SoxFest 2020 is in the books and well, I’d say overall it was a success. People seemed to be really into it and the regulars that I know seemed to have done pretty well autograph wise. But nothing’s perfect, so I made some notes and here’s some things that the Sox can change for SoxFest 2021.
Bigger room or less shit.
When you walked into Soxfest it looked HUGE. Really HUGE. Which it was, till you started moving around. They said pre-fest that there would be staging areas for the 2nd guy signing in front of the stage to keep the line moving and keep the waiters out of the way. But what happens is when you have a Frank Thomas signing 3rd or later, folks wanna get that, so they line up as soon as the day starts till they get that autograph band. So all these lines are forming outside of the areas where you think they should be contained. Tough part is, I have no idea how to end this without taking the line staging out of the main room.
Folks, no one should have to dodge people in a space as large as McCormick Place. It was something I heard from the Sox folks all weekend. It was cramped, and it shouldn’t have been. So that would be the biggest thing to change.
In previous years having stuff in different locations was pretty awesome. I didn’t know this ’til we were all in the same room. It was really damn cool to have drinks and listen to the panels at the same time, that was a major improvement. It would be nice to have an entire ballroom for just the bar and the seminars. So can we do that? And from what I can tell most guys are there to either ‘graph or watch seminars. So let’s just split them up. On to the next one…
Include a bobble option on the weekend pass.
In previous years, when you purchased a hotel room, you got weekend passes at a discounted rate plus you got a SoxFest Bobblehead for each pass you bought. This year they eliminated the hotel packages so we were pretty confused as to how they would handle the bobblehead (if they did do one). The Sox announced that they would give out a bobblehead to the attendees of “Breakfast With The Sox”. It was $75 or $85 to go to that, details were sparse. When the breakfast was announced they still hadn’t announced the MVP package, which ended up getting a bobblehead too. And at $300+, you better get a bobble. Ha.
Post Breakfast (which was fun if you like meeting players!) two 108 fans gave me their extra bobbleheads. So I walked around with them on Saturday and man, I was asked about those the entire day. It’s crazy how limited this was, 160 at the breakfast and 300 MVP passes. So maybe 500 made it into people’s hands at SoxFest. I am sure they could get many more into the fan’s hands by offering them for purchase when you buy your pass. My idea is too add in an option to purchase one (or multiples) per weekend pass for an extra $25 – $35 each. Let White Sox Charities produce it and sell it. It just makes sense!
Donation Based Autographs
This is one that I am sure the old heads will get upset about, but as I age, getting in line hours early, and waiting for extended periods, I’d rather just toss out a couple bucks and get the autos that I want. Kansas City does it like that. So does Milwaukee. Money raised goes to the player’s charity (or we can do Sox Charities) and you cut the lines down considerably (IMO).
You can have alumni signing for cheap, but when it comes down to the big guys, maybe you charge $20. And with two days, you can only get them once. It’s still significantly cheaper than a private signing, but it will keep away the riff raff and then you don’t have to camp out to get an auto.
Years ago, in Huntington Beach, we’d get the AVP tour every summer. A couple times it lined up with the White Sox coming out to play the Angels, so my pops would fly out for the weekend. It was on a public beach so usually the events are free, but they ended up selling tickets one year, $20 for a 2 day pass. It made the event less crowded and more enjoyable for the fans there. It was great.
We can take it one step further. Aloha Mr. Hand went to the ASG Festivities in Cleveland last year. He basically pre-bought all his autos and they sent the info to your phone with a QR code. No wristbands to slip on and off. Or cover up with a sweatshirt. We can get with the times, sell them weeks before. Easy peasy.
Yup. This idea was proposed to me by someone I really respect. I volunteered the 108 instantly. How fucking dope would it be to listen to a (maybe live) podcast with us 3 making Dylan Cease use a refurbished Super Jock to try and kick field goals while we ask him questions about Daniel Palka? The answer is PRETTY FUCKING DOPE. We’ve never been the type to sit down and interview players, but I think I can talk the boys into it if we can have beer there and a bottle of Malort for guests.
How fucking fun would it be to see Chorizy-E take a goddamn shot of Malort with every guest on that opening night of SoxFest? And you know we’d sneak in some followers masked as our “Producers” and “Editors” shit like that. Plus Wally $ and Uncle Rico would be behind us asking to get shit signed. It’d be a a fucking riot.
(Your Awesome Idea Here)
Yup. Have at it. You’re smart, you support this event, tell us what you think should be changed! Respond to the tweet, leave a comment on FB, or even make a comment on this post. Just make your change known!
Remember though, I will fully rip apart your idea if it sucks, just as you are free to do to mine. Have at it and get ready for some Spring Training baseball action!
Remember, all our t-shirts are ON SALE for only $15. Yep, $15. $5 to ship and whatta deal for only $20 shipped to your house. PLUS, I throw in a buncha stuff in your order that will make you laugh and maybe cry.