When it comes to connecting with a fan base, nothing in professional sports helps more than winning a title. The proof is in the overwhelming turnout to the San Francisco Giants' annual FanFest on Saturday.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants were forced to turn away fans, likely thousands, seeking entry to AT&T Park after reaching near capacity within minutes of opening their doors.
From Baggarly's Extra Baggs blog:
Just three minutes after 11 a.m., when the stadium opened to the general public, the Giants sent out the following Tweet: “UPDATE: Due to extremely long lines & nearing capacity for #SFGFest, fans who have not left yet should stay home -Thank You”
Some 43 minutes after that report, the Giants suspended all entry into the ballpark.
I could be wrong, but this seems like an unprecedented occurrence as far as baseball fan fests go. Maybe not so much the part where they reached capacity and closed the doors early, but doing so literally minutes after opening to the general public, and then having to relay a message kindly asking fans to stay home?
Now we'll have to await official word from the Giants on attendance figures. I have to admit, I can't help but wonder if the number of fans who stayed home when they were planning on going would top the 16,839 who attended the Pittsburgh Pirates fan fest last weekend. And that was their highest attendance since 2003.