Safeco a-buzz in final days of regular season

Safeco a-buzz in final days of regular season

SEATTLE -- On Saturday night, Safeco Field attendance passed the 2 million mark for the season for the first time since 2010 as fans continued getting behind the club's first winning season since 2009.

The crowds were alive and well during the team's push for the postseason, with 32,716 fans waving towels and getting loud throughout Saturday's 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Angels.

"That was absolutely electric," said Brad Miller, who scored the game's winning run. "This is so much fun being out there."

Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen said that several members of the bullpen picked up towels and were waving them along with the throng.

"That was awesome," Wilhelmsen said. "Awesome. We get to see the whole park going. We had to be part of it."

With another 40,823 going through the turnstiles on Sunday, when the Mariners were eliminated from contention following the A's win despite their own 4-1 victory, the Mariners finished with 2,063,622 fans for the season, with an average attendance of 25,477, a 17 percent increase from last season, the largest gain of any team in the Majors.

Seattle led Major League Baseball in attendance for several years in the early 2000s and drew more than 3 million from 2000 through 2003, including a franchise-record 3,540,482 in 2002, an average of 43,710 per game.

The numbers dwindled the past decade as the team struggled, but after hitting a low of 1,723,301 (average 21,275) in 2012, the numbers climbed a little bit last season (average 21,749) and took a bigger jump in 2014 as the team got in contention.

"It's been great," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "It's nice to see."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.