Steve Cohen Is A Fan Of Fan Fest

Steve Cohen Is A Fan Of Fan Fest

 

On November 1st, new Mets owner, Steve Cohen, took to Twitter and asked Mets fans how their experience could be better.

Cohen received all kinds of suggestions, from having baristas at Citi Field making iced coffee beverages, to bringing back Banner Day, a Mets tradition from the Polo Grounds to the late 1980s. The MMO team decided to make things a bit easier for Mr. Cohen, assembling several ideas in this post.

Of course, the Mets experience will be infinitely better for all of us when the team operates as a big-market operation, bringing in top talent and being consistently competitive. The days of Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha, and others being brought in on value contracts need to, and likely will, end. The Mets need to begin shopping in places other than thrift outlets.

As I was going through the myriad of responses to Mr. Cohen’s question about the Mets experience, this one struck me.

Many teams have winter Fan Fest events. I’ve been in Chicago on business when the Cubs Fan Fest was at the hotel where I was staying. It basically was a two-day celebration of Cubs baseball for thousands upon thousands of fans, building excitement for the following season.

The Mets had winter events at various times in their history. At one point, from the 1990s through the early 2000s, there was a caravan that would stop in various places, such as Grand Central Station. The Mets , however, never had a full winter event in a place where the masses could gather to celebrate the team, and generate excitement for the upcoming season.

Mets fans, being the passionate group, took it upon themselves to have a winter event, and created the Queens Baseball Convention, or QBC. This event would take place at McFadden’s near Citi Field, and over the years, the organizers began to draw in actual Mets talent, both current day and historical. The event was successful, and would sell out every year.

The Mets then caught on, and in January of 2020, held the first Fan Fest at Citi Field. It was a rousing success, with players available for photographs, panel discussions on topics of interest, and essentially something for everyone with attendees having the option to attend whatever appealed most to them.

The event sold out quickly, and was quite well-run. The problem is that while it helped get us hyped for the 2020 season, a global pandemic changed the landscape of baseball, delaying the season and mitigating fan attendance at games in 2020.

With new ownership, it’s nice to know that Mr. Cohen thinks Fan Fest is something that should continue. Given his sentiment in the tweet above, I have every confidence that Cohen will make Fan Fest an event not to be missed. There won’t be one for 2021, but the day will come when regular Fan Fest events will take place at Citi Field, and that’s something we can all eagerly anticipate.

In the grand scheme of things, a Fan Fest is not a top priority (as the original tweet states). Putting a winning product on the field is priority one, two, three…

I see Cohen’s position on Fan Fest as another reminder that the Mets now have a true fan as an owner. That means that we have reason to hope that fan-centric choices will be made. They won’t stop at Fan Fest. How refreshing is that?

Yes, my fellow Mets fans, we have an owner who asks us questions, acknowledges our responses, and vows to take steps to make our experience the best it can be.

A new day certainly has dawned in Flushing.


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