Even though I have been under the weather for the past few days, I couldn’t stand to miss the first ever offseason Dodgers Fan Fest. Not only was the Fan Fest coincidently on my birthday (it really stinks being sick on your birthday by the way), but it was the first Fan Fest hosted by the new owners.
The rain cleared, and it turned out to be quite a beautiful day in Los Angeles. In fact, I dare say it got a bit warm at times. Even though I was happy to see Dodger Stadium for the first time in the new year, I was quite a bit disappointed with the event.
The Dodgers estimated that over 21,000 fans attended Fan Fest today. It was certainly crowded. We arrived at around 1 p.m., which was about two hours after the gates opened to the general public, and the first thing we saw was a humongous line for autographs. We began to walk to the back of the line, after all I had brought a fresh new baseball and also my A.J. Ellis rookie card in hopes of getting a couple of signatures. Right away we were told that they were just about done handing out the autograph wristbands. A whole day of autograph scheduling, and only the first arrivals within those two first hours could get autographs. My husband and I brought our two young daughters, and my six-year old was disappointed that we would not be seeing her favorite Dodger A.J. Ellis after all.
They should have guaranteed the children under 14 an autograph wristband. If the Dodgers are working to make Dodger Stadium a more family-friendly destination, they need to think of the youngest fans first. That being said, the area they had for the Fan Fest was very small and crowded. It was virtually impossible to push our stroller with my youngest child through the area. When I enjoyed Viva Los Dodgers during the previous season, it was much more of a low-key and fun experience. I realize that this was a free event. I’m thankful that the Dodgers put together things like this for the fans, but the autograph mess was a letdown.
That being said, it’s looking like the fans will be flocking back to Dodger Stadium with new hope for 2013 and beyond.
I also got a glimpse of the ongoing construction happening at Dodger Stadium. Cement trucks were whizzing around, new signage waiting to be hoisted into place, and building materials were stacked all around. I must admit it makes me a bit nervous that it won’t all get done by Opening Day, but I’m very excited to see the results.
Did you make it to Fan Fest? Score any autographs? Let us know in the comments!