My Guide to KNBR/Giants FanFest 2010

Just to let you know, I do not work for the Giants, I am just a fan.
Oops. I just realized I accidentally deleted the whole first part of this blog for FanFest and I can’t remember what it used to say. Basically, I wrote a super long guide to KNBR/Giants FanFest that probably has tons more info than you actually need. If you don’t want all this info and would prefer just basic information, I suggest you visit the Giants’ official FanFest webpage or KNBR’s official FanFest webpage. Otherwise, read on! 🙂
Please comment on here, tweet me, send me an email, write me on Facebook or whatever if you have any additional questions about FanFest, more information about FanFest, stories about your experience with FanFest, or corrections to what I have written. My information is pretty limited as I have not yet done everything there is to do at FanFest, but I’ll try my best with what I do know about. 🙂
First of all, if you are not a season ticket holder and you enjoy meeting players, getting pictures with (or of) them, getting autographs from them, and hearing them talk about themselves, (and if you don’t mind crowds), then this will probably be THE best experience you’ll have the whole year!
Now, some general information: The 2010 KNBR/Giants FanFest well be held on February 6, 2010 at 24 Willie Mays Plaza (the ballpark) from 10 AM – 3 PM. The Willie Mays and Lefty O’Doul entrances are the ones that are open. The Giants ask for a suggested donation of $2 for the Giants Community Fund, but you don’t have to give it. FanFest is completely free and open to anyone, and everything at FanFest is free (except for the food and merchandise, obviously). All photos, autographs and tours are completely free and available to ALL fans! 🙂

Players who are scheduled to attend FanFest this year:

Jeremy Affeldt
Larry Baer
Vida Blue
Bruce Bochy
John Bowker
Renel Brooks-Moon
Madison Bumgarner
Emmanuel Burriss
Matt Cain
Orlando Cepeda
Will Clark
Mark DeRosa
Shawon Dunston
Kevin Frandsen
Mark Gardner
Roberto Kelly
Duane Kuiper
Mike Krukow
Mark Gardner
Erwin Higueros
Alex Hinshaw
Aubrey Huff
Tim Flannery
Tito Fuentes
Tim Lincecum
Brandon Medders
Hensley Meulens
Bill Neukom
Buster Posey
Dave Righetti
Ryan Rohlinger
Sergio Romo
Dan Runzler
Brian Sabean
Jonathan Sanchez
Pablo Sandoval
Nate Schierholtz
Lon Simmons
J.T. Snow
Andres Torres
Eugenio Velez
Eli Whiteside
Brian Wilson
Ron Wotus
Barry Zito
This year’s map of FanFest (click to enlarge):
fanfest_map_lg.gif
Back of map from last year:
KNBR/Giants FanFest 2009 map back
Getting there:
If you live in the city or can access BART or Caltrain, public transit is an excellent option to get to the ballpark and saves gas. 🙂 You can search for the best way to get there at the 511 Trip Planner site. If you wish to drive instead, that is actually quite convenient also as the Giants are providing free parking in Lot A for FanFest. The ballpark gates open at 10 AM, but I would recommend getting there earlier (around 9:30 AM, or if you’re crazy like
my friends and I are, then even earlier!) Also, single game ticket sales will begin at 9 AM at the ticket windows on King St, so you might want to keep that in mind. Last year, there was a little table with food on it that fans standing in line were welcome to take from. If I remember correctly, there was cantaloupe, honeydew, hot chocolate, whipped cream and other good stuff. Lou Seal even came by to say hello! There were also other great crazy Giants fans in line, of course, so don’t worry about being bored if you get there early because there’s plenty to do. There will be lots of other crazy people like you that you can meet and talk to about the Giants. 🙂 There’s definitely nothing wrong with getting there at 10 AM or later, but if you’re interested in anything that requires standing in line or standing/sitting in front of a stage, then you obviously won’t get as good of a spot. One of my friends is planning to get there at 6:30 AM, but she’ll probably be the only one there. I’m planning to get there at around 7 AM, but there will probably only be a handful of us there at that time. You definitely don’t need to get there as early as us.
Autograph booth:
From the KNBR FanFest page:

Player Autograph Station Rules

-Please do not cut in lines; first come, first served. One autograph per player, no photos.
-Standing in line does not guarantee you an autograph. Players and coaches will be moving from station to station and if a player’s time expires before you are able to get an autograph, you may stay in line and wait for the next player(s) to arrive. That player will be signing at the point where the previous player(s) stopped.
-All appearances are subject to change.
-If we experience inclement weather, certain autograph areas will be relocated and/or cancelled.

Last year, pretty much all I did the whole day was stand in line getting autographs. It was actually fun! I got to talk to some knowledgeable Giants fans and even got lucky and got a beautiful autograph from Randy Johnson. Here’s how it was set up: There were 5 autograph booths (you can see their locations on the map – one was for kids only). Each booth had three or four Giants people at it. These included current and former players & coaches, minor leaguers, and even the Spanish language broadcasters. The players had nametags and there was a fairly large sign next to each booth that displayed the names of the players signing at that particular booth. The players stayed in the same group for the most part and had a kind of “rotation” between booths. There was a set schedule – could someone who’s been before and remembers help me out here? I think it was every hour at the 50-minute mark the players would stop signing, get up, and move to their next booth. Another group would arrive and start signing 10 minutes later at the top of the hour. It wasn’t literally a “rotation” though, because there didn’t seem to be a set order and some players would leave or enter groups. I don’t think the security guards or players knew which table they were going to next – someone would just come and escort them to their next booth. You would stand in line, and when you got to the front you would be able to get one autograph from each player at the table. Technically, photographs were not allowed, but many players would take a picture with you if you asked. I think it is definitely worth it to ask for a picture because it is very hard to get pictures with some of them any other time (even at photo day). The autograph lines were pretty long – I think some were longer than others. I wish I could remember better, but I think it probably took about an hour to get through the entire line. Because of the rotations, it made it near impossible to choose whose autograph you were going to get. Pretty much the only thing you could be guaranteed was that when you got in line, whoever was signing at the front was probably NOT going to be signing for you.

The strategy I used to get the most autographs was to find one autograph line, stick with it (I chose the Build-a-Bear one), and just keep running to the back of the line after I got an autograph. It was actually kind of exciting not knowing who the players would be by the time I got to the front of the line. If you keep moving to other autograph booths it wastes time and then you might end up with the same people you already got. During one player rotation, the players sitting at the tables were Tito Fuentes, Erwin Higueros, Alex Hinshaw, and I think someone else I don’t remember. I didn’t particularly care to have any of those autographs, and neither did a lot of people standing in line near me. When we got near the front of the line, we decided to let people who wanted these people’s autographs cut in front of us so that we could wait for the next rotation and possibly get better players in the next group. This ended up working great, as Randy Johnson and Pablo Sandoval were two of the players in the next group, but I must admit I kind of felt bad. A lot of fans noticed what we were doing and copied us, and it must have been pretty obvious to the players signing what was going on – tons of people in line just standing there, letting other fans go through….. :/ Oh well.

I think the Kids-Only autograph booth only gets one player at a time – and last year their first player was Tim Lincecum!

Photo booth:
I’ve never stood in line for the photo booth, but I’m pretty sure it’s similar to the autograph booth. However, I think there are only one or two players at the photo booth as opposed to three or four at an autograph booth. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to take pictures with one or both of the players. I’m pretty sure you can’t ask these players for autographs because it would probably take too long.

Self-guided tours:
In 2007 and 2008 I went on the self-guided tour of the Giants clubhouse, which was extremely crowded but totally worth it. Looking at this year’s map, it looks like they aren’t offering one…. :/ Well, I hope they do because it was great! You start out in the media tunnel under the field club level, and as you walk through the Giants clubhouse you can walk past the weight room and batting cage and take a peek inside. Then you exit through the Giants dugout and onto the field. It’s really cool to see what the clubhouse is like and to see what it’s like to sit or walk around in the dugout. There’s also a press box tour.

KNBR stage:

Every year at FanFest, KNBR has a big stage where they do live interviews with players that are broadcast on KNBR. I’ve never stuck around to listen to these interviews because I’m always busy running around doing other things, but it seems pretty interesting. There’s usually a huge crowd gathered around the stage watching. Most of the time, these interviews are also being shown on the big scoreboard. A couple of years ago, the KNBR stage was located on the club level, but this year it will be on the field around the home plate area.

Q&A stage:

There is also always a Q&A stage where a group of players will sit on a stage and a moderator will take questions from the audience for them to answer. I’ve listened to a couple of these and they are really fun. When I’ve seen it, they aren’t active throughout the whole day but have players come at certain times that are listed on a sign in front of the stage. I don’t think you’re supposed to ask for autographs from these players but people always do, and I think they’ve signed for me before.


Tweetup/ballpark tour (new this year!):
Click here to learn more!

More info from the KNBR FanFest page:

Fan Fest Show Schedule:

KNBR Broadcast Stage (Home plate)

10a-11a              Damon Bruce & Mychael Urban
11a-12p              Murph & Mac
12a-1p                Gary Radnich
1p-2p                  Bob Fitzgerald and Rod Brooks
2p-3p                  Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert

Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria Q&A Stage (3rd base line, Club Level)

10a-11a              Murph & Mac
11a-12p              Damon Bruce
12p-1p                Mychael Urban
1p-2p                  Ray Woodson
2p-3p                  Dan Dibley

Extra Innings Stage   (Marina Gate)

11a-12p              Dan Dibley w/Giants player
12p-1p                Marty Lurie w/Giants player
1p-2p                  Lou Seal with children’s entertainers
2p                      Take Me Out to the Ball Game Auditions
hosted by Ray Woodson

Hits For Haiti

NEW this year at FanFest, the Visitor’s Batting Cages will be open from 10:30am – 2:30pm! For $25 you can take cuts like a big leaguer, and all proceeds benefit UNICEF for the earthquake disaster in Haiti. Space is limited, to register, go to the KNBR booth in Willie Mays Plaza starting at 9am on event day.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame Tryouts

You have the chance to lead Giants fans signing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th Inning Stretch when the Giants take on the Phillies April 27th ! But you have to audition first! Take Me Out Auditions will take place at 2pm on the Extra Innings Stage at FanFest. Sign-ups will begin at Noon at the KNBR table next to the Extra Innings Stage (the first 20 people to sign up will be taken). The show starts at 2pm sharp! 

Miscellaneous:

It’s kind of neat to just walk around the ballpark because sometimes you’ll run into players being escorted to their next destination. Merchandise stands and concession stands are open on all levels, and on the club level there are some really cool display cases you can look at also. There’s also apparently a “highlight theater” but I have no idea what that is. Individual game tickets for the regular season go on sale at 9 AM (an hour before FanFest starts) at the ticket windows outside the ballpark on King St as well as the ticket windows on the Promenade Level. There’s also a kids zone in the area behind center field (underneath the scoreboard) but I have no idea what that’s like either. If you’re interested in learning more about the San Jose Giants, they will have a special booth in the field club lounge – more info can be found about that here. OK, that’s about all I can think of for now. I hope you found it helpful! I’ll leave you with some photos I have of FanFest from previous years.


Edit: 12/31/2009 – I’ve (attempted to) come up with a way to organize Giants fans on Twitter who are going to FanFest. Read about it here.

My photos albums from FanFest (click to see more):
2009 – autograph booths and the KNBR stage
2008 – self-guided clubhouse tour and an autograph booth
2007 – self-guided clubhouse tour, press box tour, an autograph booth, the KNBR stage, and a Q&A stage

SF Giants FanFest commercial
KNBR FanFest promo

Giants FanFest video from SFGiants.com

Really cool video made by a couple of fans who went to FanFest in 2009! 🙂
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