The San Francisco Giants held their annual Media Day at AT&T Park, the mid-day celebration of new food items, promotional giveaways and all the glorious ways the team plans on seamlessly integrating your ballpark experience with corporate brand messaging.
Well, there may be a seam or two.
When senior vice president Mario Alioto’s presentation touched on the team’s corporate partnerships, he mentioned how as a part of their extended partnership with Yahoo, in 2014 fans will hear the “Yahoo Yodel” after each Giants home run.
After the presentation, Alioto assured me that the foghorn isn’t going anywhere. The yodel is just an addition. However, Alioto wasn’t sure about when we’d hear each post-homer sound; whether fans would hear the foghorn first and then the yodel, or the yodel first and then the foghorn. He told me the yodel wasn’t exactly new, either. He wasn’t 100% sure, but he thought the yodel was played when the batter touched home plate back when they had a similar arrangement with Yahoo during the Candlestick days.
So, we can probably get ready for a big “YaaaHOOO … OOO … OOO” when Buster Posey or any other Giants slugger lands on home plate after a dinger. The Giants hit just 44 home runs at AT&T Park last year, so we’ll see if Yahoo gets their money’s worth in 2014.
Most of the talk today was about premium editions and the organic garden, which (for now) will be called “The Garden.” There garden will include “edible plants,” including herbs fans can pick and place on their pizzas and flatbreads. That’s the plan now, anyway.
AT&T Park’s “sod farm” will be a part of the garden, so fans literally be able watch grass grow if they wish … along with the game, through “knotholes” in the centerfield wall. The batting cage will be a part of the scenery as well.
Here’s where the garden will be located. The Giants say construction should be completed in mid-May.
I got a couple questions about AT&T Park’s famous avocado tree, an accidental addition that has called the area behind the centerfield wall home since 2003. It’s not there now (as you can see), but I’ve been told it is still around and will be replanted somewhere in the area. In other words, they will incorporate the first organic fruit-bearing plant at AT&T Park in the organic garden, but for now there are no specifics as to how or where.
The end of the tour (where the food was) took the media to the Gotham Club, which includes a two-lane bowling alley, a pool table and four classic video games: Tetris, Mario Bros., Golden Tee and sit-down Ms. Pac Man.
Other “premium seating” options include The Dockers Deck (in the Fan Lot in front of the giant glove), Anchor Suite (formerly Oracle Luxury Suite #61), Candlestick Suite (in the arches right below the right field foul pole), and the Press Club (next to the press box, seats 30 people). Also, the Nick Peters Media Interview Room was moved next to the main entrance of the Giants clubhouse.
As for the food, unfortunately they didn’t use any of my ideas on ways to compete with Chase Field’s $25 D-Bat Dog. No 18-inch Sushirrito, no manhole cover-sized It’s-Its, no growlers of Pliny. Most of the new items are pretty close to what we’ve seen at AT&T Park before — different kinds of deli sandwiches and hot dogs, tamales and mini-tacos. The fried pickle chips (pictured below) were pretty good, and while I didn’t get to try the caramel apple fries because the Giants were filming some online feature in front of that stand, they looked like something that’ll be worth a try.