By d) 97.1 The Ticket

Coming February 12th, 2011 is the 2nd Annual SportsFest at the Suburban Collection Showplace (formerly known as Rock Financial Showplace) from 10am to 6pm. SAVE THE DATE!

More details to follow.

Click HERE to see the Barry Sanders Autograph Procedure

Comments (64)
  1. Matt Clark says:

    Seriously mark this day on your calenders this was AWESOME last year!

    1. George Daraban says:

      i was a vendor last year and would like to see more advertising for the vendors that are going to be there. The autographs and the 4 major sports teams were the only ones that got advertised. With the money we paid to have a booth, I would have liked to have heard that KV Sports was going to be there.

      1. CK says:

        Nobody cares about KV sports!!!

      2. Dan Collins says:

        I care about KV Sports!

      3. CK says:

        Well that’s one person!!!!!!! let’s see who should we market Barry Sanders/calvin Johnson or KV Sports????? Sounds like a no brainer!!!!!!!!

  2. Big Chris says:

    Well I hope they charge a nominal fee to get the players autographs this year. Last year was a joke, you weren’t even guarenteed to get the players u wanted because all the trash of the state of Michigan showed up. I’d pay to get the players I want and this will drastically cut down the amount of people that show up. Not to mention you get all the clowns that cut and jump in line as if it were high school. I mean overall it’s a great event to bring the kids to, but if they handle the autograph session like they did last year, and you plan on meeting the players, don’t even bother coming.

    1. TJ says:

      I think they should have a kids only line cuz my son was mad that the only person he got to meet is Calvin Johnson cuz all the tickets to the other players were gone

    2. Sammi says:

      the whole pint of it is to get more people to come and those who want to get autographs should be welcome to…and to call people who went there “the trash of the state of Michigan” is offensive…i was there with my family and I know that we aren’t trash and we were there to get autographs, the whole point is to let fans get together and celebrate our great detroit teams. and i met most off the players when i was getting their autographs…you shouldn’t expect to be able to meet players anyway…you should be greatful that they are taking time out of their busy lives to do this for us :)

      1. Drew Hendrix says:

        lucky to have met calvin, thats awesome. i think its ridiculous the setup im hearing to meet barry sanders thats my idol ive wanted to meet him my whole life and it doesnt even sound like many people will get a chance

  3. Bob says:

    I agree with everything Big Chris said. There is no one in the state of Michigan who has figured out how to host a free autograph signing without it turning into a giant cluster of epic proportions, including 97.1. The people that 97.1 had handling the autograph lines last year had no clue what they were doing (nice people, but no clue). I really hope they charge a minimum of $10 per autograph this year and allow you to buy a maximum of 2 tickets for each signer. Increase the price for the higher end guys. That is the only way you stop the crush of thousands of people and having it get out of control. Cut off ticket sales at a reasonable number (i.e., 400). Stagger the signers and times better so you don’t need to take 6 friends along with you to get the people you want. After experiencing last year’s “attempt” at an autograph show, I have to say, I’d rather attend a paid signing. This a great idea, but 97.1 needs to figure out how to run this without it being a circus like last year.

  4. Brian says:

    I attended last year and had a great time, i got there 3 hours early to meet Calvin. I was still able to get pretty much every other person. as soon as I was done, i got in line to get a ticket. The only guys I didnt get last year were Zack Follett (Had nothing for him) and John Long (Got there too late), even though I could have gotten both. I am glad another show is happening and liked the ticket idea but it was run the wrong way. I dont know how it could be fixed because it didnt affect me, but it was a madhouse! Looking forward to this year! Thanks again 97.1!

  5. Bob says:

    To add to my earlier comments, making people line up for tickets for signer A at the same time that signer B is signing is a big part of what the problem was last year. In addition, the way the signers were staggered, it was very difficult. Unless you took a small army of friends with you to wait in all the lines, of course. I have been to national autograph shows where you could literally buy one of every autograph for like 20 signers, and because they organize it the right way, you never miss getting one of them. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea and I am glad 971 wants to do this. But the autograph signings need some professional management. If they don’t fix it, it’s honestly not worth wasting the Saturday afternoon. I know of a lot of other people who went last year who feel the same way.. Hopefully they provide some detailed comments in advance about how they plan to run it this year. The show definitely has potential to be a lot of fun if run the right way.

  6. Ron says:

    after reading the comments above i will not be going to the show this year sounds like a great idea ,but also sounds like trouble. would love to go big sports fan here but could do wiyhout the headaches.

  7. Brad says:

    I really can’t believe that people are complaining about a FREE fan appreciate event. Of course you’re going to have a couple of rude people show up, but you can’t let that ruin your time. I was there for the entire time, got 2 autographs and was perfectly happy. Aside from the autographs, there were a ton of other free items and giveaways. Plus it was cool to be able to talk to the guys I listen to on the radio everyday.

    1. Steve says:

      Free giveaways…I’ll be there. I also so a giveaway on facebook for wings tickets. pretty cool but the contest ends 1/17.

    2. Drew Hendrix says:

      do you or anyone know who else may be there this year other than barry of course?

  8. Brian says:

    Yes, Giveaways galore.
    I got about 50 free Pistons Tix (No Joke)
    Fun things to do, its a great time.

  9. Garrett K. says:

    Those are also the idiots who probably cut us off in the grocery line, in traffic, and even while waiting to see sports stars. You live with them. They can go be idiots if they want. Just go and have fun. Don’t let some Negative Nancy’s ruin a great day of fun.

    1. NANCY says:


  10. Dave says:

    This was a great event! You never can complain about a free event, especially one that brought in a star as big as Calvin Johnson. For all the people complaining maybe you shouldn’t attend. Then it will be less chaotic for all of us that enjoyed it.

  11. Big Chris says:

    Well just to clarify my comment to those of you who obviously didn’t read or pay close enough attention to what I was saying, Dave, Garrett, and Brad. I think it’s great that 97.1 is hosting an event like this, however, if they’re going to have an autograph session with current and former athletes, it needs to be organized or you will end up with childish and immature clowns that will do anything just to get some ink on an object. Bringing the family and kids is great, but if you’re going just to “check it out,” it will be an absolute waste of your time. If you’re not a patient person or hate standing in lines or in large crowds, don’t come. That is one of the biggest downsides to this event, is lines. Everywhere you go, whether it’s waiting for an autograph, waiting to get a free giveaway, or waiting to buy a beer, you will be waiting in lines all day. I hope to find out more information on how they will be handling everything this year.

    1. Garrett K. says:

      My bad Big Chris. I am a very patient person, but if you want to do everything possible, how many people should you bring with you to this event?

  12. Bob says:

    Big Chris, well said yet again. As I also echoed, I certainly wasn’t criticizing the free event- I love that they are doing it. But come on…I have two hockey players I want to get last year, they are sitting right next to each other and the way they set it up, I need to be in line to get tickets to one of them (actually, “hope” to get tickets) while the other is signing, so I miss one. That’s not a good way to organize it. I mean, the fact that people would actually offer to pay money for autographs just to ensure it was more civilized and better organized should say something to the organizers of this event. Plus, while I didn’t even attempt Calvin last year, I heard of several people who waited outside in the cold for a couple hours before the show even opened and still missed him. Like I said, I’ve seen very, very few free autograph signings that were well organized. Hopefully they fix it this year. If not or if they don’t provide good details upfront for how it will be handled, I just won’t go.

  13. Marty says:

    I agree 100% with Big Chris and Bob. I am extremely happy that 97.1 is putting on an event like this because I enjoy collecting Detroit stars autographs and am happy that it is free, but I am hoping it organized a HELL of a lot better than it was last year. I could tell that the organizers had no idea what to do for some of the lines and it was confusing at times to even know who you were in line for. I understand that it was the first time for an event like this in this area, so I will cut them some slack, but hope that they have the kinks worked out this year. All told, I still came away with about 5-6 autographs last year which made me happy especially because they were free, but even I commented to a friend last year that I would pay a little for each person to keep some of the “less interested” parties away.

  14. Chris Howitt says:

    If it were the 5th year of the event, then all of those situations would be inexcusable. It takes time and learning from your mistakes to get it right and I’m sure the marketing people at 97.1 have gotten a lot of feedback on last years event and are doing a lot to make this years event a lot better. I will definitely be attending.

  15. Frank says:

    Instead of charging for autographs, charge to get in the door – we all saw the chaos that happened because of the “free” Monday Night Football game a few weeks ago.

    1. Garrett K. says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more, Frank. Saying that something is free brings out all the crazies. I think 97.1 has learned though how to handle signings. One day they can do it is you pay for the autographs and then they have an athlete that resembles a different color wristband. This way, you can get everyone through the line efficiently and then if they wanted another autograph they would pay for another band. Limit wouild be 2

  16. Garrett K. says:

    Wristband thing would work the best. If they wanted all of them, they woiuld just have a separate band for that and once they are through the line, they get the band cut off. Same goes for each athlete. This system really is not bad, but could take a lot of man power to try and make sure no one is trading bands.

  17. andy says:

    does anyone know who is going to be at sportsfest this year?

  18. Big Chris says:

    No not yet, but they will post a lineup of who will be coming and at what time they will be signing autographs, and who will be on the main stage for Q&A session with the fans. They should post it within a week or two.

  19. andy says:

    thanks big chris thats what i figured!

  20. Jessica says:

    Event was awesome. awesome. awesome. Thank you 97.1. I saw some staff get SCREAMED at because they didnt like these “clowns” running in lines. It was sad because a lot of them volunteered their time to make this a FREE event. No event is perfect especially the first annual. I was patient and waited in lines, didnt get all autographs though I would have loved to, but was thrilled with what I got. Thanks for making this free, I appreciate all that the event had to offer! iIf you arent happy with it, sign up as a volunteer to make it better!

  21. neil says:

    If they charge for autographs, I wont go. No reason for it..I see the point..but I wont go. I went last year, and had a great time. I don’t have the money to blow on stuff like that.. not that important to me. glad they had a great career, sorry they had to leave…but, they made their not donating to their cause. To many people charge sick amounts of money for photos/autographs.

  22. andy says:

    heard on 97.1 that barry is going to be at sportsfest this year along with zack follet i do beleive but not 100% on follet!

  23. andy says:

    can anyone validate my post?

  24. Bob says:

    Good god. Barry Sanders? Take the Calvin Johnson snafu from last year and multiply it by like 100. This has the potential to be a stampede if they don’t fix the problems from last year. Still nothing from 97.1 as to how they plan to do that….hmmmmm.

  25. Brian says:
    here is the procedure, and I must say, Im not happy at all about this one, It should be first come first serve.

  26. Mom 2 three! says:

    Personally I think its a great idea!!! Some people come with their small children such as myself and there is no way I can nor would I drag my children out to be there before the sun comes up. This way it gives everyone an equal chance to get an autograph. Not just the people who have nothing better to do then stand outside for 12 hrs prior to the door opening. They are putting on a FREE show… Lets be grateful and NOT complain. If you are meant to get to sig you will!

    1. Brian says:

      I personally feel that if you have nothing better to do then to stand outside for 12 hours (me) then you deserve an autograph. Those people are the collectors and the true fans that would cherish the autograph. I understand your situation, but there will be people getting Barrys autograph that have no interest in it at all and are going to put it on ebay as soon as they get home. Those people ruin it for the rest of us.
      Everybody is going to get a wristband for the lottery, whether they want an autograph or not. Which isnt right. Thats my take on the situation

  27. Bob says:

    Who the heck thought this Barry thing up? That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. That place is going to be full of thousands of people. 97.1 clearly did not learn from last year. Barry Sanders at a free signing? Take the stupidity of how they handled it last year and multiply by 100. I now officially have zero interest.

  28. Big Chris says:

    Bob you are a good man. If you thought last year was a madhouse, holy hell, their will be stabbings at this years sportsfest. I like how they are eliminating the waiting outside for 12 hours factor, but he’s signing 100 autographs? Wow, I’ve been to hundreds of autograph events and I am a true collector, it will literally take barry 15 minutes to sign 100 autographs. Once again 97.1 is creating mass chaos for themselves AGAIN. I really appreciate them bringing in a guy like barry for free, but to set up the way they’re going to handle things is a joke. And Brian you are 100 percent right, their is nothing for a true collector to witness, then the fact that someone will get a barry autograph on an item like a SCREEN PRINT jersey, or a MINI football. Those items are a waste. If ur going to put the time, effort, and money into getting an autograph, then do it right. But we all know that its not the collectors that ruin things for everyone, its the people that just want to say “hi” to the athlete. They are the ones who cut in line, cause confusion and chaos, and create lines. This years sportsfest sounds disasterous.

  29. Big Chris says:

    Now let’s hear all the people put comments like, “don’t come,” or, “stop complaining.”. And that’s fine, however, the people that are writing those comments are the same people that are causing the chaos and confusion at sportsfest. So go ahead because I know its coming, but just remember, you are the ones that are ruining it for everyone else.

  30. Brad says:

    Part of the chaos of last year was the cutting in lines to get the tickets. I am assuming Barry is very expensive to book, so they’re only booking the 100 signatures. I don’t understand why having a lottery is worst than last year. You either have a winning wrist band or you don’t. It’s more clear cut and fair. This is coming from someone who would stand in line for 12 hours.

  31. Brian says:

    are they going to have the ticket thing for the rest of the signers?

  32. Big Chris says:

    I dont think its worse then last year, i just think that waiting in a line to get a wristband for an autograph thats not guarenteed is a joke. You wont even be able to get any other autographs. I realize youre not going to get everyone, but come on.

  33. andy says:

    i just dont like the idea of the way that they are doing barry because someone can come in at 1:30 and get a wrist band and get their # called and the person that was there for the whole thing not get theirs called in which is bs! i totally agree with brian 100% on this one!

  34. Brian says:

    That’s exactly my point Andy. I’m going to be getting there when the doors open, so you should get 1st dibs right? Last year, I got there at 7am, waited outside for 3 hours freezing my ass off to get Calvins auto. I was planning on doing the same for Barry, maybe even getting there earlier. Now anyone can go in at anytime and get the auto. Knowing it will be on eBay later that night because there is no sentimental value to them. I got 15 autos last year by myself, I have a feeling I’ll be lucky to get 5 this year.

  35. DIANA GILLEY says:


    Frist of all enjoy the freebie It was a great time my grandson love it and can’t wait for this year to go. I’m a grandma and love seeing all the fans the stars and the group from 97.1 . We had a great time. Stay home if all your going to do is moan and groan about it so the rest of us can enjoy are selfs. bE GLAD THERE DOING IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Big Chris says:

    And so it begins……….

  37. Brad says:

    I don’t think the Barry line is going to prevent you from getting the other autographs you want to get. The line is open for 3 1/2 hours so there’s probably only going to be a few people in it at any given time. Plus there was a break for lunch last year when nothing was going on. You can always stand in the Barry line then.

  38. Brian says:

    That is true. Im wondering who else might come, and when they will release more names.

  39. Big Chris says:

    Yeah I saw that brad, I mis read the time slot and thought it was from 10-11:30am. That’s my fault. But I’m not sure why they haven’t released the schedule yet.

  40. Brad says:

    Ya I’d like to see a schedule as well. I’m not really interested in anyone they have lined up (except for Barry) and I already have Zack’s autograph. I’m hoping they bring in another Bad Boy!

  41. Ron says:

    how is parking for the event.. Was there enough parking at Rock.

    1. Brian says:

      I didnt notice any problems with parking. That is a pretty huge parking lot haha. But the only thing i know is that parking is $5

  42. ken says:

    does anyone know who else is going to be there beside sanders? i have tried to find a list but comming up with nothing..

  43. Garrett K. says:

    I am actually kind of glad that they have a procedure for Barry. The line will be so long that noone will get autographs and everyone will try to get Barry. Plus I think this procedure will scare off a ton of people from getting his auto. I might go to this event, but I am not even going to bother to wait in line for Barry Sanders. Not a big enough football fan to wait in line for that.

  44. Big Chris says:

    These comment is for sammi who left a comment towards the top of the page.
    If you took offense to the word, “trash,” then you were part of the, “trash,” that showed up last year. And for the fact that the athletes, “take their time out of their busy day,” I appreciate them doing it for the fans. However, some of the athletes that will appear at sprts fest are getting paid to do so. For example, barry sanders has an exclusive contract with mounted memories. In his contract, he MUST be paid to sign autographs at a public event. I know that guys like mccarty and dan petry will show up for free, and I honestly 100 percent appreciate that. But to say these guys don’t need to come or show up, well, that’s a bit of a farce. As much money as fans spend on tickets, memoribillia, apperal, and other sports related expenditures, this is the least they can do is to show up for a FAN APPRECIATION EVENT. And to get upset over my comments that are true, well people like you are the reason that people are afraid to spank their child in public if they’re acting up, because someone like you would probably call child protective services. You are also the type of person that would drive a foreign car when a member of your immediate amily works the big 3. So if you’re going to add your 2 cents to the conversation you better have facts to back up your information. Don’t let your mouth write checks that your ass can’t cash. And remember, nothing is ever “free,” I will leave you with one question, who is getting all the money from: parking, concessions, and the sports pub? Is it the venue, 97.1, the athletes, or is 97.1 receiving the money and then paying for athletes to come in and give their”good honest time and energy” to sign autographs? As much as we “want” to believe that the athletes want to devote their time to the fans, we know that money is a better motivator then anything.

  45. andy says:

    so is anyone getting follett after the comments that he made over the week? i think that i am cause he seems like a good kid and people shouldnt judge just because he tells the truth about a teamate!

    1. Brad says:

      Zack’s a great guy. If you get a chance to get his signature, I’d definitely go for it! I missed out on him at SportsFest last year, but got a chance to attend another one of his signings.

  46. Brian says:

    I juat want to know when they are making more announcments of additional signers. Its getting pretty close, youd think they would have the others booked by now

  47. Eshegg says:

    Anybody hear of any signers for 2012?? rumored were the following:


    D Rozma

    Zac Fowler (<<sp check)

  48. Living Legends says:

    For the record, BIg Chris, Barry does not have an exclusive contract with Mounted Memories. If this were true he would only be able to do Mounted Memories shows and sign MM products only. He would not have been at Gibraltor in December and he would not be at Sportfest. I’m not trying to be abrasive or a know-it-all, just merely stating a fact.

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