It will be a different kind of Spring Training for the defending World Series champions, who will depart Florida following their March 19 home game against the Blue Jays for an International excursion to Tokyo, where the Sox will officially open their 2008 season with two games against the Oakland Athletics.
The Red Sox will open the 20-game Grapefruit League portion of their schedule on Feb. 29 with a road game against the Twins, who also train in Fort Myers.
The club tried to make the most of its abbreviated spring in Florida when planning the schedule.
"With the abbreviated Grapefruit League schedule due to our Japan trip, it was our intent to schedule as many spring home games as possible," said Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino. "Of the 22 games we will play in Florida, 13 will take place at City of Palms Park and three at Hammond Stadium, giving us 16 games in Lee County. We realize the impact that Spring Training has on this community, and we did everything in our power to maximize the time we have in Southwest Florida."
Among the teams who will visit City of Palms Park are the Twins (March 2, 7) Pirates (March 4), Reds (March 5), Dodgers (March 6), Marlins (March 8), Mets (March 11), Rays (March 13), Orioles (March 14), Reds (March 15) and the finale against the Jays on the 19th.
Tickets for all 13 home games will go on sale on Dec. 15 at redsox.com. Fans located in Fort Myers can also buy tickets from the City of Palms Park box office, which will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 15-16, and 9-5 during weekdays.
The price breakdown will be as follows:
Home-plate boxes are $46; dugout box seats in the front row are $40; dugout box seats in row 2 are $36; other box seats are $26; right-field deck seats are $26; reserved seats are $23; bleachers are $15; lawn seats and reserved standing room are $12; regular standing room is $10.
Tickets for the college doubleheader on Feb. 28 will be half-price. In 2007, the Red Sox sold out all of their Spring Training home games.
The Red Sox will play their chief rivals -- the Yankees -- just once during Spring Training, and that will be a road game at Tampa on March 17. Some other road stops include visits to Jupiter to play the Marlins (March 3), Fort Lauderdale for a split-squad contest with the Orioles (March 7), Vero Beach against the Dodgers (March 9), Port St. Lucie for a meeting with the Mets (March 10) and Bradenton against the Pirates (March 16).
After arriving in Tokyo, the Red Sox will have a workout on March 21, followed by exhibition games against Japanese opponents on March 22-23, and the two regular-season games against Oakland (March 25-26).
The Red Sox will then resume exhibition play upon their return to the United States, facing the Dodgers in a three-game series in Los Angeles from March 28-30. The middle of those games will be played at the Memorial Coliseum, while the other two will be at Dodger Stadium.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.