Discounted beer and pizza, sunshine, a packed ballpark and not a cloud in the sky describes College Night at the Mariners game on Friday, April 17. Safeco field was the place to be as the Mariners took on the Texas Rangers.
The picturesque night at the ballpark was dedicated to college students with special discounted $12 tickets offering to help students get out to support Seattle’s Major League Baseball team.
Edgar’s, the ‘Pen and the View Level area out in left center field were serving happy hour priced food and beer for students with their college ID until the first pitch.
Western freshman Tarah Fekri enjoyed her first College Night mingling around and watching the game.
“We walked around a lot, I went to go see a lot friends there and toward the end is when we actually watched the game,” Fekri said.
“Our seats were in the 300 level, but we didn’t even sit there. I’d go on to the 300s, 200s, 100s [section levels], then we sat really close to the field,” she said.
The 3-1 Mariners loss did not have much of an effect on the experience of Fekri’s first college night.
“Everyone was loud and it was really entertaining,” Fekri said. ”It was a fun experience,” she said. "There was a whole section and there was just a bunch of college kids and I saw a bunch of people wearing their college gear too.”
The designated cheap seats for the college students didn’t get much use, as the fans and students spent most of their time out and about finding friends and watching from a better view.
Western junior Bjorn Thorpe said he attended the Friday night game after making the trek down south to enjoy good company and get out of his normal Bellingham routine.
“A ton of Western students, including myself, went down for the game, but College Night at Safeco is more of a social event than anything,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe said he wouldn’t consider himself the biggest baseball fan, but has been to a couple College Nights before and it was a blast.
The Mariners trailed from the start as the Rangers scored a run in the first inning, taking the early lead. Scoreless up until the eighth inning, designated hitter Seth Smith, hit in the one and only run for the Mariners in an attempt to get a rally going late in the game.
The Mariners outhit the Rangers 8-to-7 but failed to get the runs across home plate. It was another loss for the team, but the score didn’t affect the beer drinking, social college students at the game.
“I would definitely go to another [college night] because I like the atmosphere,” Fekri said.
The Mariners now have bona fide slugger Nelson Cruz, also known as “boomstick,” on the roster along with other high-paid and game-changing players. The Seattle P-I and MLB analysts gave the Mariners the fourth-best odds to win the World Series this year.
It has been a slow start to the season for the Mariners. They are currently 5-7, with a four game losing streak under their belt. But, a series win against the Texas Rangers has the Mariners projecting upwards in the season's early going.
Cruz has been as good as advertised, cranking an MLB best eight home runs in 12 games. He led the majors in home runs with 40 in 2014.