FanFest is this Sunday and can be a lot of fun but it can also be a huge headache. Last year was marred by rain that forced everyone into the tight concourses and the weather may be just as wet this year. To help you navigate FanFest and get the most out of your day, here are some tips.
Skip the clubhouse tour. Unless you’ve never been inside a MLB clubhouse, this attraction is a massive time killer. The line is always long and very slow moving and will take a good chunk of your day away from you. If you’ve never done the tour before, you should probably do it once just to see it but don’t repeat this one.
Check out the press box. This tour is fun because you can sit in Fosse’s chair or do your best Ken Korach impression (or Bill King if you’re a little nostalgic). The wait is usually minimal and you can walk through pretty quickly. Last year they had a volunteer usher from an A’s historical society who was lovely to chat with for a few minutes.
Don’t plan on autographs or pictures. The lines for these events are very unpredictable. Two years ago, in an attempt to have my picture taken with Ray Fosse and the World Series trophies, I watched two players cycle through the photo booth before I finally made it to the front. Autograph sessions can be much the same. If you want to do these, just plan on waiting in line and don’t get your hopes up on a specific player.
Keep your eyes open.
Standing in line for a hot dog last year, Bob Melvin walked right past me and I was able to snag Chip Hale in the concourse for an autograph (I had his player card from back in the day). They usually won’t stop for you, because they’re running from one event to another, but you can usually get a wave and a smile or snap a quick picture as they pass.
Check out the Q&A sessions. If you really want to get to know the players and coaches, you should really sit through as many of the sessions as possible. This is a great chance to see your favorite players at their most relaxed and engaging and to meet the army of new players we have on the team.
Spot me and Jason. Take a good look at our Twitter pictures because you’re going to want to spot us in the crowds! As I wrote before, if you snap a picture of a Swingin’ A’s writer and hashtag it with #FanFestStalker you’ll be entered to win a T-Shirt with our amazing new logo. Also, if you pose with us or at least show us the tweet, we’ll give you some cool stickers right there at the ballpark.
Below you will find a full schedule and map of the event as well as more details about our contest. Remember, this is the unofficial start to A’s baseball so FanFest should be fun but it’s crowded and wet so be prepared for some grumpy folks (we’re looking at you, Jennifer Trumpp). I, for one, can’t wait to see everyone and to meet a lot of new people! See you at FanFest!!!