I am frankly very stunned by the strong emotion and passion surrounding the Mariners news that came out yesterday. As a fan of professional sports in Seattle I had a strong feeling that the community in general would be unsympathetic and non-supportive of their views. That said the commentary has far exceeded my expectations.
In any business there are times when you feel that you have a valid and justifiable argument for a corporate action, but when you roll it out to your customers you the reaction tells you that you are wrong. I think that this is one of those cases. The Mariners rightly or wrongly felt that it was appropriate for them not only to have actual concerns about the Arena but also to take specific action and align themselves with anti-sports industry organizations to try to demonstrate those concerns.
In my opinion the fan base has spoken overwhelmingly and told the Mariners that the customers of their product are not supportive of those actions. As a member of the stadium district and a tenant of the city it is inappropriate for them to be so aggressive in discouraging further development of that stadium district. Traffic is a byproduct of growth and there is not a single location that could sustain an arena where traffic would not be an issue. If the arena were to move the access problems would not go away but rather would shift from the Mariners to some other business interests who were not in fact located within a stadium distict.
My hope is that the Mariners take this customer feedback seriously, rethink their strategy, and adjust their actions accordingly. If/when they do I look forward to supporting them on opening night and throughout the upcoming season.
Go Mariners. Go Seattle.