Comin' this weekend? Weather, Park tips

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
8:18
AM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Good morning from the Fort, where the forecast is 85 degrees and sunny for the opener of Saturday afternoon’s college double-header against Northeastern.

Capt. Rob on “Reel Talk,” the weekly fishing show on ESPN affiliate 770 in Fort Myers, was saying they’ve had 55 straight weeks in which temperatures reached 80 at least one day, but the weather is changing for Sunday. Rain is expected very late Saturday night, with a 40 percent chance until around 11 a.m. Then temperatures are expected to hold steady at around 69 degrees for the Grapefruit League opener against the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park.

Not to worry, those of you coming down next week. Temps are supposed to be back in the 80s by midweek.

Here’s some stuff the Sox sent out for fans coming here this weekend:

Gate Times

Gates will open two hours before the start of all games at JetBlue Park throughout the entire Spring Training season. Fans with tickets to the Northeastern game starting at 2:35 p.m. will be able to enter the ballpark for Saturday’s college doubleheader starting at 12:35 p.m. Fans attending the 7:05 p.m. game with Boston College are asked to arrive at the ballpark starting at 5:05 p.m.

For Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. game against the Twins, gates will open starting at 11:35 a.m. with the Red Sox scheduled to take batting practice at 11:00 a.m., followed by the Twins’ batting practice.

Paying Homage

The Red Sox will be honoring a number of groups throughout the weekend, including the hundreds of construction workers, designers, engineers, and tradesmen and women who helped build JetBlue Park and the Fenway South complex. Before Saturday’s Boston College game, representatives from each of the companies who helped bring the facility from concept to reality will be honored during a pre-game ceremony. Additionally, the group will be hosted by the Red Sox and Lee County in the Green Monster seats both inside and on top of the wall during that game.

Food and Entertainment

Fans will be able to enjoy concessions and entertainment on Fenway South Drive – a street festival reminiscent of Yawkey Way in Boston. The street will feature live entertainment from The Dixie Strollers during Game 1 on Saturday, and the Mariner High School Jazz Band on Sunday. Other entertainment, including face painting, magicians, stilt walkers, a bounce house, speed pitch, and other games for children, will be available on Fenway South Drive throughout the weekend.

Additionally, a number of local restaurant favorites will have stands set up in the tents on Fenway South Drive, including Pinchers Crab Shack, Norman Love Confections, Rib City, and Dutchkinz.

Getting to the Ballpark

The Red Sox, Lee County, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Fort Myers Rotary are all working together to help facilitate access and parking to and from JetBlue Park at Fenway South during the inaugural games and throughout the Spring Training season. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to help avoid traffic and to utilize both East and West entrances to the complex off of Daniels Parkway. On game days, fans should access JetBlue Park at Fenway South via I-75 or Treeline Avenue rather than Daniels Parkway west of I-75 to avoid traffic.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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