Opening Day: Fan information

If you are headed to Opening Day — the 108th in the storied history of the Red Sox and the 96th for Fenway Park — here’s a collection of helpful tips and suggestions from the Sox as you make your way to “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”

Transportation

Because of the scarcity of nearby parking on a weekday day game, the Red Sox urge their fans to take public transportation to Fenway. The Fenway is serviced by the Green B, C and D lines of the T at Kenmore Station.

Alternately, fans on the Orange Line of the T can get off the train at Ruggles Station at Northeastern University and access the Ruggles Shuttle to Fenway. Starting 90 minutes before game time and running every 10 minutes, the Ruggles Shuttle drops fans off at Gate B and provides easy and free-of-cost access to the park. The Shuttle resumes the return trip from the seventh inning on until one hour after the game.

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According to a release from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, there will be extra service on the Green Line before and after the game. To expedite the fare-purchasing process for customers, the T has more than doubled the number of CharlieCard Machines at Riverside Station and there are five CharlieCard Machines inside Fenway Park. Sox fans are strongly encouraged to purchase round-trip fares on their way into the game … to avoid long lines when heading back home.

For further information on how to get to the park, please visit the Red Sox homepage at www.redsox.com and click on the ‘Fenway Park’ tab.

Getting into the park

Gates will open earlier than usual, 2 1/2 hours before game time, at 11:35 a.m. The Red Sox will take batting practice from 11 a.m. until noon with the Tigers’ batting practice scheduled from noon until 12:45 p.m. Fans are instructed to take their seats by 1 p.m. to enjoy the ceremonies before the start of the game at 2:05 pm.

Fans picking up their tickets at the park can do so at the new will call windows at Gates B, C, and E.

Game Day ticket sales take place at Gate E and begin two hours before game time. Fans purchasing Game Day tickets are required to enter the ballpark immediately after their purchase. Even though supply will be limited, several hundred tickets will be available for purchase on Tuesday morning.

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Fans already in possession of printed tickets should proceed to their seats through any of the five Gates at Fenway Park. The most convenient entry based on your seat location is printed on your ticket.

There is a new elevator in operation for the 2008 season in the Gate E Concourse. This elevator gives improved access for patrons in Grandstand sections 28-33, the Green Monster, the ‘L’ suites, the Coca-Cola Corner, and the left field side of the State Street Pavilion.

2008 also will feature a new staircase by Gate A at Fenway, providing direct access all the way to the State Street Pavilion on the 4th level.

Pregame ceremonies

The Red Sox have planned for some special pregame ceremonies to celebrate the 2007 world championship season, beginning at 1 p.m. The ceremonies will commence with a parade of flags belonging to 62 nations on the warning track by the Green Monster. The nations represented by these flags either count Red Sox Nation members as its residents or have citizens who have been in touch with the Red Sox front offices via letters and emails professing their love for the Olde Towne Team.

In addition to the players receiving their World Series rings, championship banners will be unfurled on the Green Monster and the 2007 World Series pennant will be hoisted by the team on the center-field flag pole.

The Boston Symphony, the epitome of Boston’s musical culture, will be an integral part of the Opening Day ceremonies by performing the national anthem and by providing musical accompaniment to the entire ceremony.

Play ball!

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The first pitch from Daisuke Matsuzaka is tentatively scheduled for 2:05 p.m.

Through it all, stick with Boston.com for the latest from Fenway Park. We’ll have photos from all of the pregame festivities and the Globe’s Amalie Benjamin will be blogging throughout the day. The NESN broadcast begins at noon.