A First-Timer’s Guide to T-Mobile Park

Importantly, where to find the curry donuts 🍛🍩

T-Mobile Park during a summertime Mariners game in Seattle, Washington.

📸: Adam Kubota

T-Mobile Park is my favorite hangout spot in the city. Go to a Wednesday Mariners game, kick up my heels, sip on an IPA, and watch my favorite professional sport? Don’t mind if I do. And with the new rule changes, baseball games are about 30 minutes shorter than before, so you don’t feel like you’re giving up your entire day. 

How to Get to T-Mobile Park 🚊

📸: Courtesy T-Mobile Park | Sound Transit

Seattle Transit makes it easy to get to every major sports arena/ballpark via some kind of rail. Sure, you could drive and park in the Mariners Garage just across Edgar Martinez Drive or the Lumen Field Garage on S Royal Brougham, but unless you leave before the game is over, you may find yourself trapped in said garages praying that the line of SUVs in front of you will move forward this time around. And after that, you still have to deal with regular Seattle traffic. And…if there’s a Sounders game happening at the same time, forget about it. Honestly, it’s faster (and much cheaper) to travel by rail.  

If you’re a mobile person—not all of us are—I suggest taking Link light rail to the Stadium station and walking the rest of the way. Depending on your speed, it’s a 5-to-10-minute walk. Confused as to where to go? Just follow the excited fans as they parade across up and over the train tracks then down a quick flight of stairs; you’ll be deposited at the center field gates where you can either hang a left up the stairs or take a right and enter The ‘Pen (more on The ‘Pen later). Or you can cross 4th and then turn left, wrap around the south end of the stadium, and enter via the stairs at home plate, where you’ll be deposited right into the action. 

If you feel like pregaming offsite, get off the light rail at the International District/Chinatown station, head to Lumen Field, then keep going along Occidental Avenue South. There, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, and street vendors serving food and beer cheaper than what’s inside the park. And if you really really want to pregame, get off the light rail at the Pioneer Square station and pub crawl through the neighborhood on your way South to SoDo.  

Where to Sit at T-Mobile Park💺

📸: Courtesy T-Mobile Park

Everybody has their preferences. An acquaintance once told me that there are three realities for Mariners games:  

  1. If you want the full experience of being “at a ball game,” stick to the Main Level (the first deck).  
  2. If you want to watch a baseball game closely—calling all statistics nerds!—your best bet is the first row of the View Level (the third deck).  
  3. If you want to have drinks with friends while a baseball game also happens, head directly to The ‘Pen, the huge lower-deck bar area in center field along the bullpen where the pitchers warm up. Beer, batch cocktails, and mixed drinks flow in this area, plus Edgar’s Cantina, a standing-room bar that gets crowded real quickly. I will say: People can get a little territorial in The ‘Pen, so make sure you don’t accidentally take somebody’s hard-won spot along the rail.  

My three seating preferences:  

  • 115-119 along the first-base line. The seats in the back of these sections are affordable, usually shaded, and close to the game but far enough away from the loud, truly die-hard M’s fans who will have very strong feelings about every single pitch and hit. Also, the views of the city are excellent.  
  • The left field bleachers (especially 181-184) are much closer to the action than you think, and the camaraderie is off the charts.  
  • If you’re not huge into crowds and have extra cash to spare, consider the Club Level (the second deck), which is private, has more comfortable seats, and has way fewer humans aimlessly walking around blocking your path. If you want mixed drinks but don’t feel up to braving The ‘Pen and you want to snack on those birria tortas at the Edgar’s stand in 212, this is your best bet. 

And if you can’t get enough of center fielder Julio Ródriguez and want to be part of the “No Fly Zone,” consider choosing the J-ROD Squad, a general seating, separately ticketed, affordable section out in center field (102-104).  

What to Eat at T-Mobile Park 🦀

📸: Courtesy T-Mobile Park

A jalapeno ballpark hotdog at T-Mobile Park during the Mariners 2024 season.

At this point, you know what general sports arena food is like. Burgers, hot dogs, pretzels, pizza, peanuts, an entire helmet full of nachos, etc., which you can find at most stands. And then there are local mainstays like Ivar’s and Kidd Valley, plus delicious offerings like the Way Back Crab Shack crab fries, the poke bowl at Catch, and the Sound Seafood shrimp basket. If you just gotta have Moto Pizza (new addition? Crab pizza!), head up the stairs to 314. It’s hard to miss the stand; just look for the incredibly long line wrapped around the third deck, but if you brave said line, you will be rewarded for your efforts and be the envy of your fellow seatmates.  

What about T-Mobile’s other foodstuffs? Here are a few new menu items for the 2024 season: 

  • Baseball’s best soft serve at Mister Softee (106, 118, 185, 214, 329, 340) 
  • The Smokin’ Hot Cheddar Bratwurst at Hempler’s Sausage (132, 142, 329) 
  • Tater tots, tofu tots, and frosé slushies at Marination (the ’Pen) 
  • Katsu curry rice and the curry donuts at Tamari Bar (133) 
  • House-smoked pork ribs at Holy Smoke BBQ (105, 304) 
  • The crispy chicken cutlet sandwich at Chick Chick Boom (106) 
  • A number of new items at the Walk-Off Markets (105, 126, 141) 

As for drinking? Here’s a list of offerings. Go nuts. I like the Cryo Stash at the Hop Valley stand in left field, and I’ll never turn down a cold, canned Modelo from the stand underneath the “Edgar’s” sign

And if you’d prefer a restaurant setting, the Hit It Here Café in right field boasts excellent sightlines, indoor and outdoor options, table service, and the only place in the stadium where you can get chicken wings. And if you’ve got that moola, consider renting out the whole place! 

How to Get a Giveaway at T-Mobile Park 🎁

📸: Courtesy T-Mobile Park

A group of people in Pearl Jam Mariners jerseys.

Do you like free swag? T-Mobile has got you covered. They come in two forms. 

  • Giveaways: Show up early and grab collector’s items, such as player bobbleheads, special event shirts, and holiday items. These giveaways are limited to a certain number of patrons, often as few as the first 10,000 to arrive for a space that holds just under 48k people, so if you’re a collector, build in some extra time. And not every stadium entrance houses the goods, so head to the main entrance behind home plate, line notwithstanding. 
  • Special Ticket Offers: These online-only offerings are usually matched to special nights, such as Star Wars Night, college nights, and a number of heritage events. Not only will you get a special discounted ticket price, but you’ll also snag special items (usually a T-shirt) that isn’t offered to normies and walkups; just go to the assigned section in the ballpark and pick up your booty. And depending on the event (e.g. Bark at the Park, Little League days), you might be able to walk the bases or along the warning track before or after the game. 

How to Get a Flex Pass at T-Mobile Park 💵

📸: Courtesy T-Mobile Park

Two Mariners fans cheers during Oktoberfest at T-Mobile Park.

Do you plan on going to over a dozen games but don’t want to pay top dollar for an entire season and get stuck in one seat the whole time? Consider the Flex Pass (instructions and prices here), which is like a bank account or a college meal plan but for baseball. It allows you to choose whatever games you want in whatever seats at whatever price up to and during each and every game. It also allows refunds up to 24 hours in advance, something you can’t get à la carte. I’m signed in at the lowest level, and as a result I still get season ticket holder perks like special entrances, ticket and merchandise discounts, special presale offers, and a Mariners representative. Most importantly, I can move around the stadium on a game-to-game basis and explore all that T-Mobile Park has to offer. And when September rolls around, I have enough left over in my account to splurge on some high-class seats for me and my friends as we close out the regular season. 

How to Save Money at T-Mobile Park 💵

📸: Courtesy T-Mobile Park

A family looks at T-Mobile Park during a tour.
  • The center field bleachers are always under $20. You will be seated right in front of the Jumbotron, and you might get a lot of direct sunlight, so consider what you need to feel comfortable. 
  • Come to a Value Game, which are most Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday games. Prices may still fluctuate depending on how good of a section/seat you want, but at base level the tickets are $10 for View and Bleachers, $20 for Main, and $30 for Club.  
  • Bring your own food and drink in. Inside clear bags only. Make sure to read the official rules (right here), but the short version is they allow small packaged foods, sealed water bottles up to 32 ounces, and one empty, reusable, plastic bottle no greater than 32 ounces. I like to bring my own sunflower seeds for the back half of the game.  
  • Behold the ever-trusted value menu, which includes some standard ballpark fare, plus things like churros, Red Ropes, Rice Crispy Treats, little ice cream sandwiches that’ll remind you of summer camp, and j-j-j-jumbo pickles. Also, value beers

And don’t forget, go M’s


Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.

City Guides

More City Guides