Thousands pack AT&T Park for Giants FanFest 2011

February 5, 2011 5:37:50 PM PST
There were some very angry and frustrated San Francisco Giants fans at AT&T Park Saturday.

Thousands of people lined up to view the World Series trophy and meet their favorite players, but not everyone got in. Things got nasty and people were definitely frustrated. Fans who lined up early got in no problem, but fans who arrived a little later in the day were stopped because the stadium hit capacity fast.

The excitement started early outside the park.

"I got here at 1:45 this morning," Jason Aguilar of San Jose told ABC7.

"I love the Giants. I don't know what else to say. I live it. I breathe it. I bleed it. Giants, all day," said David Higgins of Chico.

For a precious four hours, fans could get face-to-face with their favorite players. As soon as the gates opened, it did not take long to fill the stadium which holds 40,000 people. All the big names were there including Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson and Andres Torres.

"Today is a very special day. It's FanFest day," Torres said. "We're trying to do things with our heart."

The Giants fan base has exploded since becoming World Series champs in 2010 and while FanFest organizers expected to fill the stadium, they did not think it would happen this fast. An hour after the gates opened, a post went up on the Giants Facebook page saying, "We're asking fans who have not left yet stay home and follow it on the radio."

Then, the gates shut down.

"We held people at the gates and we're now metering people to come in to make sure everyone's experience here in the ball park remains safe," explained Giants spokesperson Staci Slaughter.

However, after waiting for hours, fans held up the Second Street gate were chanting, "Let us in!" The anger did not disappear after some groups got in because others did not. Many fans decided to leave saying this was not the Giants experience they wanted.

"After pouring thousands into this organization with season tickets, food, and my heart, I don't even get into FanFest because this entire thing was totally unorganized," Javier Martin of Sacramento said.

"If it's really Fan Appreciation Day, they should have probably planned a lot more," said Walter Takashima of San Jose.

Giants representatives told ABC7 that every fan who waited outside was eventually allowed in. As a result, FanFest went a little long, but only by about 30 minutes.