PirateFest Is Complete Bargain Compared to Cardinals Winter Warm-Up


PirateFest was bustin at the seams this weekend in Pittsburgh

Last month, we wrote about comparing PirateFest to some of the other Major League Baseball teams festivals done during the offseason.  Well, it’s now a known fact that PirateFest is a door-bustin deal of a lifetime when compared to what St. Louis will be having for fans.  The Cardinals use their event to raise funds for charity and the support has been tremendous, but take a look at some of the dollars St. Louis fans shell out for an autograph during their Winter Warm-Up.

We saw the article on St. Louis Dispatch and quickly realized that the Pirates provide something very special for their fans.  It’s unknown how much the Pirates subsidize/pay their players to sign autographs for only the cost of admission, but it’s hard to imagine the current PirateFest schedule remaining as we know it in the future.

The Cardinals Michael Wacha will sign an autograph for Cardinals fans for $70 with all proceeds going to charity.   Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith is $75.  Ace Adam Wainwright goes for $80, but the highest is Yadier Molina at $100 who according to the story doesn’t regularly attend the event and his time for signing this year is TBD.  Of course, Wacha was the spoiler of the Bucs postseason and went on to win the NLCS MVP with his outstanding performance.

For a complete rundown of the Cards Winter Warmer and the charity dinner go check out the article.  I think Matt Adams is a steal at $20, but realizing that you could have had over ten Buccos autographs including Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen for just $12 a couple of weeks ago seems pretty special in retrospect.   Here is the link to  Find information on the Cardinals charity dinner here.

Here is the original article from RumBunter in case you missed it:

As I looked around at PirateFest during my brief visit Saturday, it was easy to see times had changed. The number of season ticket holders has jumped right along with the attraction to the Cinderella team that captured the hearts of the city. But over hearing fans complain about the wait times and mention mind-numbing phrases like “it sucks the team is good now,” is really surprising.

Even harder to understand.

Is an autograph really that important to grown people? Not for me, we can’t speak for you. But please, and we can’t say this enough, let us know in the comments. Did it disappoint you that Starling Marte was late to his signing? Do the lines bother you?

We have always loved the event. It’s a ton of work for the Bucs, but just watching some of the young fans reactions is tremendous. Talking with the players and management is also very cool. Big ups to Terry Rodgers who absolutely made the event a memorable one for so many fans, the guy works his ass off to improve every year, the Bucs are lucky to have such a dedicated associate.

What really sucks is watching young children wait in a line that would make the Super Duper Looper blush. And maybe it’s me, but it seems there are so many adults holding up the youngsters from getting what they desire. The kids need a fast pass lane!

But so what if PirateFest has become a monster. What a great problem to have, right?

I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine the players enjoying an event like this. Call us crazy, but we see an overhaul of the event in the near future. The Pirates organization created the monster in order to create a buzz around a ball club that made crazy headlines while piling up losing season after losing season. But those days are over.

No longer are fans waiting in lines to get an autograph from Ian Snell, now it’s Andrew McCutchen. The NL MVP made an appearance Sunday after missing Saturday due to a death in his fiancé’s family. The Pirates star power gathered, with the exception being Pedro Alvarez, and the fans came out in record numbers.

But how much longer are people going to continue to come to an event that includes some rather long lines for everything from autographs to the candy cane tree to something as simple as a buying a soda? Probably forever, but this just seems broken a bit to us.

So just what do other teams do for their Fan Fest? The curiosity killed us. Here is what we found out.

Admission cost:

The Reds Fest is priced as follows:

  • Two-day passes are $25 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 4-12).
  • Single-day admission is $17 for adults and $7 for kids. Children 3 and under are admitted free.
  • All two-day Redsfest ticket purchases include a free ticket to any April 2014 home game subject to availability.

The Cardinals do their Fan Fest called Winter Warmup over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.

  • One day Adults $40
  • One day Kids 5 to 15 $10
  • KIDS (5 and under): Free

The Cubs Convention will be held January 17 to 19.

"Attendees have two options to purchase Convention passes. Room reservations through the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers include weekend passes (2-4) in the purchase price for a reduced rate of $20 per pass. Or, individual weekend passes may be purchased for $60 per pass without a hotel reservation. All passes are valid for the entire three-day event"

The Brewers have announced that admission to their one day Brewers on Deck fan festival on January 26 will be free.

Rangers FanFest

  • Adults $10
  • Season Ticket Holders $8
  • KIDS (13 and under):
    • Kids $5

At RedsFest, the players will sign for 225 fans. But fans can guarantee their autograph spot…by being the highest bidder.

"You can also guarantee your spot in one of the second floor autograph sessions on Friday or Saturday by bidding on one of our Elite Pass auctions. There are 25 Friday Elite Passes and 25 Saturday Elite Passes up for auction for the second floor autograph sessions. Please note that Elite Pass autographs are for pre-determined players and pre-determined times. Elite Pass members will be able to go to the front of line for these opportunities."

The Cardinals players require a donation in order to get an autograph, most, but not all require the donation.

The Rangers are selling a limited number of Autograph Fast Passes for their Fan Fest. It will guarantee the Fast Pass holders every autograph for every player who will be participating in the formal autograph sessions during their one day FanFest next month. They are $300 per pass….. and they sold out in one day.

The Diamondbacks have their festival at Chase Field. (That would be glorious.) But check out these autograph lines.

The more I researched, the more I realized the Pirates do tremendous work with PirateFest. I still can’t believe it all happens the way it does which leads to some challenges, but all in all, it still looks like a great value for fans of the team.
UPDATE: Twitter reaction