Home opener May 2, but many details left

April 03, 1995|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Writer

The Orioles finally have a date -- May 2 -- for Opening Day at Camden Yards, but they don't have a sellout. Not yet, at least.

Though they weren't sure of exact figures, club officials estimated that as many as a few thousand tickets remain for the new opener, a Tuesday game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers game was the 25th on the Orioles' original schedule, but the three weeks of the regular season became a casualty of labor strife between owners and striking players.

The game is a 7:35 p.m. start on the schedule, but Orioles officials said they would announce this week whether it will be shifted to the afternoon.

That's just one of the details the Orioles expect to be firming up this week.

"We hope to have announcements on some of the major issues affecting our fans," said John Maroon, the club's new public relations director, whose first official day on the job is today. "We'll be meeting in the next couple of days."

Among decisions expected this week from the Orioles:

* Refunds. The club will be coming up with its policy for returning money to fans for games at Camden Yards canceled by the work stoppage.

* Rescheduled games. Major League Baseball officials said they would aim for a 144-game season, leaving open the possibility for some April games to be played later in the season, possibly as doubleheaders.

* Spring training games. As of last night, Maroon said the Orioles knew little about how many spring training games they will play, and against which teams.

Camden Yards ticket windows will be open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Yesterday, there was a "decent amount" of activity at the box office, Maroon said, as fans anticipated the beginning of baseball after the 7 1/2 -month players strike.

The Orioles could make their 1995 debut at the ballpark before the May 2 home opener. Joe Foss, Orioles vice chairman for finance, said last night he would make efforts to bring a preseason game to Camden Yards.

An exhibition would be good business for the Orioles.

"It's a significant revenue source," Foss said.

It's also a way for Orioles fans to get a look at the team before it goes off on a week's worth of road games to open the regular season, according to Foss, who said the club would seek a National League opponent.

The club previously had scheduled two exhibitions at Camden Yards -- against the Phillies and Rockies -- but both were wiped out by the players strike.

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