For the next 25 years, I guess.
Naming Rights are one of those things in sports that I’m vehemently against, but also something that doesn’t really move my outrage needle all that much. It is what it is. These people – in this case, the Seattle Mariners, but really it’s every professional team and most every major college – want to maximize their earnings in any way they can. Why baseball hasn’t gotten into the habit of putting ads right on the uniforms like they do in other sports is beyond me. Feels like it’s only a matter of time, I suppose.
Like, what am I going to do, NOT watch the Mariners? (is that an option, by the way? Because you could probably talk me into it). Of all the things the Mariners have done throughout the years that should’ve had me jumping SO HARD off the bandwagon, naming their stadium after an over-priced and underwhelming cellular carrier is pretty low on the list.
I used to go with T-Mobile. For the longest time, I was on my mom’s family plan, where it makes sense, because the more people you have attached to the same account, the better the value. But, when I had to become an adult (at a shamefully late age, I might add, just a few short years ago) and get my own plan, I decided to stick with them because it was easy. My iPhone was already attached to T-Mobile, I wasn’t ready to upgrade phones just yet, so I figured I’d give it a year and see how it went.
I quickly realized that for my specific needs, having “unlimited data” is pointless. About 98% of my life is spent in places with wifi, so I almost immediately changed to one of their cheaper plans with data limits. That proved to be WELL more than enough data than I’d ever need in any given month (really, I probably could’ve managed a full calendar year on the smallest monthly data plans they were offering), but it was still north of $75 or $80 per month.
For someone with no social life, who isn’t glued to his phone every minute of every day (because I’m not a fucking teenager), this was outrageous.
I switched to Boost Mobile, I now pay $35 a month for slightly more data (but still not unlimited, because fuck that), and I haven’t noticed one iota of a difference in coverage.
The point of all this is that T-Mobile is a stupid waste of money, and nothing they could offer would get me to switch back to them. So, on that level, I don’t like the deal.
I also don’t care for the name. T-Mobile Park. I dunno, I liked it when it was called Safeco Field because I like that “Field” over “Park”. It feels more basebally. More retro. Fields are for athletes, parks are for the masses, and I generally loathe the masses. Dumb kids with their dopey parties, fanatical runners in their dopey garb, animals shitting all over the place with their dopey owners placing it in bags they have to carry around the rest of the outing. That’s what you find in parks! Fields are clean, manicured, there to serve a purpose.
7 MLB stadia have the Field moniker now that Safeco is no more; whereas 15 now have Park somewhere in their names, with the inclusion of this new T-Mobile deal. It’s less special, more part of the crowd. The Mariners’ stadium is one of the best in all of baseball, it deserves to have a name that reflects its greatness.
Plus, like, what do we call it? Just calling it Safeco, or The Safe, was fine. Now, I gotta ask my friends if they want to go to the game at T-Mobile? T-Mo? “I’ll meet you at the Left Field Gates outside T-Mo!” Gonna take some getting used to.
I guess that’s the crux of it. These name changes always take some getting used to. I almost NEVER complain about CenturyLink anymore (though I still refuse to call it the Clink and none of you can make me). But, I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to the fact that Magenta TOTALLY clashes with every possible Mariners uniform color combo. Magenta & Teal? Burn my eyes out this very second!
Probably my biggest concern is how they’re offering special deals for T-Mobile users. Does that mean people who DON’T have T-Mobile are gonna get screwed? Are they going to fuck with my reception at the game? For the last year or so, I’ve been enjoying the Mariners’ wifi during games; am I going to have limited Internet access because I’m not suckling at the T-Mobile teets? I guess we’ll see.
Regardless, there’s been nothing but one shitty Mariners story after another this off-season. While I absolutely agree with the direction they’re taking with the on-field talent, it’s still disappointing to know we’re still MORE years away from contending. It’s disappointing to have people speculate about racist management. It’s disappointing that various sexual harassment allegations were paid off and swept under the rug. It’s DREADFULLY disappointing to come to the realization that Felix Hernandez is never going to see a playoff game in a Mariners uniform.
So, dressing up this T-Mobile deal as some wonderful boon to the fans is at best disingenuous. This isn’t good news for Mariners fans; this is good news for the Mariners’ management, who get to add however many millions of dollars to their pockets, while adding however many more millions of dollars to their pockets from King County for ongoing maintenance costs. The rich keep getting richer, and you know who keeps getting poorer?
The fans, of course.