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In the media

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San Francisco Examiner

Friday, June 23, 2000
Pac Bell Park is much more than a baseball diamond

By Alan T. Saracevic

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 days.

"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.

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