BY SPNW Staff 07:10PM 04/17/2012

Annoyed at opener? Mariners offer free tickets

Embarrassed by a concessions-stands failure and angry customers on Opening Night Friday at Safeco Field, the Mariners announced Tuesday they will offer free tickets for home games in April or May, as well as a credit at the stands.

The make-good is for fans who experienced long lines during the game due to a failure of the software system that operates cash registers and processes credit cards.

Some fans reported waiting for more than an hour and missed three innings or more. The registers began failing shortly after the gates opened, and by mid-game more than 200 of the 400 point-of-sale stands were a cash-only operation. Software engineers determined that the only solution was a shutdown and re-boot, which resolved the problem by the eighth inning.

“We always want our fans to have a positive experience,” Mariners president Chuck Armstrong wrote in a statement released before the game Thursday. “What happened Friday night was unacceptable and I offer my sincere apology to all of the fans who suffered through the long lines and inconvenience. The guest experience on Opening Night was nowhere close to meeting our standards and we want to make it up to our fans.”

Here’s how the make-up will work for 18 home games beginning Wednesday through the end of May:

  • Locations will be in the same seating level as Opening Night tickets.
  • Those seated in Suites, Diamond Club, All-Star Club and Hit It Here Café will get the choice of Club or Main Level tickets.
  • Each make-good ticket will come pre-loaded with a $5 TicketPlu$ credit that can be redeemed at concession stands.
  • The Mariners have email addresses for most people who purchased tickets for Friday’s game and will receive information by email on how to receive their free tickets.
  • Fans can claim their free tickets by showing their ticket stub or proof of purchase at any Mariners Team Store or the Safeco Field box office.
  • Anyone who does not have a ticket stub or proof of purchase can call 206-346-4001, the Mariners Customer Service Hotline, between 8:30am-5:30pm for assistance.
  • More information about the offer is available at www.mariners.com/OpeningNight.

Staff from the software provider, Micros, have been doing a thorough review of the system since. No problems were reported Saturday or Sunday.

“We promise our fans that we will get to the bottom of what caused the failure so that it doesn’t happen again,” Armstrong wrote. “We hope our fans will give us a second chance to provide a great experience at Safeco Field.”


YourThoughts

  • http://ticketnew.com/boxoffice/index.html Box Office bala

    Annoyed at opener? Mariners offer free tickets Useful Article. Post a lot like this

    • Artthiel

       The guess is the Mariners might not work as a business this way. Then again I said the same thing about trotting out the AL’s worst offense two years running.

  • http://ticketnew.com/boxoffice/index.html Box Office bala

    Annoyed at opener? Mariners offer free tickets Useful Article. Post a lot like this

    • Artthiel

       The guess is the Mariners might not work as a business this way. Then again I said the same thing about trotting out the AL’s worst offense two years running.

  • Mearth

    I’d love to, just once, hear Armstrong speak with such passion about the failure of the product on the field.

    • Artthiel

       Mearth, you nailed it. The ballpark experience is No. 1 to M’s owners, the baseball experience is tied for second — with everything else.

  • Mearth

    I’d love to, just once, hear Armstrong speak with such passion about the failure of the product on the field.

    • Artthiel

       Mearth, you nailed it. The ballpark experience is No. 1 to M’s owners, the baseball experience is tied for second — with everything else.

  • jafabian

    Agreed.  Mariner brass take the whole “if you build it they will come” thing to literally.  If they’d simply focus on building a winning team everything they concern themselves with would no longer BE a concern.  But they focus on everything else but.

  • jafabian

    Agreed.  Mariner brass take the whole “if you build it they will come” thing to literally.  If they’d simply focus on building a winning team everything they concern themselves with would no longer BE a concern.  But they focus on everything else but.

  • RadioGuy

    The thing about the Mariners (and they’re not alone among MLB teams) is that they’re not as concerned about baseball fans who want a winning team as they are people simply looking at attending a game at Safeco Field as a night of entertainment, sort of like going to the theater to see this movie or that.  What maybe amplifies that attitude is that the team is run by people who made their fortunes through entertainment in the form of video games…it’s what Nintendo DOES.

    The days of hanging out a signboard reading “Baseball Tonight” and expecting a crowd to show up are long gone.  There’s a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar these days and sports teams have to offer more than the games themselves to draw people in; however, the Mariners are learning that hydro races on the scoreboard, rally fries and some guy dressed up in a moose costume aren’t going to be enough to keep them coming back…last night’s crowd of less than 12,000 is Exhibit A.  It all gets back to the most basic axiom in sports marketing:  Nothing draws a crowd like a winning team.  Even Chuck & Howie have to recognize that.

  • RadioGuy

    The thing about the Mariners (and they’re not alone among MLB teams) is that they’re not as concerned about baseball fans who want a winning team as they are people simply looking at attending a game at Safeco Field as a night of entertainment, sort of like going to the theater to see this movie or that.  What maybe amplifies that attitude is that the team is run by people who made their fortunes through entertainment in the form of video games…it’s what Nintendo DOES.

    The days of hanging out a signboard reading “Baseball Tonight” and expecting a crowd to show up are long gone.  There’s a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar these days and sports teams have to offer more than the games themselves to draw people in; however, the Mariners are learning that hydro races on the scoreboard, rally fries and some guy dressed up in a moose costume aren’t going to be enough to keep them coming back…last night’s crowd of less than 12,000 is Exhibit A.  It all gets back to the most basic axiom in sports marketing:  Nothing draws a crowd like a winning team.  Even Chuck & Howie have to recognize that.