Chicago White Sox Finally Bring Back Major Event Despite Potential Backlash

After four years away, apparently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sox are bringing back their fan festival.
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

It seemed understandable when the Chicago White Sox canceled SoxFest in 2021, since the pandemic was still in full swing. But there seemed no reason to avoid the event in 2022, 2023, and 2024 as the pandemic waned and life returned to normal. And White Sox fans have been calling for the franchise to fix this situation.

Even an event with a mask requirement would've probably been preferred to no event at all.

White Sox Bringing SoxFest Back

The team announced that the major fan event will finally return next year (January 24-25, 2025), though there's reason to believe this is a strategic publicity play, rather than a genuine good deed for their loyal fanbase.

There's been a consensus among some fans and media that the Sox canceled Soxfest and used Covid as an excuse in 2021 and 2022 (no specific reason was given for 2023's cancellation) in order to avoid facing fan backlash after their rebuild failed — especially since many fans believe the rebuild failed, at least in part. because Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf forced the hiring of his friend Tony La Russa as manager.

Fans are also angry that popular TV broadcaster Jason Benetti left to pursue the same job in a smaller market with the division rival Detroit Tigers. Benetti has tried to explain that he left because Detroit was a better opportunity, but there have been hints in media reporting that the Sox were unhappy with Benetti's style, popular as he was/it was, and drove him out. The Sox will not have to answer for that by skipping 2024 -- although season-ticket holders might be able to grill team employees tonight.

The Sox may still face criticism even after bringing the event back — next year's event will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 2005 World Series championship team and the 125-year anniversary of the franchise.

A cynic might suggest that the Sox will focus on happy memories from the past and downplay any struggles that the once-again-rebuilding 2024 team will face — especially since the team will probably still be in rebuild mode in 2025.

A cynic would suggest that. I am not that cynical — or am I? I am a White Sox fan, after all.

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