Featured guests comprising of the current Cubs roster, new manager Rick Renteria, his coaching staff, alumni and prospects will interact with fans at the 2014 Cubs Convention, Jan. 17-19, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. The 29th Annual Cubs Convention will feature more than 100 photo and autograph opportunities, new activities and traditional favorites during the three-day event.
Cubs Convention's Opening Ceremony begins Friday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m., featuring player introductions on a red carpet runway that will provide special VIP access to children 16-and-under. Following the Opening Ceremony, guests will find some of their favorite Cubs and young prospects throughout the hotel for an exciting Autograph Hunt Game. Players and broadcasters will join The David Kaplan Show on WGN Radio for interviews after Opening Ceremony. The event's first day concludes with a special movie premiere of MLB Production's 100 Years of Wrigley Field, followed by a "Cheers to 100 Years" toast at Sheraton Chicago's Chi Bar hosted by Budweiser.
Saturday's program continues with fan favorites such as the return of Cubs Family Feud and Cubs Jeopardy, which will feature unique trivia based on Wrigley Field's 100 years of history and the addition of fan guests on each team. Saturday will also feature a much-anticipated Meet the New Skipper session, featuring new Cubs manager Rick Renteria and his coaching staff, and the return of WGN Radio's Kathy & Judy's hit session, Not for Women Only. The evening will conclude with a special 100 Years of Wrigley Field session, where fans can get a sneak peek at some of the promotions planned for the centennial season, and long-time Convention favorite Cubs Bingo, presented by Budweiser and led by Wayne Messmer.
Additional weekend sessions (subject to change) include: The Ricketts Family Forum, Meet Cubs Baseball Management, Scouting and Player Development, Rookie Development Group, For Kids Only Press Conference presented by Advocate Health Care, 30-Year Anniversary: 1984 Team, WGN Radio Sports Central, Meet Cubs Business Management and Down on the Farm.
In addition to the sessions highlighted above, the Convention includes many new and returning activities throughout the weekend for fans:
- Beginning at Cubs Convention and continuing through Spring Training and each regular season home game, the Cubs will unveil and pay tribute to 100 Great Times in Wrigley Field history presented by Budweiser. One will be unveiled each day at Cubs Convention, and fans will be able to follow these unveilings via social media.
- A new autograph system will be integrated this year, which will include the opportunity for fans to have a meet-and-greet with marquee players through a donation to Cubs Charities.
- Fans can visit a dedicated social media lounge, featuring giveaways, charging stations, an interactive screen and special guest Twitter takeovers throughout the weekend.
- Walgreens Field 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.
- Enhanced this year with a radar gun, MLB Network's Strike Zone allows fans to test their arm speed and win prizes at an inflatable speed pitch.
- A dedicated Kids' Corner will host face painting, caricatures, balloon artists and a coloring station with a weekend-long coloring contest. Winners will be selected Sunday morning.
- The Blue Bunny Bucket Toss gives kids a chance to win ice cream prizes in a fun bucket toss game.
- The Cubbie Closet gives kids a chance to dress up like a big leaguer in complete, full-size uniforms for a fun photo opportunity.
- A variety of Cubs memorabilia will be available for sale or auction from Cubs Authentics, Cubs Charities and a selection of third party vendors.
Room packages at the Sheraton Chicago and individual weekend passes for the 2014 Cubs Convention remain available. Cubs Convention room rates include passes at a discounted price of $20 per pass, or passes can be purchased individually for $60 per pass plus convenience fees at www.cubs.com/convention or 1-800-THE-CUBS. Guests can visit the Cubs Convention page for more information and the most up-to-date list of confirmed players, coaches and alumni.
Due to high demand of parking at the Sheraton Chicago during Cubs Convention weekend and the cost of parking downtown, a limited number of parking spots will be available at Wrigley Field for the duration of the weekend on a first-come, first-serve basis. These print-at-home parking vouchers are available at www.cubs.com/convention for $25 for the entire weekend, beginning Friday at 3 p.m. until Sunday at 3 p.m. Please note transportation from Wrigley Field to the Sheraton Chicago will be the responsibility of the attendee.
A percentage of the proceeds from Cubs Convention benefits Cubs Charities. To date, Cubs Convention has raised approximately $4 million for Cubs Charities.