ANAHEIM -- The start time for the Mariners' game against the Royals on on Saturday, April 30, at Safeco Field has been moved from 6:10 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. PT, the club announced on Friday.
The Mariners are expecting a crowd of about 40,000 for the game against the defending World Series champs, which also is a Nelson Cruz bobblehead night. And with the viaduct closed and a 1 p.m. Sounders game being held that same afternoon at the adjacent Century Link Stadium, the club felt it best to move the game time back an hour to reduce congestion.
"We felt it was in the best interest of our fans to have as much separation as possible between the two events," said Joe Myhra, vice president of ballpark operations.
Mariners president Kevin Mather said the move just made sense to alleviate the traffic situation.
"Soccer fans will need to disperse, parking spaces need to be opened up and a number of streets and lanes will have to reverse from outgoing to incoming before our fans can reach the stadium district," Mather said. "We thought it best to give our fans another hour to arrive and let the area open up a little, rather than forcing our fans into a gridlock situation. This time change will assist the police and traffic control officers."
The game is the fifth of a six-game homestand that opens with a three-game set against the Astros on Monday and concludes with the Royals in town for the weekend series.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.