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2015 Athletics Fanfest guide

Your guide to navigating the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena. What to expect, who is going to be there, and some helpful hints to maximize your day.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Athletics released their map and schedule of events for 2015 Athletics Fanfest on Sunday, February 8. The main attractions continue with free autographs, player photos, question-and-answer sessions, a Coaches Corner "discussing baseball topics with A's players and coaches," and Baseball 101, where you can "discover the secrets of big league baseball, from scouting a potential All-Star to a day in the life of a baseball reporter." Tickets are still available for the event online.

After player introductions in Oracle Arena, the usual question and answer session will be held, with Billy Beane, Bob Melvin, and new bench coach Mike Aldrete answering questions from the assembled fans. The events in Oracle Arena, running from 10:00 am until 3:45 pm, should be streamed online at

Which players are coming?

According to the A's, the following players are confirmed as coming to the event as of February 3:

R.J. Alvarez, Chris Bassitt, Billy Butler, Mark Canha, Jesse Chavez, Ryan Cook, Coco Crisp, Ike Davis, Sean Doolittle, Nate Freiman, Craig Gentry, Kendall Graveman, A.J. Griffin, Jesse Hahn, Scott Kazmir, Sean Nolin, Dan Otero, Josh Phegley, Drew Pomeranz, Josh Reddick, Marcus Semien, and Stephen Vogt

That's 22 players there. Otherwise, the players with a decent shot at making the 25-man roster this year missing from this list are Fernando Abad, Tyler Clippard, Sam Fuld, Sonny Gray, Brett Lawrie, Eric O'Flaherty, Jarrod ParkerEvan ScribnerEric Sogard, and Ben Zobrist. Don't read too much into the list of missing names as players often have prior engagements in the weeks leading up to reporting to spring training.

Crowd control

In 2014, 20,000 people attended an A's Fanfest event that was spread out between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena. As's Marine Layer points out, "the facilities strain when trying to accommodate people on the concourses instead of the seats." Expect lines. Lots of lines. Remain calm. Wear comfortable shoes. Be prepared to not be able to do everything you want in one day, and be happily surprised if you do!

It appears the A's have done a few things to alleviate some of the overcrowding by trying to spread things out a little bit more. A couple of high-attendance events previously held in or near the Bar & Grille (formerly Westside Club) are now moved to elsewhere in the Coliseum.

The "Baseball 101" sessions are now being held in the Bowtie Bar by section 129. There is also no longer an autograph area by section 211, the free autograph queueing areas will be limited to the left and right field flagpoles. The only activity taking place in the Bar & Grille will be 95.7 The Game's live radio remote from Fanfest.

The Clubhouse Tour will take forever, and the line never lets up. Personally, I would just rewatch the scene in Moneyball where Billy gets mad at Jeremy Giambi if you want to see the main clubhouse. But that's just me.


Here's the National Weather Service forecast for Sunday, as of late Thursday night:

Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 65. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

The forecast discussion believes the storm will be weaker than the one coming into the Bay Area on Friday, but bring your umbrella.

Autographs and photos

Here's the thing. Autographs and photos don't begin until 11:15 because player introductions start at 10:00 and the doors open at 9:00. I don't have much experience with obtaining either of those at Fanfest (I stuck mostly to the Q&As in Oracle Arena last year) so I want to throw it open to the crowd. Go first thing? Expect to spend the whole day in line if you don't? Autograph schedules are not in the program, so how are those announced?

As for the nuts and bolts, autograph (no pictures) queues begin near the left and right field flagpoles. Queues for photos with players (no autographs) are in the lower lobby of the Eastside Club, limited to four people per group. Pictures with Oakland's four World Series trophies are in the Eastside Club North Alcove. Pictures with the giant headed Hall of Fame racers will take place by B gate, near section 100.

Individual game tickets

Individual game tickets have been on sale online and at the Coliseum during regular box office hours already. However, if you are using Fanfest as your first opportunity to buy individual game tickets, here's a tip, don't talk to a person. Skip the box office line and go inside the Fanfest area to the plaza between Oracle Arena and the Coliseum where automated machines will be set up with no fees and usually no waiting.

What to do at the Q&As

Q&A schedule 2015

At the question and answer sessions in Oracle Arena, someone, most likely Kara Tsuboi, will be going around the crowd looking for questions. If you have a burning question, go to her, because there's a decent chance the session will run out of time before getting to you.

Do not ask for autographs at the Q&A. That is selfish because you took up the opportunity for someone else to ask a question because you did not want to wait in line like everyone else. I will "tsk" at you and shame you on social media. I just learned Vine and I'm not afraid to use it.

A.J. Griffin is not presently scheduled to appear at any of the Q&As, unfortunately, so requests to touch A.J. Griffin's hair will have to come through alternative methods:

I insist that you ask to tug on Sean Doolittle's beard instead, however, during the 12:00-12:45 session. Maybe pull a quarter out of it, I don't know.

We need your advice

I am but one person amongst the sea of people that have attended Fanfests past. Tell us your tips for maximizing your Fanfest experience.