Spring Training Fan Guide: Reds

Spring Training Fan Guide: Reds

The Reds celebrate their 10th preseason in Sarasota, Fla., this year, when they journey to the Sunshine State for Spring Training.

As Reds fans leave the wintry chill of the Queen City and head south to check out club in person, here's some information that should help make it a great trip:

When do the Reds arrive at camp?
Reds pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 17, with the position players reporting on Feb. 19. The first full-squad workout is on Feb. 23.

When do games start?
The Reds travel to Bradenton to begin the Grapefruit League schedule against the Pirates on March 1. Their first home game is March 3, when they host the AL Central champion Twins.

How do I get tickets?
Tickets for all Reds Spring Training games at Ed Smith Stadium are on sale now. For prices or to make a purchase, go to the Reds' Spring Training Tickets page.

The Ed Smith Stadium box office at 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. Beginning Feb. 18, the box office will also be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 941-954-4464 for more information. Single-game tickets can also be purchased at the Tickets.com phone center by calling 877-647-REDS.

Ed Smith Stadium has a seating capacity of 7,500, with 6,500 armchair seats and 1,000 bleacher seats. The parking lot can hold up to 2,000 cars, but parking can be found on the street if you arrive early.

Where is Sarasota, and how do I get there?
Sarasota is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and is serviced by non-stop flights from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on Delta and Comair to Sarasota-Bradenton Airport. Reds fans can also fly into area airports at St. Pete/Clearwater and Tampa.

If you're driving to Sarasota and Ed Smith Stadium from the north, take I-75 South to Exit 213 at University Parkway. Go west on University to Tuttle, then turn left and head south on Tuttle. The stadium is located on the right at the intersection of 12th and Tuttle.

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From the south, take I-75 North to exit 210 (Fruitville Road). Go west on Fruitville to Tuttle, then turn right on Tuttle to 12th. The stadium is on the left.

From Siesta Key, you should travel on Midnight Pass Road to Stickney Point Road. Take Stickney Point east to Swift Road, then turn left (north) on Swift. Swift Road will turn into Tuttle Avenue. Follow Tuttle Avenue north to the ballpark.

How can I watch the team work out?
There is no charge to watch practice and workouts on the practice fields behind the home clubhouse on Tuttle and 12th. There are bleachers for fans to sit in while the action is going on. Most of the workouts are held in the mornings, usually going from 9 a.m. until around 1:30 p.m.

Where can I get some autographs?
Players come and go from the clubhouse near the right-field corner. The visiting teams can be found near the dugout on the third-base side.

What else is there to do in Sarasota?
CNN/Money magazine chose Sarasota as America's "Best Small City" and one of the nation's top eight "Best Places to Retire." Golfers can make good use of the Bobby Jones Golf Complex, which opened in 1927. The city also has two shopping malls, a bird sanctuary and botanical gardens. To get closer to the Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key is nearby and offers plenty of activity and night life.

For more information, visit the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Web site: www.sarasotachamber.com

When do the Reds open the regular season?
The Reds open the 2007 regular season at home on April 2 with a 2:10 p.m. game against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.