It’s that time of year again. SoxFest (AKA the unofficial beginning of the season) takes place this weekend at a new location: McCormick Place. The hours range from 4-10 PM on Friday, January 24th and 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, January 25th. Needless to say, White Sox fans are beyond excited. Unfortunately, they cut off Sunday this year, but I never really went to that anyways.
Things to Know:
The link below contains the SoxFest schedule:
Here is the layout of the floor plan:
There are positives and negatives of the move to McCormick Place. One benefit is that the lines won’t be completely looped around the entire floor since there is much more space. However, having it at the Hilton in the South Loop allowed people staying for the weekend to simply head downstairs to get in line for autographs/seminars. I guess that gives me an advantage, as I will be coming from Lincoln Park, so frankly, I don’t care. However, it does affect those coming from out of town, so I feel for them.
Now, I am not a huge autograph guy. I basically get in two or three lines and get a picture signed for my apartment. That’s about it. I like going to the garage sale and getting discounted memorabilia and grabbing some old cards. Yes, the professional autograph seekers try to ruin the experience, and then you have those people with ten bats, a bucket of MLB baseballs, and 400 pictures. Woof. To each his/her own, I guess.
I think one of the best parts of SoxFest is the White Sox Town Hall, moderated by the one and only Jason Benetti. He hosts Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Rick Hahn in the seminar. The most wonderful feature of this event is when they open the floor to questions from the audience. It’s like experiencing every meathead radio-caller from 670, The Score. “Ay, why isn’t Engel starting? He can jump for fly balls?” I may be one of these meatheads this weekend. I need to think of a complete nonsensical take, so I am remembered, though.
That said, the best experience of SoxFest is grabbing a beer with your buddies and talking shop with other fans. I can’t stress this enough. It’s like going to Section 108 to talk trades, signings, beers, and why Chris Beck is your favorite player. I think I may be the only one who has done that last part.
Anyways, go to SoxFest and enjoy meeting players and members of the organization. Don’t be a jerk. Let a kid get an autograph before you if you’re older than 18. Finally, have a beer, and settle down. This is the most excited I’ve been for a White Sox season in a while. I look forward to seeing everyone this weekend, and if you’re going to the Soxfest Afterparty sponsored by Sox Machine and Section 108, I’ll see you there!