SAN FRANCISCO -- One could suggest that the Giants borrowed the concept of the Otis Redding classic, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," with the goal of helping the KNBR FanFest run smoothly. The club's 2012 World Series trophy, along with its 2010 counterpart and other symbols of victory, will be on display adjacent to San Francisco Bay -- at Pier 48, just beyond McCovey Cove -- when the 20th FanFest is held on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Instead of watching the tide roll away, as Redding crooned, fans inevitably will be drawn to the Trophy Pavilion to take pictures of themselves with the World Series hardware. The twin mementoes will be on display alongside trophies celebrating the Giants' National League title; the winner of the upcoming World Baseball Classic's final rounds, which will be held in March at AT&T Park; and the America's Cup championship.
Mindful of the throng exceeding 40,000 that caused extreme pedestrian congestion inside the ballpark at the 2011 FanFest, event organizers needed an attraction to ease the crush of humanity caused by long lines at autograph booths. Given the trophy tour's considerable popularity, Giants officials believe that the Trophy Pavilion's potential allure can distribute the density of visitors more evenly than before.
"We anticipate a lot of people parking [which is free in Lot A] and then going to the Trophy Pavilion, either as they head into the park or on the way out," Giants senior vice president of communications Staci Slaughter said Friday. "Hopefully that will relieve some of the pressure that we've had in previous years."
Slaughter recalled that at FanFest two years ago, as the Giants were coming off their first World Series triumph since the franchise moved West, the championship trophy was displayed in Triples Alley, which wasn't far enough away from other attractions to prevent bottlenecks of people from forming.
The Giants coped with last year's estimated crowd of 36,000 by reconfiguring the FanFest layout to keep concourses relatively free of activities and open to foot traffic. Moving some autograph lines to the field also created space.
Since long lines and extended waiting periods are again expected for players and coaches signing autographs, Slaughter recommended FanFest's other attractions. Those include live question-and-answer sessions with players; a large Giants memorabilia display; KNBR's live broadcast and player interviews, which are easily witnessed in the seats behind home plate; a makeshift theater featuring movies and highlights from the 2012 season; Kids Zone play areas; self-guided tours of the Giants' clubhouse and press box; and the opportunity to walk or play catch on the field and purchase 2013 single-game tickets.
Admission to FanFest, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT, is free, though attendees are encouraged to make a donation to the Giants Community Fund as they enter the ballpark.
Uniformed personnel tentatively scheduled to attend FanFest include players Jeremy Affeldt, Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco, Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla, Brandon Crawford, George Kontos, Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, Jose Mijares, Nick Noonan, Francisco Peguero, Hunter Pence, Yusmeiro Petit, Brett Pill, Buster Posey, Sergio Romo, Dan Runzler, Hector Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Eric Surkamp, Andres Torres, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito; manager Bruce Bochy; and coaches Tim Flannery, Mark Gardner, Roberto Kelly, Joe Lefebvre, Hensley Meulens, Dave Righetti and Ron Wotus.