Entertainment • Culture • Sports

MLB All-Star FanFest: A Rookie's Perspective

August 16, 2011

By Sarah Zeilstra

This year saw the 21st installment of MLB’s All Star FanFest; for me, it was my first…a Rookie!

There was a sprinkling of us rookies among the veterans, some who have returned year after year to a host of different cities across North America….all to bring the MLB FanFest experience to thousands of baseball fans of all ages.

This year: destination Phoenix, Arizona; an unexpectedly small downtown core consisting mostly of commuters from the surrounding suburbs. Though that wasn’t any gauge or indication on the crowds the MLB All Star FanFest would draw. They came in droves and took full advantage of the interactive modules and all that MLB offered at FanFest.

A day in the life of a technical supervisor began with our 6:45 am ‘Driver Dan’s’ bus ride to the convention centre for our 7:00 am meeting. Here we received our daily install jobs, binders of information and radios….then it was off down to the tool truck in the loading bay to collect tools and ladders. 7:50 am outside to meet our crew for the day.

8:00 am to 5:00 pm was spent supervising the crew installing flats, risers, cages, and graphics that transformed into walls, stages, and booths of the modules, each with a specific purpose for the baseball fan soon to be attending. Some modules were interactive where fans could test out their batting practice, be challenged at their pitching skills or practice their fielding. Other modules were information based which illustrated the amazing historical aspects of the game.

Our evenings were the occasional meal out, or trip to the grocery store but mostly they were spent by the pool, relaxing, chatting to fellow crew and the occasional water badminton tournament played with a beach ball!

There are many great things I will remember from my experience at FanFest…..trying to learn Euchre from quick and nimble experts, our trip to Target that became a race back to the hotel in an effort to keep ahead of the sandstorm, a tsunami of sand that was fast approaching Phoenix! Playing Golf in a 120 degree heat in the desert, and spending lunchtimes watching a slideshow of photos from the previous days…….But the most memorable of all has to be the last day of strike and the craziest renditions of British accents on radio!

As for winning Rookie of the Year….what an honour as I was among such stellar fellow rookies. I would like to think it was because I did the job well, got on great with everyone and held my own as one of the guys but I have a sneaky suspicion it was more to do with my British accent!

I feel very privileged to have worked with such a brilliant crew, managed by a great company who over 20 years have perfected the art of production managing such a large scale event with an even bigger impact on its audience.

Fan Event - MLB All-Star FanFest


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