SoxFest sales show fan optimism

CHICAGO -- Like a stamp of approval from Chicago White Sox fans, tickets for the club’s annual winter carnival known as SoxFest are now sold out, two weeks to the day before the event begins.

A limited number of single-day passes were gobbled up quickly after they went on sale Friday morning. The team did announce that a wait list for a hotel packages, with more information available by sending an e-mail to SoxFest@chisox.com. A hotel package includes discounted weekend passes.

The White Sox have generated plenty of optimism from a fan base that had been disappointed with two consecutive losing seasons and records below .500 in three of the past four years.

Player additions this offseason included Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche, Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Melky Cabrera and Emilio Bonifacio.

This year’s SoxFest will also include a tribute to the 2005 World Series champion club, which is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its title. Players from the 2005 team who are expected to attend SoxFest: Geoff Blum, Joe Crede, Tadahito Iguchi, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, Bobby Jenks, Scott Podsednik and Aaron Rowand.

Current players scheduled to attend: Duke, Robertson, Samardzija, John Danks, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Tyler Flowers, Avisail Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Jake Petricka, Jose Quintana and Alexei Ramirez. Manager Robin Ventura will be on hand, along with hitting coach Todd Steverson and pitching coach Don Cooper.

Prospects who are scheduled to appear: Tim Anderson, Courtney Hawkins, Carlos Rodon and Micah Johnson.

Former players who are expected: Bo Jackson, Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce and Harold Baines.

The event is scheduled to take place Jan. 23-25 at a new locale, the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Ave. SoxFest had been held at the Palmer House Hilton for the previous eight years.