The 30th Cubs Convention is just a month away (Jan. 16-18, 2015) and will feature more than 75 Cubs players, coaches, alumni and prospects. The team released a few of the details for the annual gathering on Tuesday. The team appears to be freshening up the event that has been referred to as the unofficial start of the baseball season.
The Convention kicks off on Jan. 16 at 6:00pm with the Opening Ceremony at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. The team has not released a schedule of events or a full list of attendees.
Joe Maddon and his coaching staff, players from the current roster and prospects from the system are expected to attend, along with Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, Crane Kenney and Jed Hoyer. The 2015 Cubs Convention will feature more than 100 photo and autograph opportunities, an updated event layout, enhanced activities and traditional favorites during the three-day weekend.
Cubs Convention’s Opening Ceremony begins Friday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m., featuring player introductions on an elevated runway that will provide special VIP access to children 16-and-under. Following the Opening Ceremony, attendees will find some of their favorite Cubs and young prospects signing autographs for an exciting Surprise Signing Game. The event’s first day concludes with a special Friday Night with Ryan Dempster show presented by Budweiser, featuring interviews with Cubs players and coaches, comedy vignettes and interactive games.
Saturday’s program continues with fan favorites such as the return of Cubs Family Feud presented by MasterCard, plus Cubs Jeopardy, which features unique trivia and the addition of fan guests on each team. Saturday also will feature a highly anticipated Joe Maddon and His Coaching Staff session presented by Wintrust Community Banks, Meet the New Cubs, an extended For Kids Only Press Conference and a Cubs Business Operations update on the 1060 Project Restoration. The evening will conclude with long-time Convention favorite Cubs Bingo, featuring more tables than ever before, presented by Budweiser and led by Wayne Messmer.
Additional weekend sessions (subject to change) include: The Ricketts Family Forum, A Recent Look Back: 2007-08 Cubs, 30 Years of Cubs Convention Memories, The Future is Bright, Here to Stay, Meet Cubs Baseball Management, Down on the Farm and #CubsSocial.
Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Ryan Dempster, Bobby Dernier, Mark DeRosa, Leon Durham, Bobby Howry, Randy Hundley, Ferguson Jenkins, Jay Johnstone, Jacque Jones, Les Lancaster, Jon Lieber, Ted Lilly, Bill Madlock, Gary Matthews, Dave Otto, Milt Pappas, Glendon Rusch, Tim Stoddard, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Trout, Billy Williams and Kerry Wood
(subject to change)
Opening Ceremony, Friday Night with Ryan Dempster, Meet the New Cubs, The Ricketts Family Forum, Joe Maddon and His Coaching Staff, A Recent Look Back: 2007-08 Cubs, Meet Cubs Baseball Management, Cubs Business Operations Update, 30 Years of Cubs Convention, For Kids Only Press Conference, The Future Is Bright (Rookies), Here to Stay (Young Cubs), Cubs Family Feud, Cubs Jeopardy, Down on the Farm, #Cubs Social and Cubs Bingo
In addition to the sessions highlighted above, the Convention includes many new and returning activities throughout the weekend:
- New layouts to the event space will be unveiled, featuring a dedicated autograph hall, Vendor Alley and two full ballrooms with kids activities—Clark’s Clubhouse and Clark’s Fieldhouse.
- Clark’s Fieldhouse is a miniature turf diamond that gives kids a fun place to play pick-up wiffle ball games or participate in professional instructional clinics as part of the Baseball Interactive Zone. Cubs players and coaches will pair up with Illinois Baseball Academy instructors to conduct a series of training opportunities for kids of all ages throughout the weekend.
- A dedicated Clark’s Clubhouse will host mini games, face painting, caricatures, balloon artists, inflatable tee ball and a coloring station.
- The Cubs Charities room has been moved to the main lobby floor and will again feature a variety of items and opportunities for sale, including private player meet-and-greets, baseballs, ball cubes, autographed mystery balls, 50/50 raffle tickets and grab bags with either a Wrigley Field 100 bobblehead or Ernie Banks statue figurine included. The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation will host a raffle and silent auction as well.
- Attendees can watch live bat-making demonstrations at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory station or check out game-used and replica bats of past and present Cubs players. In addition, fans can spin a prize wheel, sign up for free museum passes and the opportunity to win personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and find out how they can take home the one-of-a-kind commemorative 30th Annual Cubs Convention bat on display throughout the weekend.
- Attendees can visit a dedicated social media lounge, featuring giveaways, charging stations, an interactive screen and live special guest Q-and-A sessions throughout the weekend.
- A variety of Cubs memorabilia will be available for sale or auction from Cubs Authentics, Cubs Charities and a selection of third party vendors.
A limited number of Sheraton Chicago hotel room packages with Cubs Convention weekend passes remain available. Cubs Convention room rates include passes at a discounted price of $20 per pass, or passes can be purchased individually without a hotel reservation for $65 per pass plus convenience fees at www.cubs.com/convention or 1-800-THE-CUBS.
A percentage of the proceeds from Cubs Convention benefits Cubs Charities. To date, Cubs Convention has raised approximately $4 million for Cubs Charities.
Check back for additional information on the 30th Annual Cubs Convention as well as a complete list of Cubs attendees.