The crowd gathered in front of Pac Bell Park
wasn't there for a ballgame. They'd gathered for the San Francisco
Convention & Visitors Bureau's 90th annual meeting.
Patrick Gallagher, president of Giants Enterprises,
a business-only subsidiary of the ballclub, hopes events like the
SFCVB's annual meeting become a mainstay at the park on non-game
"It's the hottest new place in The City," said
Gallagher. "People are asking about it all the time."
One such person is John Wilkinson, CEO of Total
Adventures, a Benicia-based events planning outfit that organizes
team-building outings for corporate clients.
Wilkinson has developed a whole series of "challenges" for
his corporate charges to go through at Pac Bell Park.
"People call us looking for adventuresome outings
to do team-building," said Wilkinson. "Here the venue lends itself
perfectly to interesting events."
Wilkinson created a fantasy scenario for his clients, in which
they will play in Mayor Willie Brown's "Winter Baseball League," or
WBL. Corporate teams then compete amongst themselves for the right
to be Pac Bell's home team in the newly formed league.
Wilkinson's "Field of Fantasy" team-building adventure can
take a number of forms at the park. Among them:
"9th Inning Rally," in which teams race each other down the
stadiums ramps in go-carts.
"Splash Landing," where teams whack baseballs into the Bay
and a computer measures the distance of the taters.
"Outfield of Dreams," in which a pneumatic mortar machine
launches pop flies over 200 feet into the air above the ballpark
and team members use a giant baseball glove to catch the towering
fly balls together.
The list goes on, but the intent remains the same. Allowing
civilians to run amok in a Major League Baseball park might be
a good way to make money.