When I moved to Chicago ten years ago, one of the first things I did was register with the Chicago Cubs to get on the waitlist for season tickets. Having been a huge baseball fan and player when growing up in Philadelphia (and even on the "unofficial" JV team at Penn for a season), it's been a dream of mine for the past decade to get season tickets to arguably the most historic and cursed team in baseball -- within probably the best stadium ever built to watch the game itself (for everything else, Wrigley stinks, I'll admit). After a decade of waiting, the Cubs sent me a package saying our waiting list number was up and that we had to buy our seats or lose our spot on the list.
On a chilly Saturday morning in late January, I jogged over to Wrigley (AKA, the "friendly confines) -- about a 20-minute stroll from our office -- to pick out what remained of season ticket seats. After being told by a Cubs ticket spokesman in his lecture to the 50 or so people at our afternoon session before we were allowed on the field to select our seats that all that remained were bleacher seats -- i.e., no guarantee of a seat as they are unreserved by seat and only guarantee admission -- and upper deck seats at the edges of the outfield lines, I was dismayed.
But the good news is that I was first in line to select seats. I jogged slowly around the stadium, dodging construction scaffolding and ice to the upper deck area on the first base side. Surprisingly, I found four seats in an upper deck box just in the outfield past first base. They're actually a great vantage point to follow the game closely, if that's your thing.
Of course when I got home and told my better half (and the company CEO/CFO) about the cost of the 81 games, she had a fit. But secretly, I know she had encouraged me to go -- I had actually forgotten that Saturday was the day to go pick out the seats and she sent me an email reminder that morning -- and I'm sure that they'll more than pay dividends overtime from a social and work perspective.
But we're not just interested in showing those that we know and already work with what Wrigley is about. We'd like to extend a broader invitation to technology and solution providers to come enjoy a Cubs game at Wrigley this summer, on us. In fact, we'd like to tie in the work/play angle by having briefings and product demonstrations in our office first before heading over the field. Next Friday, I'll post a list of available dates this spring and summer for "Briefings and Baseball," as we'll call it (likely 15-20 in total). It will be first come, first serve. We'll aim for most to be in the afternoon to allow for morning fly-ins with enough time to catch a flight out at night for those who don't want to stick around and enjoy the Chicago summer.
Our thinking is for 1:20 starts that we'll meet in our offices around 12:00 PM for a one-hour briefing/demonstration with providers and then head to the games just after 1:00 to catch the first pitch (or second). And for a few night games we'll put out on the table for folks, we'll likely meet at our offices at 5:45 PM for briefings and then head over to the games around 6:45 PM. Note, for clients we're doing video work with, these dates are also a great opportunity to conduct taping sessions in our office. Granted, we might get there just as the first pitch is being thrown across home plate. But after all, now we won't need to worry about on time because we'll be seeing an awful lot of pitches this year. And kicking back and enjoying watching our favorite sport, with old friends and new.
Check back next Friday for the list of available dates. We'll post at 7:00 AM CT. It will be first come, first serve (aside from the caveat below with existing sponsors). Each provider will only be able to reserve a single date, ideally with two people in attendance.
When you respond, please send:
- First choice (date)
- Second choice (date)
- Third choice (date)
- Number of folks attending (2 is ideal)
- Whether or not you will need hotel accommodations (we can send a list of recommended hotels closer to the date)
We'll attempt to match as many folks on the first choice dates as possible, but will provide date preference to our existing sponsors to thank them for their support.
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago and at Wrigley this spring/summer! And remember, check back at 7:00 AM CT next Friday for the available dates and times before dropping us an email.