Baseball fever has returned to Seattle.
Hours before Friday night’s contest between the Mariners and Los Angeles Angels, a game with huge postseason implications, it was deemed to be a sellout at T-Mobile Park, which has a capacity of 47,929.
It certainly was a big change from Wednesday, when 17,366 watched the Mariners finish off a three-game sweep of Oakland.
With the Mariners in a tie for the second wild card after Boston’s loss Thursday, it seemed everyone was pumped up Friday to get to T-Mobile Park, with lines gathering at the gates long before fans could enter.
“I am so excited,” said Nathan Cain of Covington, who came to the game with Jordyn Peters and was at the front of the line to enter the stadium. “I’ve never been to a game that has been a sellout, and I’ve never been to a game where fans were so invested in October.”
Cain bought Friday’s tickets a month ago, “but I didn’t expect it to be 47,000 people here.”
Peters said Cain got her into baseball. They started coming to Mariners games two, three times a month early in the season.
“It’s cool to see it getting ramped up and seeing everyone get so excited,” she said. “When we started going in May, there was almost no one there and it was raining and freezing. Now, everyone is so excited.”
Casey Porter, who is from Seattle and said he has been a Mariners fan since he was born, was hanging out in the ‘Pen long before the game.
“I am way too excited, way too jittery,” Porter said. “I’ve been excited all day at work, and I couldn’t sleep last night. I am just having so much fun with this season.”
Even those who work at T-Mobile and knew they were going to be much busier than normal got into the excitement.
Kerrie Hodge and Mel Curry, who work at High Cheese Pizza & Wings, said working on a sellout night is easy as long as you get everything ready beforehand.
“Everybody’s going to keep coming and coming, everybody, throughout the whole game, so it’s going to be busy,” Hodge said.
But that was fine with Hodge and Curry, who both predicted a Mariners’ victory.
Eila Pergiel, who works as an usher, said it was “nice and refreshing” to work during a game that was sold out.
“We play off the emotions that are going on out there, so it’s going to be fun night,” she said.
Chants of “Let’s go Mariners” began erupting about 45 minutes before the start of the game. It was that kind of night.
“It’s going to be a madhouse, but it’s going to be nice just to have the fans come in here,” said Landa, who has been working at the Mariners team store in section 132 for more than 20 years and didn’t want to give her last name. “I am so excited, and I can’t wait.”
The excitement has not gone unnoticed by the players. Mariners third baseman Ty France said the 17,000 people Wednesday sounded like 50,000.
“I’m definitely looking forward to a full, full house tonight and this weekend,” France said.
And long-suffering Mariners fans are starting to believe.
“The magic is here. There is something special in the air,” Porter said.