I attended the annual AT&T Park media open house for one obvious reason: you get to sample each new ballpark food option, and the restaurants are trying to put their best foot forward. It’s a great way to gain 3-4 pounds in a span of an hour.
Other than new condo buildings popping up every month, the area around AT&T looks about the same. Maybe a little more polished along that walkway, across the water from the right field wall, but generally the Giants know they have a good thing going and don’t need to mess with it too much. Same goes for inside the stadium. We have the same kind of giveaways as always, the same kind of theme days as always, with slight tweaks (not sure there was a Game of Thrones day last year, but I could be mistaken).
Fans of the 49ers and Giants will dig this bobblehead. 49ers/A’s fans (and there are many), not so much… pic.twitter.com/nfdhWYs68B
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) March 29, 2017
The replies to this tweet weren’t as kind as I was expecting. Not only were A’s fans annoyed, but many responded with jokes about the Joe Montana’s facial features. Making bobbleheads is a thankless job, I’ll tell ya. People expect a perfect likeness from people tasked with making plastic sculptures, when the person who made this bronze bust of Christiano Ronaldo couldn’t even come close.
the ronaldo bust looks like a forgotten kennedy who didn’t go into politics bc he committed too many minor crimes pic.twitter.com/sWL82EXLCm
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) March 29, 2017
That being said, the Montana bobblehead does remind someone of an ’80s sitcom star, whether it’s Garry Schandling, Paul Reiser or an older version of Mike Seaver. But Joe was quintessential ’80s, so is that really such a bad thing? At least there’s a pronounced cleft in his chin.
The only really noteworthy difference that was announced for this season was a new ticket offering for April called +1 Ballpark Pass. It’s not new to baseball, but it’s new to the Giants.
“This new limited quantity SRO Ticket opportunity is being tested during the month of April to appeal to the Giants younger fan demographic — the millennials. For $99, this pass offers access to the ballpark for the purchaser and a guest to each April home game, excluding Opening Day, but including the two exhibition games against the Athletics on 3/30 & 3/31. The +1 Ballpark Pass is designed to be convenient — just having to activate your pass for the games you want to attend and then flashing your mobile tickets at the gate. Fans have an opportunity to upgrade to a seat after entering the ballpark and will receive notifications including exclusive discounts/sponsor efforts and +1 group meet up locations during the game. Current pass holders will have the first right to purchase the next month’s pass.
This isn’t exclusive to the Giants, as it appears that MLB is looking for new ways to attract those danged millennial creatures. The Jays did it in 2014 and 2015, the A’s tested it in July 2015 and May 2016, and several teams are doing it this month (the White Sox have a similar deal, $39 for one person) or the full season (the Cardinals are doing it for $29.99 per month with an auto renewal feature).
After having a kid and moving out of the city, this pass makes no sense for me. But I would’ve loved this offer during my pre-kid/pre-media years, when I lived near Alamo Square and worked in a downtown office building. The ability to finish work and stroll from Market and 4th to AT&T, where I’d spend the next few hours walking around with a beer in my hand (or sitting in an open seat in the bleachers) would’ve been a mid-20s DREAM. Makes me nostalgic just thinking about it. The days when bleacher seats would be discounted the same dollar amount as Tim Lincecum strikeouts a few days earlier were fine indeed.
If you’re interested in the chance to attend 15 games for $99, well, these passes are hard to find. Apparently they’re using targeted marketing to find the right audience for these tickets (which are in limited supply), and I’ve been informed that it’s a Facebook ad. So I did some sleuthing, found the ad, which led to this page on the Giants website. I couldn’t find it on the team’s website through a simple search, or via Google search, so it sounds like Facebook is the target audience.