Fan Guide: Boston Red Sox

Spring Training Fan Guide: Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox return to their Spring Training haven of Fort Myers, Fla., for six weeks beginning on Feb. 18. Every spring, the Red Sox Nation relocates to Southwest Florida, making it feel like Boston South. The Sox play their home games in City of Palms Park, one of the nicest of all the Spring Training facilities. The Red Sox began playing in Fort Myers in 1993.

Fans will come with anticipation this year to see all the newcomers. Of course, right-hander Josh Beckett is the most heralded acquisition, but the Sox have also added center fielder Coco Crisp, second baseman Mark Loretta, third baseman Mike Lowell, first baseman J.T. Snow and several quality relievers in Julian Tavarez, David Riske and Rudy Seanez.

Coming off a 95-win season, the Red Sox will try to prolong their franchise-best postseason streak to four years in a row. Captain Jason Varitek, perennial MVP candidate David Ortiz and ace Curt Schilling are among those who will be back to help the cause.

As Red Sox fans prepare for their journey to Fort Myers, here are some questions and answers that should help:

When do the Red Sox arrive at camp?
Pitchers and catchers will report on Feb. 18; position players will arrive on Feb. 22. The first full-squad workout is on Feb. 23.

When do games start?
The Red Sox open their Grapefruit League schedule with a short bus trip to the other side of Fort Myers against the Twins on March 2. The next day, the Sox will open their City of Palms Park schedule with a split doubleheader against local college entries Boston College (1:05 p.m. ET) and Northeastern University (7:05 p.m. ET).

How do I get tickets?
Go online and order tickets at the Red Sox's Spring Training Tickets page. You can also purchase tickets in person at the City of Palms Park box office or by calling 617-482-4SOX. City of Palms Park has a capacity of 7,632. The Red Sox sell out most home games, but standing-room tickets are always available at the box office on the morning of the game.

Where is Fort Myers, and how do I get there?
Fort Myers is on the southwest coast of Florida, and there are several airlines that fly there from Boston. If you want more flight options, it would also be possible to fly to Miami, Tampa or Orlando and drive two to three hours to Fort Myers. City of Palms Park is located on 2201 Edison Avenue in Fort Myers. It is accessible from Cleveland Avenue. For the first two weeks of camp, before the games start, the Red Sox train at the Minor League complex, which is two miles east of City of Palms Park, also on Edison Avenue.

How can I watch the team work out?
For the first two weeks of camp, you can watch workouts from the Minor League complex, and they are free of admission. Typically, the Red Sox begin working out around 9:30 a.m. and come off the field around noon. Once the games begin, the only workouts available for public viewing are the typical batting practices that you would see before regular-season games.

spring training 2006
Get the inside scoop on your favorite team:
Cactus League:
White Sox
Grapefruit League:
Blue Jays
Devil Rays
Red Sox

Where can I get some autographs?
The best time to get autographs during the first two weeks of camp is after the workout. There is a roped-off area right outside the Red Sox's clubhouse where fans typically gather and several players sign autographs. Once the games begin, the best time to get autographs is during and shortly after batting practice. Players often venture to the first rows of stands just beyond the dugout.

What else is there to do in Fort Myers?
There is plenty of tanning to be had at Fort Myers Beach as well as Sanibel Island. Gourmands will be happy in Fort Myers, as there are restaurants galore, from the chain variety to individually owned establishments. There are also a number of shopping plazas and a large movie multiplex.

When do the Red Sox open the regular season?
The Sox open their 2006 season against the Rangers in Texas on April 3. Following a six-game road trip, Boston plays its Fenway Opener against the Blue Jays on April 11.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.