Angry collectors took to social media after lines to gain entry and pick up prepaid autograph tickets at the Fanatics Authentic show in Chicago bogged down Friday night.
Several members of the Cubs World Series championship team were signing autographs at the Stephens Convention Center which caused a predictable crush but some collectors came up empty handed when they couldn’t get close enough to have their items signed before the players’ scheduled appearances ended.
Even some collectors who purchased tickets ahead of time say they waited 90 minutes or more just to get to the show floor. At issue was a new on site ticket printing system that couldn’t spit them out fast enough. Collectors also felt staffing was inadequate for the size of the crowd that turned out for the first night of the three-day event.
WILL CALL LINE FOR TICKETS WE ALREADY BOUGHT @FansAuthentic #FAShows pic.twitter.com/YpQGrFM4nN
— Matt Saltzman (@mattsaltzman) November 19, 2016
@TimHargesheimer @FansAuthentic and this is without Bryant, Rizzo, Arrieta, etc… #FAShows
— Matt Saltzman (@mattsaltzman) November 18, 2016
Nine Cubs players including Kyle Hendricks, Aroldis Chapman, Javy Baez, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler along with pitching coach Chris Bosio were scheduled to sign.
Collectors and fans who did eventually make their way through the line were rewarded with some signatures and photos.
These boys ended up having the time of their lives at #FAShows as they met @DexterFowler @kschwarb12 @Addison_Russell and @javy23baez ??⚾️? pic.twitter.com/V2UycIckW2
— Chad Vincent (@c23v) November 19, 2016
On Saturday, Fanatics posted an apology on its Facebook page but collectors who were caught up in the crush weren’t in a forgiving mood.
The company also responded to some complaints via Twitter and did promise to refund those who had tickets but didn’t get the autographs they had paid for.
Saturday and Sunday appeared to go much smoother for autograph seekers with an army of Hall of Famers and well-known athletes from every major sport signing throughout both days.
@FansAuthentic The ONLY pitcher to pitch a perfect game is World Series history! #FAShows Thank you for a PERFECT day with the STARS! pic.twitter.com/YpNMJHUXkh
— Jason (@JSH_Police_1) November 20, 2016
Good day at Fanatics @FansAuthentic show in #Chicago. Grabbed a few #Bears & #Packers HOF’ers, Dick Butkus & Paul Hornung. #FAShows ✍?? pic.twitter.com/4hRmu0DTyy
— Timothy M. Evans (@timothymevans) November 19, 2016
The legendary Bob Gibson! #FAShows pic.twitter.com/RCge5Terf8
— Fanatics Authentic (@FansAuthentic) November 20, 2016
Dealers from several different states were set up inside the convention center. Cubs items were hot sellers, but vintage and modern cards and other memorabilia was also available.
A few of the stars cancelled their appearances at the last minute including Allen Iverson, Fred Biletnikoff and actress Tatum O’Neal.
You can discuss the show on our Facebook page.