By now, if there was going to be a Cubs Convention in January 2022, you’d have heard about hotel room availability and the sale of passes. Since none of this had been made public, I had assumed the convention wouldn’t happen.
Now, per Paul Sullivan in the Tribune, that’s official:
The Chicago Cubs have canceled plans to hold their annual fan convention in January because of COVID-19 concerns.
Even as ballparks opened to 100% capacity last summer, the Cubs didn’t feel comfortable holding an indoor event with thousands of fans congregating in a small venue. It was slated to be held during a mid-January weekend at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
“Winter months, an indoor environment, where you’re talking about 10,000 people or more in closed quarters where you can’t technically social distance,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Saturday of the decision. “It’s for safety reasons. It’s just a little more difficult to manage.
The Cubs aren’t the only team cancelling an annual winter gathering due to COVID concerns. Friday, the White Sox did the same:
SoxFest has been canceled for the second consecutive year because of COVID-19 concerns, the team announced Friday. The event was scheduled for January at McCormick Place.
“SoxFest has been built on nearly three decades of 10,000 fans, players, coaches and staff who come together under one roof to celebrate the White Sox,” the team said in a statement. “As we continue to try and predict and manage COVID-related protocols in indoor settings, we believe it is not possible to carry out the traditional experience and activities that have made SoxFest special, like autographs, photos and guest appearances.”
The Brewers are pressing "pause" on their offseason fanfest, Brewers On Deck, for one more year in 2022. The event is usually held in January the weekend between NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl. They'll eventually revisit whether to bring it back in '23.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 5, 2021
The last sentence in that tweet raises an interesting point for the Cubs going forward: More that 30 years after the Cubs Convention was first created, is it an idea that’s run its course? The cost for attending has risen from $25 in the mid-1990s to $120 in recent years, and after a relocation of the event from the Hilton Chicago to the Sheraton Chicago in 2013, there were a number of comments I heard about how cramped the new venue felt.
It might be that this event is more hassle than it’s worth to the team and to the players and coaches who fly into a frigid Chicago January weekend.
Or maybe I’m off base here. What do you think?
The Cubs Convention...
This poll is closed
... has run its course. I wouldn’t miss it if it were gone for good
... I like it and miss it and hope they bring it back in 2023
... don’t care either way