Thousands of Reds fans will swarm to the Duke Energy Convention Center this Friday and Saturday to take part in Redsfest.

You’ll find everything Reds-related there (except a table or any other participation by Reds blogs): giveaways, autographs, photographs, Reds merchandise, Reds memorabilia, Reds Hall of Fame exhibits, even a celebrity poker tournament. There’s plenty to do for kids and adults.

More than 80 Reds players, coaches or alums are scheduled to attend, including Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips. Fans can also get a close-up look at three players returning from injuries or surgery this year – Homer Bailey, Zack Cozart and Devin Mesoraco.

The event takes place against the backdrop of trade rumors for several players. Baseball’s Winter Meetings begin on Monday.

If you attend Redsfest, please share your experience in the comments section below. If you take pictures with Reds players, we’d love to see them.

16 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    I’m guessing that the absence of an official RLN presence is not by the choice of ownership/ management of RLN? Is the Reds org position on the status of blogs typical?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Team fan websites are an important and growing source of information for many fans. The Reds have been hostile to their team fan websites (although the minor league affiliates have been welcoming). Other major league organizations embrace their fan websites – invite them to press conferences, etc. People in the organization have told me that as long as Rob Butcher remains Director of Media Relations, this is the way it will remain. It’s just old-school hostility to the internet and new concepts of media.

      I’m not a fanatic about this. I don’t really want to sit in the press box (because no cheering) and I don’t want to transcribe clichés in the locker room. I would never say that website writers deserve the same access or be treated the same way as beat reporters. And I appreciate the difficulty in drawing lines between blogs.

      But a few gestures would be nice. Examples – setting up a table at Redsfest for bloggers, inviting blogs to take part in important press conferences, figuring out a way to involve blogs in the massive All-Star game festivities.

      Maybe as younger people take over the operation of the Reds we can hope that glasnost spreads to this area as well.

      • TR

        Well stated. Changing the mores of baseball and life in general is not always easy.

      • MrRed

        Steve, I’m curious as to some examples of the hostility the Reds have shown toward the team’s fan websites. It’s a little surprising to hear this given how much innovation the team has emphasized with the fan experience at the ballpark and other community engagements they have undertaken. What have you seen?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Denial of requests to be involved in media events, even the All Star game. I was told by a member of the Reds media department that websites were never going to get access to the team. Failure of departments in the organization – like the Hall of Fame – to even reply to our emails.

        I’m not saying I don’t have contacts in the organization. And this issue really isn’t a big deal to me – although I think younger guys who write for our website wouldn’t mind having access to interview players.

        The contrast with the minor league affiliates is stark. They view any publicity though websites like RN as positive. They invite us to their games, offer access to the media area and parking.

      • MrRed

        Thanks. Blog writers shouldn’t necessarily have the same rights as credentialed members of the media. But I do think that the examples you describe could be accommodated and stand in stark contrast to the organization’s fan-friendly image. I think they are underestimating the good-will and fan interaction potential that fan websites and blogs create for the team and I can’t really see why, in some cases, they are going out of their way to snub endeavors like RLN. Not answering e-mails? Now that’s minor league.

  2. Redsfan48

    I haven’t missed Redsfest since it was moved to the Duke Energy Convention Center. Looking forward to it this year. I’ll comment about my experience later this weekend.

  3. jessecuster44

    Question – I’m live in North Carolina and cannot come to Redsfest this yr. I’m always interested in some of the unique Reds-related merchandise that is on sale in the Cincy area that you cannot buy elsewhere. Is there a list of vendors (and their websites) that will be attending the fest?

    Or, if anyone knows a vendor that sells cool Reds-Stuff, could you post their info?

    A good example of the type of thing I look for would be The Rivertown Inkery.

    Thanks!

    • seat101

      Some years there is a fair amount. Others….meh.

      I cannot go this year, wrestling match, birthday bowling, annual tre lighting with old friend.

      I recommend going with a fan under 16 or so. It will make you feel young and old at the same time. But make sure you and yours do not wear a red shirt. If you get separated from a young’un and ask for help, the first question
      Will be ‘What was s/he wearing?”

      I speak from experience that answering ‘a red shirt’ doesn’t help much.

  4. Dan

    Joey Votto will be but perhaps the rest of the team is traded off. Hope the V man is prepared to chat it up.

  5. Frogger

    I have never been to Redsfest. I am not one to seek an autograph. However, I am giving thought to getting a Votto signature on a couple of bears from my kids first game at GABP. Anyone know how long the line would be for Votto? Do some wait in line and not get an autograph?

    • WVRedlegs

      The players are only at the autograph sessions for about 30 minutes or so. They cut the line off at about 150 people. The place will be jam packed with about 10,000 fans. Good luck with that. It isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be to get autographs from players with the stature of Votto. The autograph booths/tables are spread out too, and they only give you a few minutes to get to that booth after announcing when and where a player will be. If you go strictly for autographs, Redsfest can be very disappointing. However, there is alot for kids to do.

  6. Frogger

    Thanks for the info WV. That is what I wanted to know. Not going to hang out waiting for an announcement and race to get in a line that may or may not be open when I get there. Calls to mind Black Friday horror stories.

    • WVRedlegs

      It is worth going to, at least once. Many different booths to look at and visit. The Friday night session was best for me. They had the player introductions and they speak some. Then Jocketty and Big Bob get up and speak. Many people will be wanting to hear Dick Williams speak this year. I liked it, but it can be exhausting. Lots of walking around. Decent food.
      If you sign up for texts when you go in, they will text you on your cell phone before the announcements for the player autograph sessions, so there is a way to get a small jump on the crowd. And they do give you a map of where the photo booths and autograph booths are set up.