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Spring Training Fan Guide: Orioles

Spring Training Fan Guide: Orioles

Ready or not, the Orioles are back for their 12th season at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, a location nestled deep in the heart of spring-break territory.

As O's fans prepare for their journey to the Sunshine State, here are some questions and answers that should help make the trip easier:

When do the Orioles arrive at camp?
Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 14, and full-squad workouts start on the 20th. Team practices will be open and available to the public for the first two weeks. However, once the Grapefruit League games start, practice is a private affair.

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When do games start?
The Orioles will start their exhibition season on March 1 in Jupiter, Fla., against the Marlins. Their Grapefruit League home slate begins the next day, then they host those same Fish at Ft. Lauderdale Stadium. Baltimore will play 14 home games in Florida during March, and, fans will get to see different big-league opponents, including the World Series champion Cardinals, the Beltway-rival Nationals and the NL East champion Mets.

Once the Florida portion of the spring is over, the Orioles will head home for two more exhibition games. The first one will be against the Nats at Norfolk, the new home of the Birds' Triple-A affiliate. The next day, the Orioles have a rematch with the Nationals at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

How do I get tickets?
Tickets are already on sale for Spring Training games, and they are available at orioles.com and at the team's box office. By phone, tickets can be obtained by calling TicketMaster at 954-523-3309 (Broward County), 305-358-5885 (Dade County) or 561-966-3309 (Palm Beach County). They're also available by fax at 954-776-1921.

Fort Lauderdale Stadium seats 8,340 fans, and all of the tickets can be bought for $20 or less. For a more detailed breakdown, click here.

Where is Fort Lauderdale, and how do I get there?
Fort Lauderdale is one of the premier tourist destinations in Florida, situated within an easy drive of Miami. If you're taking I-95, get off at Exit 32 -- Commercial Blvd. -- and travel west to Orioles Boulevard, where you'll make a right turn. Fort Lauderdale Stadium will be the second stadium on your left.

If you're taking the Florida Turnpike, get off at Exit 62 -- also Commercial Blvd. -- and travel east. Once you get to NW 15th Avenue, take a left. Fort Lauderdale Stadium will be the second stadium on your right.

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How can I watch the team work out?
Admission is free before the games start, and you can enter at any of the stadium's three main gates. However, once the games start, you can enter the stadium two hours before game time -- and you can walk in only at the entrance designated for your ticket type. Souvenir stands and food courts will be open even before the games start.

Where can I get some autographs?
The gates open at 9 a.m. ET for the early workouts, but things get more restricted when the games start. Fans are allowed down near the front row for early autograph signings, and the best bets are close to the dugout and down near the first-base stands. During warmups and batting practice, the front row of the bleacher section is another hot spot.

What else is there to do in Fort Lauderdale?
Fort Lauderdale has everything you could want in a Spring Training vacation spot, from pristine beaches to trendy bars and restaurants. Most of the excitement can be found on Las Olas Boulevard, known for its boutiques, art galleries, dance clubs and sidewalk cafes. The beach is just a mile east of the main strip, providing yet another option for relaxation.

For more information on Fort Lauderdale -- and Las Olas -- check out the street's official Web site at http://www.lasolasboulevard.com/us/.

When do the Orioles open the regular season?
The Birds begin the 2007 campaign in Minnesota, where they take on the AL Central champion Twins on April 2 at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Orioles' home opener comes a week later, when they host the AL champion Tigers on April 9 at 3:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards.

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

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