The Orioles made their official announcement about Fanfest this year and some underlying details pertaining to the event. The doors will open at 10:00 A.M. for season ticket holders, 11:00 A.M. for the general public, and will run until about 6 P.M.
Fanfest, as usual, will include clinics, exhibits, interactive games, memorabilia sales, forums, and more. With another giant setup coming in the Baltimore Convention Center, there is sure to be a lot to do for fans of all ages.
The main change to Fanfest in 2011 as opposed to past years is the new autograph policy put in place. Here it is:
The Orioles will introduce a new autograph policy for FanFest in 2011 designed to shorten wait times, avoid fan disappointment and support youth charitable endeavors through OriolesREACH. Children ages 4-14 will have a specially designated Kids Only player autograph station presented by ESSKAY that is free of charge and will operate continuously throughout the day. All other ESSKAY autograph stations at FanFest will require the advance purchase of autograph vouchers. The vouchers will be available at www.orioles.com for $15 each, with all of the proceeds to benefit children’s charities through OriolesREACH. Vouchers will go on sale next Saturday, January 15, at 10:00 a.m. There will be 250 vouchers available for each autograph session, guaranteeing each fan who purchases a voucher for a particular session an autograph from each of the 3-4 players at the station. More information on this new policy, including a list of players signing at each paid autograph session, will be released next week. This information will also be posted at the team website, www.orioles.com.
So other than that new policy, Fanfest should be the same exciting gathering as it has been in the past, with appearances not just by current and former Orioles, but by all of the new faces in the organization, both players and coaches.
For children, the greatest part of this day may be the clinics and games taking place. The Orioles set up a miniature baseball diamond with seating (for parents) where kids can play and be taught by trained professionals different aspects of the game of baseball. And to all those not young enough to participate, fans can look forward to the sale of a multitude of Orioles used gear along with many private memorabilia dealers in attendance.
An exciting feature to jumpstart the 2011 season at Fanfest will be the opening of sales for individual game tickets for the upcoming season. Fans can purchase tickets for any (non-Opening Day) game at Fanfest, and the box office will also be open at the north end of the warehouse along with in the Orioles team store in the York Galleria.
Tickets for Fanfest, on the other hand, go on sale starting this Saturday (January 8th) at 10:00 A.M. by phone or the Orioles website. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 14 and adults over 55 (or free for season ticket holders). Parking will be available free of charge in Lot B/C.