With Gov. Jay Inslee recently changing the guidelines for outdoor professional sporting events based on COVID-19 vaccination rates, the Mariners have added sections of seating for fully-vaccinated spectators at T-Mobile Park. They will be available for the upcoming homestand, which begins May 13.
By offering these specific sections, which can accommodate 5,000 spectators, the Mariners can raise their capacity in the ballpark from just under 9,000 to 14,000 per game.
"Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves, our families and our community," said Mariners chairman and CEO John Stanton in a statement. "Encouraging vaccinations and helping make them accessible to everyone will save lives. And once enough people are vaccinated, we can all get back to the things we love to do, like sitting with family and friends and enjoying a night at the ballpark."
The Mariners have been vocal in their efforts to encourage people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Tuesday, they were the first Major League Baseball team to offer vaccines at games through a partnership with the City of Seattle and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Several other teams started similar programs in the days that followed.
As an incentive for spectators to provide proof of full vaccination, the Mariners will offer reduced tickets prices in some sections and also exclusive rewards.
From the news release:
* For games May 13-June 2, fans can purchase tickets in special vaccinated seating sections priced as low as $10 per ticket.
* Vaccination-only seating sections are open only to fully vaccinated adults and children between the ages of 2-16 who show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
* Seats are in the Centerfield Bleachers for all available games, and for select games in Sections 306- 310 in Right Field View Level and Sections 149-151 on the Main Level. Prices begin as low as $10.
* Capacity in the special sections is limited to approximately 5,000. (Capacity is in addition to the 9,000 allowed in socially distanced sections.)
* Nine Private Suites are available at full capacity (14-26 guests) for fully vaccinated guests.
* Tickets do not need to be purchased in groups of 1-6.
The social distancing guidelines will not be required in the vaccinated sections or suites, but fans will still be required to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking in their seats.
Also, any adults who cannot provide proof of full vaccination will not be allowed in those special sections, even with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. And tickets purchased in the vaccination-only sections cannot be resold.
The Mariners also are offering benefits to anyone who can show proof of full vaccination, regardless of their seating section, for games May 13-19. They include:
* Dedicated vaccine-only entry lanes at Right Field and Center Field Gates;
* Exclusive access to the T-Mobile 'Pen, which has been closed to all fans due to social distancing requirements, and the Trident Deck on the View Level;
* A discount of 20% off food and beverage purchases and regular priced merchandise at the Mariners Team Store
* An exclusive Mariners' #SeaUsRise T-shirt.
How do spectators prove they are fully vaccinated? They must be 14 days past their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. That proof is a vaccination card, a photo of their vaccination card with their name, type of vaccine and date of vaccination or documentation provided by their electronic health-care provider or the state's immunization information system.
The Mariners, in conjunction with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and the City of Seattle, will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccinations without an appointment at three locations inside the ballpark during games. Clinics are staffed by Seattle Fire Department EMS personnel with support from VMFH health care professionals.
The Mariners likely will go with a form of a bullpen start Saturday based on bullpen usage in the game Friday. Right-hander Erik Swanson likely will make the start with either LJay Newsome or Robert Dugger pitching multiple innings after Swanson. Left-hander Justus Sheffied will pitch the series finale Sunday. After a day off Monday, Seattle will start right-hander Justin Dunn on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium to open a two-game series against the World Series champions. Lefty Yusei Kikuchi will start Wednesday.
Outfielder Jake Fraley (hamstring strain) has increased baseball activity in his rehab. He has started hitting in the cage and playing catch on the field. He has yet to test the hamstring with a running workout.
Left-hander Marco Gonzales (forearm strain) is expected to start throwing off the mound by early next week.