SEATTLE - The Seattle Mariners not only racked up a losing baseball season in 2008, they lost $4.5 million as well.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, citing documents the team filed Monday with the Public Facilities District, reports it's the first such loss for the team since moving into Safeco Field in 1999.

The Mariners lost 101 games and drew 2.3 million fans last year. That was the worst home attendance since the team moved to Safeco. The last time Seattle drew 3 million fans was in 2003.

The Mariners had a $120 million major league player payroll in 2008, up from $113 million in 2007, when the club reported a $17.8 million profit.

In a statement, team president Chuck Armstrong calls 2008 a "disappointing year for our fans and our organization" but says fan interest has been "enthusiastic as we work hard to build the team for 2009 and future seasons."

Individual game tickets go on sale online and at team outlets Saturday.

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