More that 100 Tested Tips That Really Work
by Zachary Hample
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WHEN TO ARRIVE AT THE BALLPARK
Just because you bring your baseball glove to the game doesn't guarantee you will catch a ball. There are many other things to consider, such as when to arrive at the ballpark.
Game day for baseball players begins hours before the first pitch, as they stretch, throw, run, and hit in preparation for the game. At a Broadway musical, if you get to the theater early, you'll hear the orchestra rehearsing and tuning their instruments. Baseball players also need to tune their instruments -- their bodies -- before using them.
Major league stadiums open their gates to the fans well in advance of game time. Your ticket entitles you to enter the stadium as early as the gates open. Do it. It's free. Why not get there sooner and be able to spend more time chasing baseballs while watching the players and looking at the velvety outfield grass?
The list that follows gives opening times for all thirty major league stadiums. The times shown indicate how much before game time the gates open for fans to enter.
Anaheim Angels (Edison Field, 714/663-9000): 1 1/2 hours
Arizona Diamondbacks (Bank One Ballpark, 602/462-6500): 2 hours
Atlanta Braves (Turner Field, 404/522-7630): 3 hours
Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 800/551-7328): 2 1/2 hours
Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park, 617/267-1700): 1 1/2 hours
Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field, 800/347-CUBS): 2 hours
Chicago White Sox (Comiskey Park, 312/674-1000): 2 hours
Cincinnati Reds (Cinergy Field, 513/421-4510): 1 1/2 hours on Mon.-Fri.; 2 hours on Sat.-Sun.
Cleveland Indians (Jacobs Field, 216/420-4200): 1 1/2 hours
Colorado Rockies (Coors Field, 303/ROCKIES): 2 hours
Detroit Tigers (Tiger Stadium, 248/25-TIGER): 1 1/2 hours
Florida Marlins (Pro Player Stadium, 305/350-5050): 2 hours
Houston Astros (The Astrodome, 713/6-ASTROS): 2 hours
Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium, 816/921-8000): 1 1/2 hours
Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium, 213/224-1448): 1 1/2 hours
Milwaukee Brewers (County Stadium 414/933-9000): 1 1/2 hours
Minnesota Twins (The Metrodome, 800/33-TWINS): 1 1/2 hours
Montreal Expos (Olympic Stadium, 800/GO-EXPOS): 1 1/2 hours
New York Mets (Shea Stadium, 718/507-TIXX): 2 1/2 hours
New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium, 718/293-6000): 1 1/2 hours on Mon.-Fri.; 2 hours on Sat.-Sun.
Oakland Athletics (The Oakland Coliseum, 510/568-5600): 2 hours
Philadelphia Phillies (Veterans Stadium, 215/463-1000): 1 1/2 hours on Mon.-Fri.; 2 hours on Sat.-Sun.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Three Rivers Stadium, 800/BUY-BUCS): 1 1/2 hours
St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium, 314/421-2400): 1 hour on night games; 2 hours on some weekends.
San Diego Padres (Qualcomm Stadium, 619/283-4494): 1 1/2 hours on Mon.-Thurs.; 2 hours on Fri.-Sun.
San Francisco Giants (3 Com Park, 415/467-8000): 2 hours
Seattle Mariners (The Kingdome, 206/622-HITS): 2 hours
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (The Tropicana Field, 813/825-3250): 1 1/2 hours
Texas Rangers (The Ballpark at Arlington, 817/273-5100): usually 3 hours; 2 hours on some afternoon games.
Toronto Blue Jays (Skydome, 416/341-1234): 1 1/2 hours
As you see, several ballparks have different opening times on weekends than on weekdays. Opening times may vary, unannounced, if there's bad weather, a doubleheader, Opening Day, or a postseason game. Stadiums occasionally change the rules from one year to the next.
To prevent getting to the stadium too early and wasting time, or getting there too late, call the ticket office to make sure what time the gates open. In addition, not all gates at a park open at the same time. Find out which one opens first. At Shea Stadium, for example, Gate C opens two and a half hours prior to game time, whereas all other gates open only an hour and a half early.
Copyright © 1999 by Zachary Hample. Excerpted with permission.