Results tagged ‘ Arctic Tailgate ’
You may be preparing by gathering your tent, blankets, grill, bags toss, etc., but have you already picked out your games?
You don’t want to have been waiting all winter for this chance and then be out in the cold, waiting in the line only to freeze when you get up to the ticket window—like Ralphie in front of Santa in A Christmas Story—when the sales staff asks you, “And what games would you like to attend this season?”
Never fear. Here’s the Cait’s Notes version to some of the best games -promo-wise- on the 2012 Schedule. [Fans buying online at brewers.com or via phone at (414) 902-4000, you’ll want to pay attention, too!]
My first tip? In case you haven’t heard, our Brewers 4-Packs have returned for a limited time only. Now through tomorrow, Wednesday, February 22, fans can choose from five different 4-Pack plans and thus secure tickets to some of the best games before they go on sale to the general public on Saturday. Most of the plans include an All-Fan Giveaway date (one includes two!) and all five plans include at least one Gold or Marquee Game at regular game pricing, adding additional value to the packages, which start at just $64. For more information on these 4-Packs, bebop on over to brewers.com/4packs and get yours NOW!
Okay, so here we go. Print this out, study it hard and you’ll be ready this Saturday, February 25 at 9am when individual tickets go on sale to the general public, in person at the Miller Park Box office, online or by phone.
The most popular game of the season is always Opening Day. This year, the Crew opens up at home on Friday, April 6 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. And it’s this hot ticket that drives so many fans to our Arctic Tailgate party, as the Miller Park Box Office will be the only place where fans will be able to purchase individual Opening Day tickets on February 25; no phone or online orders will be accepted. However, there are only a very limited number of tickets for Opening Day that will be available at this event and each fan will be limited to a maximum of four tickets for Opening Day, based on availability.
Cait’s Notes: Hedge your bets. Purchase a Brewers 10-Pack instead, starting at just $160 and you’ll get 10 of the best games of the season, perks like regular pricing on Gold and Marquee Games, a guaranteed seat location and more ticket exchange options, plus Opening Day for FREE. Yes, you read that right—a free Opening Day ticket, plus more Brewers Baseball in 2012. And you don’t even have to wait until Saturday. Brewers 10-Packs are on sale now at brewers.com/10packs.
ALL-FAN BOBBLEHEAD GIVEAWAY DATES:
This season, six All-Fan Bobblehead Giveaways highlight the excitement at Miller Park.
1. Sunday, April 22 Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies: Jonathan Lucroy Bobblehead, compliments of Kwik Trip [Cait’s Notes: This game is included in the Double Bobble 4-Pack!]
2. Sunday, May 13 Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs: Yovani Gallardo Bobblehead, compliments of Robert Haack Diamonds [Cait’s Notes: This is Mother’s Day! What mom doesn't love Yovani Gallardo? Grab an extra ticket for her while you're at it. Boom. Mother’s Day shopping, done! Next!]
3. Sunday, June 10 vs. San Diego Padres: Nyjer Morgan Bobblehead, compliments of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board [Cait's Notes: This game is included in the Weekend Plus 4-Pack!]
4. Sunday, July 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Italian Racing Sausage Bobble, compliments of Klement’s Sausage [Cait’s Notes: This is also Italian Heritage Day and the Brewers will wear special uniform tops. This game is also included in the Double Bobble 4-Pack!]
5. Sunday, July 29 vs. Washington Nationals: Bob Uecker Bobblehead, compliments of Time Warner Cable [Cait's Notes: This game is included in the Coast to Coast 4-Pack!]
6. Sunday, September 16 vs. New York Mets: Aramis Ramirez Bobblehead, compliments of Wild Impact Marketing [Cait's Notes: This game is included in the Matinee 4-Pack!]
5-COUNTY, 5-DAY CELEBRATION:
The ever-popular 5-County, 5-Day Celebration will take place from April 17-21 this season (Brewers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, April 17-19; and Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies, April 20-21). During this time, all residents of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties can purchase tickets at a 50% savings on all reserved seats (excluding the Miller Lite Beerpen, All-Inclusive Areas and the $1 Uecker Seats). Grab your tickets early!
This year, the Brewers Spring Madness celebration falls May 21-23 against the San Francisco Giants. All seats regularly priced at $38 and less will be available at a savings of 50% (excluding the All-Inclusive Areas and $1 Uecker Seats), leaving you with more money to spend on small Pepsi products and Klement’s hot dogs which will be just $1 each for these three games.
MILLER HIGH LIFE MONDAYS:
Speaking of great deals… Fans can purchase Terrace Reserved seats for just $8, courtesy of Miller High Life for all Monday home games (except Marquee Games).
Still can’t get enough of the ball and glove logo? Then make sure you get your tickets for the last home Friday game of every month (April 20 vs. Colorado Rockies, May 18 vs. Minnesota Twins, June 29 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, July 27 vs. Washington Nationals, August 31 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates and September 28 vs. Houston Astros). And, if you’re making plans to come out for Retro Fridays, why not sit in the Miller Lite Beerpen and get a free t-shirt?
For each Friday home game, all fans 21 and older can be part of the Miller Lite Beerpen in the Right Field Loge Bleachers. Tickets are $22 and include a Brewers t-shirt and special entertainment in the Miller Lite Beerpen. Offer excludes Opening Day. Tickets for the May 11 and May 18 games are $30.
KIDS AND SENIOR CITIZENS DISCOUNT DAYS:
For weekday afternoon Brewers games, kids 14 and under and seniors 60 and over receive up to a 50% savings on all seats except for Bernie’s Terrace and the $1 Uecker Seats. Offer excludes Marquee Games.
KIDS AUTOGRAPH SATURDAYS:
Speaking of kids…you’ll also want to bring kids 14 and under out for Kids Autograph Saturdays this season: April 21 vs. Colorado Rockies, May 19 vs. Minnesota Twins, June 9 vs. San Diego Padres, July 14 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates and August 18 vs. Philadelphia Phillies. [Cait's Notes: The July 14 game is included in the Weekend Plus 4-Pack!]
ANNUAL TRIBUTE EVENTS:
Two other popular tribute events, Cerveceros Day (June 2 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates) and Negro Leagues Tribute Night (July 28 vs. Washington Nationals) are slated to return this season as well. Snap up your tickets early to these popular games!
So, there you have it. The Cait’s Notes guide to the 2012 Promo Schedule and Individual Ticket On-Sale!
Pitchers and catchers (and John!) reported to camp in Arizona this weekend, position players are scheduled to report on Friday, and this Saturday, it’s YOUR turn to report to Miller Park for the Brewers Arctic Tailgate as individual tickets go on sale at 9am!
This is the sixth year that the “Arctic Tailgate” party will mark the start of individual ticket sales and over the years, in spite of February usually being a cold, cruel month here, it’s become quite the Milwaukee tradition with some fans camping out days in advance (Note: For rules and guidelines, please see safety regulations below).
The Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages, Bernie Brewer and Brewers alumni players are always on hand to greet the fans and the first 2,000 fans in line receive a hot dog and soda, compliments of Klement’s, Pepsi and Sportservice, as well as an Arctic Tailgate t-shirt.
The hearty crowd, recalling past Opening Days that have been snowed out, or perhaps used to tailgating before Packers games at the Frozen Tundra, is not at all fazed by temperatures in single digits, snow, or swirling winds.
Indeed. Like the USPS quote, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays” these faithful fans from getting their hands on the hottest tickets before anyone else.
Many fans do it for the tradition and fun—it’s just like your typical pregame tailgate in the middle of July, with games of bags, brats on the grill, and cold beer (okay, maybe a little colder than normal)— but many also do it for the limited number of tickets for Opening Day that will be available at this event.
That’s right. The Miller Park Box Office will be the only place where fans will be able to purchase individual Opening Day tickets on February 25; no phone or online orders will be accepted. Each fan will be limited to a maximum of four tickets for Opening Day, based on availability.
Over the years, when I haven’t been down in Arizona during the event, I’ve been to Arctic Tailgate and I’ve talked with and interviewed fans, but I’ve always been there in the daytime, the day before the event; stopping by briefly the evening before; or working during the event on Saturday morning.
This year, I’ve decided to do something just a bit outside my comfort zone—I’m going to spend the night at Miller Park!
Now there have certainly been many late nights here at the office after games and I’ve camped out on the field before for our Field of Sweet Dreams event, but never in February. To be honest, I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to the cold, but I want to get the true experience that I’m helping promote to fans (plus it’s been the warmest February on record, so I figure now is the best time to do this!).
So, with that being said—if you’re at the event, look for me! I will be roaming around, taking photos, interviewing fans and live blogging from Arctic Tailgate. I might even have some surprises for fans as well!
Of course, if you don’t want to brave the cold, you can always live vicariously through me by following along here online and then get your tickets and parking at brewers.com or by phone at (414) 902-4000 beginning at 9am on Saturday.
The Miller Park Box Office will be open until 5 pm that day. Normal Box Office hours are 9 am – 7 pm Monday – Friday (beginning Monday, February 27), 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday and 11 am – 5 pm on Sunday.
For full details on the Arctic Tailgate event, click here.
Who should I look for on Friday night/Saturday morning?
Please note the following safety regulations for the Arctic Tailgate. Participants will not be permitted to set camp prior to noon on Thursday, February 23. No hand-made or hand-built shelters shall be permitted. No shelters made of cardboard or wood shall be permitted. Shelters with a footprint greater than 100 square feet are not permitted unless otherwise approved by the Brewers. Miller Park power sources are not available for public use and gas generators are not permitted on the property. Only State-Approved gas/propane heating/grilling units with fuel-valve turn-offs and self-contained charcoal/wood units are permitted; provided, however, that they must be a minimum distance of 25 feet from the building or shelters. Activity and items permitted on the premises are subject to the approval of the Brewers. The Brewers reserve the right to remove any shelter, items, or individuals from the property.
Earlier this month, John gave you a glimpse into his offseason life and now it’s my turn to give you one into mine.
First of all, I would argue that the offseason is actually a busier time than during the season in my world.
Yes, that’s right—offseason, schmoffseason!
In my role as Senior Manager of Advertising & Marketing, my job responsibilities include: leading and initiating all general market advertising and marketing projects; serving as the internal lead for social media strategy sessions; initiating brainstorming sessions to discuss concepts for upcoming and current Consumer Marketing projects; evaluating and researching new Club opportunities, promotions and marketing initiatives; preparing proposals, drafting contracts and writing sales, marketing and evaluation reports; and of, course, co-authoring this blog!
Our Consumer Marketing Department, headed up by Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Jim Bathey, is comprised of Ticket Sales (Season Tickets, Group Tickets, Suite Sales, and Ticket Operations) and Marketing/Advertising. Under that umbrella, we have an internal creative team, led by my boss, Kathy Schwab, Senior Director of Marketing, that works to produce all of the advertisements and collateral. In sum, the easiest way to tell you what we do is to say that basically anything that you, the consumer, sees has most likely passed our desks in some way, shape, or form.
While I don’t physically design the look (we’ve got Sr. Graphic Designer Jeff Harding and Graphic Designer Molly Arndt to thank for that!), I have a hand in most projects from a creative concepting and copywriting standpoint to scheduling the workflow and making sure our deadlines are met.
Here are just a few of the things that help keep us out of trouble from November through March:
DEPARTMENTAL MEETINGS: Our internal creative team operates like its own creative agency, serving our “clients,” or the other departments within our organization. At the end of the season, we like to sit down with each department individually to discuss their creative needs for the upcoming year so we can begin to think about new ideas, get their projects on a calendar and budget our time accordingly. We meet with everyone from Brewers Enterprises and Community Relations to Accounting and Stadium Operations to make sure that we are ready to help them produce any materials that they might need.
SEASON SEAT HOLDER RENEWAL PACKET: Our first big offseason project is always the Season Seat Holder Renewal Packet. After the season ends, our Season Seat Holders have the first priority to renew their seats for the following season. Putting this packet together means reflecting on the previous season, gathering the new schedule and pricing charts for the upcoming season and updating any new benefit information. Coming off of such a special 2011 Season, we wanted to do something extra special for our Season Seat Holders, so they each received this commemorative 8×10 collage as part of their packet this year:
HOLIDAY 4-PACKS: When the baseball season lasts until nearly Halloween, it’s easy for the rest of the holiday season to sneak up on you. That’s why we have to work ahead in order to be ready to launch our campaign for our ever-popular Holiday 4-Packs. Typically, these packages go on sale about two weeks before Thanksgiving. This year they are available until December 20. Our marketing team works hard to develop a fully-integrated campaign that includes direct mail and print, online, outdoor, radio and TV advertising.
CLUBHOUSE SALE: We’re also charged with advertising our Brewers Clubhouse Sale, which, coincidentally, takes place this Friday and Saturday in the Visitors’ Clubhouse here at Miller Park. You’ll definitely want to check back on Thursday, as John and I are planning on posting our annual Clubhouse Sale Preview!
NEW SEASON TICKET PACKAGES: After renewals and the holiday season, we shift our focus to selling our new season ticket packages. Again, we create advertising campaigns and sales collateral to support these efforts.
BREWERS ON DECK: In January, we’ve got our annual winter fan fest, Brewers On Deck to look forward to. This year, Brewers On Deck takes place on Sunday, January 29 from 10am to 5pm at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Typically, our department will work on the advertising for this event and our outside agency, 2-Story Creative, steps in to assist with all of the banners, signage and decor for the event itself.
SPRING TRAINING & TV COMMERCIALS: Just when the weather in Wisconsin is at its nastiest, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to hop on a plane to Arizona where we work with the players to gather most of what we’ll need for our 2012 in-season advertising efforts. We try to limit our asks of the players once the season begins so that they can focus their efforts on the field; that means that we capture a lot of images—and shoot our TV commercials (with the help of 2-Story Creative)—before our Spring Training games even begin.
INDIVIDUAL ON-SALE (ARCTIC TAILGATE): We return from sunny Arizona to the Arctic…Tailgate, that is. As you know, the Arctic Tailgate, the date our individual tickets go on sale to the public, usually takes place in February. What does that mean for marketing? We have to produce the advertising around the event and create collateral pieces—the most important being the much-anticipated pocket schedule. Usually by that time of year, we’ll have most of our promotions set in place and then we can print our pocket schedules and get them in the hands, wallets and purses of eagerly-awaiting Brewers fans. For the next six months, that pocket schedule will also inadvertently serve as my day planner.
YOUR TICKETS, PARKING PASSES, ETC.: If you’re a Season Seat Holder, you know that the day your tickets arrive in the mail is a very special day. [I always think of this scene in the movie Fever Pitch and imagine many of our Brewers fans react the same way.] Well, did you ever think of the people behind those tickets? The ones who design them, print them, and make sure that your precise number of tickets with your exact seat location get delivered to you—along with your parking books and/or NYCE Club membership? All of those items in your packet have to be produced and that’s what we spend a lot of time on in February and March, making sure everyone is set for Opening Day.
Which brings us to… the start of the new season!
Eek! We’ve got a ton to accomplish in just 129 days! I better wrap this up.
Greetings from my desk in cold, snowy Milwaukee!
As I noted in an earlier post, I was down in Arizona last week for the filming of our 2011 TV commercials. We wrapped up our shoot on Thursday evening and I left warm and sunny Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, getting home just in time for our Brewers Arctic Tailgate event.
Hearty Brewers fans were camping out when I swung by the ballpark on my way home from the airport last night, waiting anxiously to purchase individual game tickets, which went on sale at 9am this morning.
[The first 2,000 fans received a free t-shirt, Klement's hot dog and a Pepsi. Plus, they also received special one-day only ticket offers that weren't available anywhere else. If you missed out on the event, you can still purchase tickets and guarantee your place in the crowd to the best games this season, by calling our Box Office at (414) 902-4000, or logging on to brewers.com.]
So, yeah! Individual tickets are on sale now, Spring Training games start on Monday… Brewers Baseball will be back in Milwaukee before you know it!
Look for our spots to debut during the first games of the season, beginning with Opening Day in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 31.
And, while I can’t give away what this year’s spots are going to be about, I can tell you that they will have the same type of theme as last year’s spots and we’re bringing some new guys into the mix, including closer John Axford.
On Thursday, John showed up on set to star in one of the spots, but he could have just as easily been directing them if life had taken him down a different path.
That’s because John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Film in 2005 and even began attending Canisius College to start working on his Master’s of Science in Sports Administration before he signed with the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 and began his career in professional baseball.
What’s John doing? You will have to wait until our spots air this season to find out!
As we waited for the crew from Icarus Films and the representatives from our agency, 2-Story Creative, to set up between shots, John told me all about his film classes at Notre Dame.
“I did a 16-milimeter black-and-white film my junior year,” he said. “I still have the hard copy with all of the edits and cuts and everything, because the way we cut it was actually the old-school way. We actually cut the film and taped it together. We didn’t do it digitally. That came later. It was only 12 minutes long, maybe a little less. We got 400 feet of film, which is about 11 minutes and you had a partner, so each person had their own roll.”
“It was pretty cool, the old Steenbeck machine, you had to get the rolls on there and line them up and press play and then fast forward it through and stop it on a certain part where you wanted it. You go frame-by-frame and then cut it and bring in the other roll, hold it down flat and tape it. I really I liked it,” he continued.
When I asked what the film was about, John said, “It’s rather depressing. That’s what I found out about myself while doing film classes. I like the depressing, dark movies. Mine was essentially about spousal neglect and suicide.”
And it is true, he does gravitate toward the darker films–most of John’s favorite movies in recent years have been heavier foreign films and films such as Children of Men and the Oscar-nominated Black Swan.
“I really like open-ended movies,” he said. “Black Swan, I absolutely loved. I would like for that to win Best Picture, but I know it won’t. Just because it is artistic and dark, that is what I would want to win I guess.”
When it comes to music, John also gravitates toward the dark, heavier side of the spectrum.
“I listen to almost anything, but mostly hard rock, something a little heavier. I really got into hard rock by listening to Brazilian metal, John said. “Now, I have branched out a lot further. It used to be just metal, but now it is pretty much everything,” John said.
Speaking of music, one of the only Brewers players who is active in social media, John is currently letting his fans select his entrance song for 2011 on his Facebook Page.
“There are 15 songs for fans to vote on,” John said.
“There are eight newer songs because everyone uses older rock–songs by AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and stuff like that–so I wanted to add some new stuff and try something different. There are also a lot of older songs on there, like Rush and Led Zeppelin. I also included Omen, a metal band– everyone kept telling me I needed to have them because they have a song called ‘The Axeman’.”
“Then I have a couple of theme songs…I have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme song, which I thought would be fun. There is also a song people will recognize from Kill Bill, but it is actually from a western from the ’60s. I also added some fun ones and some songs that were used last year for me, just to see what people think.”
For the complete list, and/or to vote, click here.
John was a good sport during our shoot and interview, as I donned a prop from our spot that may or may not make the final cut…
The tall, mustached right-hander was extremely easy-going and fun to talk to on the set and, although his movie and film choices may be dark, he was nice as can be and his future only looks bright.
This will be a big season for John, on and off the field. Not only will John star in one of our spots this year, but he and his wife, Nicole, are also expecting a baby boy this June.
“We’re very excited.” John said.
John also has his own bobble head, sponsored by Palermo’s Pizza/ Piggly Wiggly on Sunday, April 24 when the Brewers take on the Houston Astros at 1:10pm.
“I just saw pictures of it and it looks really, really cool,” John said.
This is one bobble you’ll want to make sure you add to your ‘stache! Individual tickets went on sale today, so you can get tickets for John Axford Bobble Head Day now!
I enjoyed talking to John and I just know that the spot he’s in will turn out great, as will the other spots we shot this week. Stay tuned, boys and girls–we’re “closing” in on baseball season!
If you’re not familiar with it, Field of Sweet Dreams, presented by Copps, Pick ‘n Save and Kemps, is a giant slumber party for 350Brewers fans of all ages, put on by Brewers Enterprises. You get to set up your tent on the field, watch the game and a movie on the video board, play games, enjoy great food and more. Last year was the first year of the event and it was a smashing success. Being in the Consumer Marketing department, I helped promote the event, so I thought I should see for myself what it is really like. I asked Sarah Chmiel, Manager of Brewers Enterprises and Queen of the Field of Sweet Dreams, if she’d be open to my covering the event for John and Cait…Plus 9. She was all for it.
In fact, when I told my husband, Brian what I was planning on doing, he laughed. Then, when he realized I was serious, he laughed even harder. And, since we don’t own a tent (Did I mention, I am not a camper?), I had to ask our next-door neighbors and good friends, Tim and Jana, if they had a tent that I could borrow. They asked who it was for and when I told them it was for me, they also laughed. However, I will say that when I explained what I’d be using the tent for and the premise of the event, they thought it was a very cool thing and hooked me up with an Eddie Bauer Backpacking Sport Dome Tent. Perfect, I thought. A Sport Dome Tent for my night in a sports dome.
Those alternatives simply would not do. I wanted the full Field of Sweet Dreams fan experience. Also, I didn’t like the fact that he was implying that he didn’t think I could do this on my own.
“Okay, well, I am not coming down there to bring you anything you’ve forgotten or to help you set up that tent then,” he said.
So, I went on my merry way, leaving Brian to his own devices for the night (no doubt pizza delivery, the Brewers game and season six of Entourage on DVD).
Yep. Sure thing-I will get right on that.A lady and her children walked by, “How’d you get stuck setting up the tent?” she called.
Nope, it really was just me. So, when one of the directions read, “With a person at each front corner of the tent, flex the fiberglass poles into an upward position, forming two arches,” I looked around.
I decided to channel my inner Girl Scout. Yes, I was a Girl Scout and before you ask, no, we didn’t go on many camping trips; and the ones we did take did not involve tents, thank you very much.
Since I’d worked up quite the appetite setting up my tent, I headed up the steps to the Field Level Concourse where a smorgasbord featuring BBQ pulled chicken, Italian beef, hot dogs, baked beans, salad, corn on the cob, chips, pickles, brownies and beverages awaited me and the other hungry campers.Many fans were engrossed in the Brewers game, which was being shown on the video board and piped over the sound system. Below the video board, personalized scoreboard messages ran in a loop.
He had heard about the event too late last year, so he made sure to get his tickets early this year. They were having a great time, hanging out and watching the game when I checked in with them.
When I caught up with Jessica and Luther Himsel and their children, Elijah and Ruby, they had just returned to their tent after a jaunt at the Associated Bank Kids Zone.
Following the game, fans were treated to Shrek the Third on the video board and had the chance to grab some “midnight snacks,” of nachos, chicken tenders, ice cream, popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jack and candy.
Note: I do not want this little vignette to discourage anyone from taking part in next year’s event; I take full responsibility for what I am about to disclose to you.
And that’s when I noticed that the flap for the tent’s “side room” wasn’t fully closed. Using my hand, I tried to do my best imitation of Ryan Braun in our TV spot (where he swats the fly into the wall with his hand and the tag reads “Ryan Braun. Yeah, the guy can hit.”). Well, clearly, this girl can’t hit, so I grabbed the notepad I had been using to jot notes for this post and began taking some stronger cuts, trying to move the bugs in the direction of the open vent. After about ten minutes or so, I was tired.
I laid back, resting my head on my brand-new, rolled up Brewers blanket. (Okay, so maybe in all the excitement of going camping, I had forgotten my pillow, but as I noted above, there was no way I was calling Brian to ‘fess up.) I marveled at the view from my tent, the open roof providing a superb view of the night sky. I considered what a fun evening I’d had and all of the cool Brewers fans I had met.
As I felt myself surrendering to sleep and my own sweet dreams, I breathed a sigh of contentment in being able to survive on my own (okay, me and 349 others) in the great outdoors (okay, great outfield … at Miller Park … which just happens to be my place of employment), despite my misadventures in entomology.
I watched as the little tent city sprang to life and fans began heading to the restrooms to wash up, packing up and disassembling their tents before enjoying the breakfast buffet, which featured scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, mini-muffins and bagels, fruit, juice, coffee and tea.
Despite the sleep crusties and bleary-eyedness of some of the kids–for most of whom, I am sure staying up so late was a rare treat– I saw a lot of smiles on the faces of the fans. It had been a wonderful outing to cap off the summer and everyone, including me, was going home a…well, happy camper.
As a side note, I was so proud of myself for sticking it out and not spending the night in my air-conditioned, bug-free office, or just packing it in at midnight and going home, that I was thinking I just might plan on taking in the real Arctic Tailgate experience by camping out prior to the on-sale next February. Gives me plenty of time to work on attaching that fly to the tent.
Update: Information on the 2011 event can be found here! Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 12 at 10am.
I love shopping.
In fact, my third favorite day of the year isn’t a holiday, a birthday or anniversary.
It’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. For years, my best friend and I have established a routine.
On the morning of Thanksgiving Day, we peruse all of the ads in the paper and create our lists: gifts we have to buy for others, things we want for ourselves, the best deals… There is a tremendous amount of planning and our tactical skills really get put into play.
After Thanksgiving dinner, we go to bed early, only to wake up in the middle of the night in order to be at the stores before 3am to ensure that we score the best deals.
What does this have to do with baseball?
Well, in less than 48 hours, individual tickets for the 2010 Brewers season will go on sale to the general public. Although here at Miller Park, we officially call this day “Arctic Tailgate,” in my mind, it’s Blue Saturday. Sure, fans have had the opportunity to purchase Season Tickets, Holiday 4-Packs, 9-Packs, etc., but many have been waiting since the 2010 Schedule came out last September to cherry-pick the games of their choice.
Much like me going through the ads for the best deals on Thanksgiving Day, fans all across Wisconsin are circling and highlighting their Brewers schedules, looking for the best match-ups, the date nights, the group outings, the tailgates, the bobble head games… all the games they HAVE. TO. HAVE.
And much like me getting up at 3am to get the best deals on Black Friday, the fans are savvy. Even savvier than me; so savvy in fact, that they’re already camped out, eagerly awaiting Saturday morning when the Ticket Windows spring to life at 9am.
What’s it like at Miller Park right now? To really gauge the mood, I decided to take a trip over to our Ticket Operations Department, where I sat down briefly with Chad Olson, the Manager of Ticket Operations; Tom Carter, the Manager of Ticket Fulfillment and Distribution; and Jessica Brown, the Manager of Ticket Services and Technology.
If the fans are the shoppers on Black Friday, they’re the harried retailers, preparing for the big day. Although, I do have to say, Chad, Tom and Jess were holding up pretty well for being so close to chaos.
“My main responsibility is to make sure the staff is trained and up-to-date with all of the new promotions and changes at Miller Park for the 2010 Season. Once we have the orientation and get the staff up to speed, then we just have to make sure we staff the windows and phone center for the big day. We’ll have about 40 people on hand,” Chad said.
The Ticket Operations Staff will be there before 8am on Saturday and Chad will focus on being available to help them with any questions they may have or issues that may arise.
“We are very creative with how we sell tickets and with the marketing side of things,” Chad said.
“It is a fun challenge. There aren’t too many teams in baseball that do things the way we do to get to where we get attendance-wise. There is a lot of communication, a lot of everyone being on the same page and knowing about all of the information that is out there. My main focus is the staff being up to speed and giving them the tools to succeed.”
Chad Olson (left) and Tom Carter stand inside the quiet ticket windows, which will be bustling come Saturday.
Tom will also be focused on assisting staff, answering questions and solving problems on the big day, at which point his most difficult responsibilities will be behind him.
Since last December, Tom has been making sure that Season Ticket orders and packages have been filled and processed in advance of the on sale.
“We need to make sure all of our orders are fulfilled in the systems so that on Saturday, we have our best remaining inventory available for the public,” Tom said.
“This is a fast-paced area, a fast-paced time of the year. We need to stay on top of things. Every day there is something new coming at us and it is fun to be there and face that.”
For fans, it will be a party-like atmosphere at Miller Park on Saturday. To reward those who brave the cold, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Klement’s hot dog, Pepsi, chips and a t-shirt come Saturday morning. Anyone who comes out to the ballpark will also receive a special ticket offer for half off the Marquee prices for the Minnesota Twins series in June.
As I mentioned before, there are already quite a few tents set up outside of Friday’s Front Row, so the party’s already started.
Just like on Black Friday, if you don’t want to stand in lines or brave the crowds (or cold), you can choose to stay home and shop online in your jammies.
Jessica Brown will be focused on web sales.
“Right now, we are just making sure that everything is going to go smoothly for the web, that the phone center and windows have everything that they need to fulfill orders and that all the inventory is ready to go on sale,” she said.
“On Saturday, I will definitely be watching the web sales and I’ll probably be pulling reports for upper management every 15 minutes to see how we’re doing. I’ll also be walking around making sure everything is going well.”
Jess Brown makes sure everything is ready for Saturday.
There will also be a limited number of tickets for Opening Day, Monday, April 5 vs. the Colorado Rockies, at the Arctic Tailgate. Each fan will be limited to a maximum of four tickets for Opening Day, based on availability.
Jess, Tom and Chad predicted that in addition to the allure of the Opening Day tickets, some of the most popular games for Saturday’s on sale will be during Spring Madness (April 26-28 vs. the Pirates) and the 5-County, 5-Day Celebration (May 10-12 vs. the Braves and May 14-15 vs. the Phillies), in addition to the six bobble head dates and all weekends during the summer.
I decided to put their theories to the test and talk to some of the fans who are currently camped out (literally) outside the ballpark.
Tents wrap around the ballpark as fans eagerly await Arctic Tailgate ’10.
My first encounter was with Matt, A.J. and Chris, a trio from Milwaukee who arrived last night. They all have 20-Game Plans already and they’re hoping to score some Opening Day tickets, too, but they said they’re hanging out in the 25-degree weather just for fun. This is the third year that they’ve been doing this, so they must know what they’re talking about.
Matt, A.J. and Chris play bags outside Miller Park to keep warm.
While most campers brought your typical tent, one housing project caught my eye:
Kyle and Kory from Lake Geneva and Milwaukee are also 20-Game Plan holders and have been doing this for three years. This year, they decided to build their own shack out of cardboard and wood. Like Matt, AJ and Chris, they’re hoping to score Opening Day tickets, but above all, they’re in it for the camaraderie and fun.
And that’s really what being a Brewers fan is all about. Coming out to Miller Park and having a good time. Socializing with other Brewers fans. Tailgating, even in sub-freezing temperatures. Getting ramped up for the 2010 Season and scoring the best seats for the best games.
I hope to see you all out at Miller Park on Saturday, February 27 when tickets go on sale at 9am. If you can’t make it out, or don’t want to brave the cold, just log on to brewers.com and get a head start on your “shopping.”
So if Black Friday is my third favorite day of the year and Arctic Tailgate is the second, what is my first?
Opening Day, of course! The good news is that it’s just 38 days away.