lakewood, the Sounder train runs to select high-volume games; check the schedule here.
If you absolutely must drive, go as early as you possibly can and scour areas south of the stadium for parking; be prepared to pay between 20 and 80 dollars to park, depending on location and game. There are e-bikes and scooters scattered around all of Sodo that should cut down on walking time between the stadium and your vehicle. And practice common sense: double-check to make sure you’ve locked the car and rolled up the windows; make sure you don’t leave anything, valuable or not, out in plain sight in your car; check all posted signs carefully; and have a buddy to walk back to your car with when leaving night games.
John: It’s the light rail or a bus, no two ways about it. Use a park and ride if you live outside of the city and thank yourself later when you have a chill bus ride back home to rest off the beers and/or garlic fries.
Pro tips to make lines faster/What you can and can’t bring in:
Kate: Download the Ballpark app, which will manage your tickets for you, including allowing you to transfer tickets to people. Have your electronic ticket ready to present to the reader; don’t be fumbling around with your phone while everyone is trying to get in and get their Julio bobblehead. A screenshot of your bar code will work, too. [note: reports from the ballpark say this will not work anymore!] I like to enter at the right field gates after season ticket holders have already gone in, as they don’t get as much traffic as the other gates, but the center field ones are my second choice for getting in relatively quickly. For first-timers, definitely enter through the home plate gates for the full “baseball cathedral” experience.
As for security procedures, all bags need to be clear and smaller than 12x6x12 inches, and security needs to be able to see everything in the bag, so don’t overpack and don’t put smaller, non-see-through bags in your larger see-through bag. Two exceptions to the clear bags rule: single-compartment diaper bags or medical supplies bags are okay, and small, clutch-sized purses (4.5x6x5 inches or smaller) are fine, as well. Personally I carry something like this, a wristlet with zippered compartments so I can zip in a couple personal care items in one pocket and my ID/funds in another.
Don’t try to bring in disallowed items, which can really slow things down. Check your pockets for your Swiss Army knife/Leatherman tool if you’re someone who usually carries one of those. Bring cream, not aerosol, sunscreen. You can bring in an empty reusable water bottle or a sealed clear plastic water bottle, both no larger than 32 oz.; soft-sided single-serve juice boxes are also okay. No other drinks are allowed to be brought into the park.
Outside food is permitted in “single-serving sizes,” which seems to me to be a rule with some latitude. Who is to say an entire bag of Smartfood popcorn isn’t single-serving if I can eat all of it in one sitting? But generally if you purchase say, a burrito or something outside the park, you’ll be able to bring it in with you. If you are gluten intolerant, bringing your own food in is pretty much a requirement, so investing in a clear shoulder bag you can fit safe food in is a good idea. This one fits the size requirements.
Whatever you do, make sure you bring in everything you need at once, because there’s no re-entry to the park.
Ben: This tip was given to me from a Mariners Team Store employee at the since-sunsetted Spokane Mariners Team Store (the same one I waited in line to get autographs from Mike Morse and Rene Rivera) when my mom would take us there to buy tickets in person: Try entering the stadium through the Mariners Team Store on 1st Avenue! They’ll scan your ticket at the Team Store entrance, and then you can browse the store before heading upstairs to enter the ballpark through the memorabilia room—you can even stop to buy an overpriced, sun-faded signed picture of Adrian Beltre if you so choose—where you’ll get spit out right at the top of the stairs at the LF entrance, near the artistic recreation of the Griffey Slide, which makes for a good photo op! This line is typically short-to-nonexistent, indoors, and gets you easier access to stadium giveaway items as well.
What to wear:
Jake P: Not technically clothes, but you may want to bring a pillow or something squishy to sit on if you get bleacher seats. Or a towel, if it’s been raining.
Zach G: You will only need this advice if you are not from Seattle, but layers. It can go from very warm at 6 PM to uncomfortably chilly by 10 PM. If you are sitting down the first base line/in right field, sunglasses/a baseball hat. The sun will be right in your eyes for the first hour of a night game/last hour of a day game.
Kate: I don’t know what Zach is talking about, I am from Seattle and I still forget to layer. Sun out at 3 PM = no thoughts in head, just vibes. Also, wear comfortable shoes that you can go up and down stairs in and also you don’t care too much if they get beer spilled on them. This is as much a note to me as it is to you.
Grant: If you’re going to a night game in April (or even May), you might even want to bring a blanket, or hypothetically you’ll be forced to pay way too much for a Mariners-branded blanket that your cat will love (again, hypothetically). Pro tip: get a blanket strap, like this one, for ease of carrying.
Eric: Standard inventory on your person for a trip to for T-Mobile Park and an ideal comfort of experience, March 30 through July 5, non-gender specific: Pants, comfortable shoes (weather-proof a plus), warm socks, long-sleeve layer (either thermal or even a hooded sweatshirt), jersey or other baseball-related top layer, jacket layer (either down for non-rainy games or weather-proof shell for rainy games), Little Hotties hand-warmers, gloves, and a hat. Don’t leave for the ballpark without any of that until July 5.
Where to hang out in the stadium:
Kate: For view and comfort, I like the centerfield railing, but you have to get there early on busy game days and be ready to throw some elbows if anyone in your party needs to go get a beer or run to the restroom.
Zach G: Here’s my boomer take: your seat!
Eric: Okay, boomer. (He says, also from his seat, preferably in the left field bleachers or the Terrace Club if I can afford to splurge)
Brittney: If you have restless kids, the stairwell between the center field bleachers and right field offers an excellent view of the train tracks on one side and, conveniently, the ball game on the other. It’s also somehow the windiest part of the park, so do come prepared for that.
Where to hang out outside the stadium:
Kate: I like the Central Saloon, which is grimy in a very specific early-90s Seattle kind of way. Just be aware if you want to go post-game, they often have a band and a cover charge, so I usually reserve it for pregaming.
Zach G: Classics close to the stadium such as Elysian Fields and Sluggers are decent options, but can get packed within 90 minutes of game time. Hatback (where the old Pyramid Brewing was) and Tony T’s (where Henry’s used to be) have the same issues, but exacerbated. There are about 20 bars and restaurants in Pioneer Square where you’ll probably have a better experience.
Eric: I would like to plug my two favorite spots that are still in business for pre-and-post-game beverages, Collins Pub and Hooverville.
Brittney: If you have kids in your party or just generally don’t want to yell across a crowd, Cone & Steiner has a gourmet selection of casual eats, sodas, plus beer and wine on tap. They also sell the best gummy worms in town and full-size bags of chips that I can personally attest are considered “single serving” at the gate.
If you’re hanging with grownups – The Meyer has Manny’s and Pop-a-Shot; what more could you want?
Eat and drink:
Kate: I wrote up many of the ballpark’s new food options (including vegetarian/gluten free options) here! I recommend a Scotty’s Juice batch cocktail (the ‘Pen) in watermelon and the pomegranate BBQ pork “wings” (Holy Smokes BBQ). Just make sure you leave some for me. Note that T-Mobile is entirely cashless; you can load up a prepaid card at one of eight self-serve kiosks if you only have cash, but you won’t be able to use cash for anything other than tips in the park.
If you can make it to the park early (like, when the gates open early), happy hour in the ‘pen is a nice way to try a few of the different beers on tap and decide what you’re going to be comfortable paying full price for. The pours are smaller, but you can get two at a time, which means you and a couple of friends could sample a good amount of the beers on hand.
Jake P: Garlic fries. So many garlic fries. And while it may sound scary, the clam chowder is surprisingly good. I’m not even a chowder guy and I devoured that. If you’re in the mood for a different soup, there’s a really good wonton soup near third base. Oh and Seattle dogs. If you’ve never had one before bratwurst and cream cheese can sound pretty gross, but it’s a match made in heaven.
Zach G: Eat outside the stadium. Seriously. You’ll be able to get bigger portions and better prices almost literally anywhere outside of the stadium. And if you’re the type to get hungry around 10 PM, a few of the hot dog vendors have 2-for-$6 deals post-game. If you must eat inside the park, I’ve found a good bang-for-your-buck option to be Marination in section 119. The portions are decent, the food is filling, and they have both carnivorous and vegetarian options!
Nick T: Food at the stadium can be good, but it’s expensive and the lines are long. The vendors outside the stadium nearly universally offer wonderful fare, but again, the lines are often long. At the risk of making longer lines at one of my favorite spots, there is a gyro shop a mere ten minute walk from the stadium under an unassuming blue awning on1st Ave. between Washington St. and South Main St. called Mediterranean Mix. If your goal is to avoid being hungry again for several hours (or to soak up a slightly overdone pregame) drop by for a gyro or some falafel. There are fries and hot dogs for the potentially picky children in your party, and a litany of bars in the nearby area where you can go and grab a drink if you have time. Plan to wait a few minutes while your food is prepared, but I’ve been getting gyros from this place for fifteen years before Mariners games, it is a staple of my Mariners experience. It’s also especially easy to get to if you’re walking over from downtown, the Bainbridge/Bremerton ferry terminal, or the Pioneer Square Light Rail station.
Kate: If someone in your party has mobility challenges, the main concourse can be a challenge on busy days. Get to the park early and get situated before the crowds start crowding. If you have a blind or low vision person in your group, look for Mariners employee Jacob, usually stationed at the top of the stairs at the main entrance; he has firsthand knowledge on navigating the park as a blind person and can provide helpful tips on that specifically as well as answering any general questions you might have.
For those sensitive to sensory overload, the east side of the 300 level is usually the most sparsely populated area in the park, and the concourse is relatively quiet except on the busiest of games. If it’s in your budget, the Terrace Club level makes for a calmer gameday experience, and bathroom access is much easier, with generously appointed stalls. Also note that the National Anthem is accompanied by booming blasts that fire from above the left-center field bleachers. It can startle kids who aren’t expecting it, but more seriously, I have witnessed a combat veteran suffer a PTSD attack once while sitting in King’s Court, so if someone in your group is sensitive to those kinds of noises, consider avoiding that side of the ballpark until after the anthem.
Kate: If it’s your child’s first Mariners game ever, tell any usher and they will direct you to a guest services kiosk behind home plate on the 100 level where you can get a cute “my first Mariners game” certificate. Also make sure to stop by center field on the main concourse to sign up for the Mariners’ kids club, if you haven’t already; the kids will walk away with some Mariners swag, and it’s free.
Eric: Infants in Baby Bjorns? Hell yeah, strap ‘em in and just wander the park as best you can while they hopefully nap between feedings. Ages 2 to 5ish? Honestly, don’t waste your money unless the tickets are free or discounted. You know you won’t be actually watching the game anyways or be able to stay more than an hour. Once they get above 5ish, you can ply them with treats long enough to watch a few innings at least, so that can be worth it. However, kids love screens (as we all know) so getting them to watch baseball at home from an early age is surprisingly easy (your mileage and kid’s attention spans will vary) so then hopefully when they do get to an age where taking them to a game isn’t a complete waste of money, they might be vaguely familiar with it. Plus, they will have presumably already heard you say things like “JULIOOOOOOOO” and “Spend money, assholes!” lots of times, so they’ll know what to expect.
Brittney: Right smack in the middle of the 300 level is a play area for older kids with batting cages and pitching challenges. There are also food and beer options within eyesight, and the game on big screens. Younger kids will appreciate the hours you spend dissociating at the main concourse level playground. Consider it an investment in getting them to love the park.
Our top insider tips:
Kate: If you ride light rail to the game, instead of getting off at the stadium stop, get off at the International District stop instead. It’s still an easy walk to the park from the ID, and you’ll have way better, cheaper, less crowded and more plentiful food options than trying to find something around the stadium.
Zach G: The Mariners have expanded the number of locations that offer $6 cans of beer (which has been the best available deal inside the stadium for a few years now). For the best selection and consistency for both $6 cans and full-price pints, your best bet is still the bar inside the Mariners Hall of Fame, located on the main floor concourse across from sections 135-141. You might also know this location as “behind the Din Tai Fung”. The last few years, they’ve had the Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA on tap, a delicious beer that I can almost never find anywhere else.
Jake P: You can get refillable novelty soda cups at the 3rd baseline/left field corner for a pretty good value. The fountains face out so you can go back and refill it as much as you want. All you can drink ginger ale!
Kate: On super crowded days, the main concourse can be a nightmare to navigate. Speedrun the area between left and center field by walking up the stairs that lead to the left field bleachers and walking along the catwalk there; you’ll avoid a particularly dreadful choke point around Edgar’s Porch and the ‘Pen stairs. Avoid the main concourse, narrow and prone to choke points, as much as possible on high-volume days. On Opening Day, don’t bother with concession stands if you care about seeing the game; eat beforehand and pack snacks, and save your twenty bucks for when the stands are less packed and you can enjoy something the way it’s intended to be served.
Eric: Kate’s pro tip above re: Opening Day is spot on. Besides trying to find a short-ish line for beer, don’t even attempt to get concessions once it’s an hour before first pitch. If you think you’re being slick by waiting until the 3rd inning to get food between innings, you’ll maybe get back to your seat by the 8th. Hell, with the pitch clock you could literally miss the entire game! Don’t risk it, just pre-game and pack snacks like Kate said.
Ben: Free parking. If you’re early enough and don’t mind a 10-15 minute stroll, I strongly recommend parking in the alley behind the fast food restaurants on 4th Ave, southeast of the ballpark. If you’re walking with people who get jumpy around unhoused people be aware there’s typically a collection of camps set up along the alleys, but it’s mostly lined with other fans headed to the game, and you’re typically surrounded by other fans on your walk, if you’re nervous about walking alone. I’ve never seen any vehicles broken into or anything like that, and sometimes there’s even Lime bikes/scooters nearby that you can hop on if you’re not feeling up for walking to the stadium.
Kate: On giveaway days, especially bobblehead days, bring one of these collapsible grocery bags with you to haul everyone’s loot (I like these, from Baggu, but you can find similar ones almost anywhere). You will minimize sadness over forgotten/lost items and also free up precious arm space for holding drinks and snacks.