Orioles announce opening day plans

The Orioles have announced plans for the first home game of their 60th season, this Friday, April 5 at 3:05 p.m. against the Minnesota Twins.

PRE-GAME FUN AROUND THE YARD

To allow fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of Opening Day, the entire ballpark will open at noon on Friday. Each fan will receive a 2013 schedule/car magnet at the gates. Roving musical groups will entertain fans on Eutaw Street and the main concourses, and "The BUCKle Up Birds: An Underdog Story" will air on the centerfield video board beginning at approximately 1:10.

PRE-GAME CEREMONIES


PLAYER INTRODUCTIONS

Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m., when pre-game ceremonies will begin. MASN personality Jim Hunter will serve as emcee for the pre-game festivities.

In a continuation of the Opening Day tradition, Orioles players and coaches will be introduced prior to the game. Orioles players will run through the center field gate on an orange carpet and take their places between first and second base. Manager Buck Showalter, coaches and staff will be introduced from the Orioles dugout. Members of the Twins will be announced and will run from their dugout to line up between second and third base.

OriolesREACH has arranged for 80 youth from KidsPeace to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions. Founded in 1882, KidsPeace is dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, teens and young adults. The national charity provides a variety of foster care and community-based treatment programs to help youth in need overcome challenges and transform their lives.

For the 20th straight season, one fan will be chosen to represent all Orioles fans as the team's "10th man". The fan will be introduced as a part of the Orioles starting lineup during the pre-game ceremonies.

NATIONAL ANTHEM & GOD BLESS AMERICA

Nationally acclaimed operatic tenor Rolando Sanz will perform the National Anthem and God Bless America. Sanz is a native of Rockville, MD, and he recently made his Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Kostik in the world premiere of Prokofiev's lost opera Dalëkie Morja (Distant Seas).

During the anthem, a 30'x 42' American flag from Fort McHenry will be unfurled over the batter's eye wall in center field. The flag is a replica of the one that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem.

Colors will be presented by the United States Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington and the combined Honor Guard Team from the Baltimore City Police and Baltimore City Fire Departments.

GOLD GLOVE AWARDS PRESENTATION FOR HARDY, JONES AND WIETERS

Rawlings established the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 1957 to recognize the best fielders at each position; it has evolved into baseball's greatest measure of defensive excellence. Every year, managers and coaches of each Major League Baseball team select a squad of the best defensemen in their respective leagues, excluding their own teams.

In 2012, shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and catcher matt Wieters were named Gold Glove Award winners at their respective positions. It was the first award for Hardy and the second for both Jones and Wieters. In a pre-game ceremony, a representative from Rawlings will present all three with their Gold Glove Awards.

NEW IN 2013
BALLPARK ENHANCEMENTS

Warning Track: This past off-season, the Orioles replaced the rubberized warning track that had been in place since Oriole Park opened in 1992 with a natural surface composed of crushed stone. The color of the stone was designed to match the brick that appears throughout the ballpark and in the Warehouse. Actual samples of those same Williamsport, Maryland bricks were used in the final material to achieve the proper blend. The new surface covers approximately 20,000 square feet and required 300 tons of material.

Flag Court: With the move of the Houston Astros to the American League West this season, a 15th flagpole was installed in the Flag Court. There are now three rows of five flagpoles, which feature the daily standings of each division.

NEW FOOD ELEMENTS COMING TO ORIOLE PARK

The Orioles and their concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice, have made extensive additions to the food offerings at Oriole Park, highlighted by new menu options at both Dempsey's Brew Pub and Restaurant and ballpark concession stands.

* Triple Crown Sandwich: ESSKAY hot dog, the popular "bacon on a stick" and pulled pork all on a bun (Jack Daniel's Grill on Eutaw Street)

* TAKO-Korean BBQ: Korean beef steak and Korean chicken tacos (available as gluten-free), whole wheat edamame bao (vegetarian) and BBQ pork bao, and pad thai noodle salad (vegetarian and gluten-free) (TAKO stand on the 3rd base side of the main concourse)

* Crab Waffle Fries: waffle fries served with house made Old Bay crab dip (Chicken & Fries stand on the 3rd base side on the main concourse and Old Bay Seafood on the upper level concourse)

* The Walk Off: Old Bay Roma sausage in a pretzel roll topped with house made Old Bay crab dip (Dempsey's)

GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS

The Orioles and Delaware North Sportservice are pleased to offer several gluten-free concessions options in 2013.

* Dempsey's: The Dempsey Salad, Steak Salad, Catcher's Cobb, Baby Arugula Salad, Beer Can Chicken, Bacon on a Stick

* Boog's BBQ: (Please request gluten-free roll)

* Jack Daniels: Bacon on a Stick, Beer Can Chicken

* TAKO-Korean BBQ: Beef Steak and Chicken Takos (please request corn tortilla), Pad Thai Noodle Salad

* Das Sausage Haus: (Please request gluten-free roll) Old Bay Sausage, Italian Sausage, ESSKAY Hot Dog

* Season's Pizza: Gluten-free Cheese Pizza

* Eutaw Market: Go Picnic - Gluten-free meals

* All-Star Café (Club Level): Boog's BBQ (please request gluten-free roll)

TWEET #BIRDLAND AT THE BALLPARK

This season, fans are encouraged to use social media while at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and share their experiences with friends and followers. By tweeting the hashtag #birdland, fans could have their tweets selected to appear on the Oriole Park video board before and during the game. Fans are also encouraged to visit www.orioles.com/connect and sign up to follow all of the Orioles official social media platforms.

SECURITY MEASURES

The Orioles have one of the most liberal food policies in professional sports. Outside food and beverages may be brought into Oriole Park, subject to the following guidelines:

* No hard-sided coolers, thermoses, glass bottles, cans or alcoholic beverages are permitted into the ballpark. You must leave these items in your vehicle before entering the ballpark.

* Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles are permitted into the park. All items will be checked at the gates and any beverage which has been opened or partially consumed prior to entry is subject to confiscation if it is thought to contain alcohol. In addition, no plastic or paper cups of beverages are permitted into the park at the entry gates.

Other security measures include the following:

* All items permitted into the ballpark will be inspected. No bags or items exceeding the maximum size of 16" x 16" x 8" are allowed into the ballpark. Permitted items must easily fit into a 16" x 16" x 8" container. Bags on wheels are prohibited.

* No containers or unauthorized items can be left at any park entrance. You will be asked to return them to your vehicle.

* No re-entry will be permitted. Once you enter the ballpark, you will not be permitted to leave and re-enter the facility. Please make sure you have everything you need with you before entering the ballpark.

* Only vehicles dropping off or picking up guests with disabilities are permitted to stop curbside at the ballpark. No other vehicles are permitted curbside, nor will people be able to stand and wait with their vehicles.

* The Orioles welcome fan support in the form of handmade banners and signs. To ensure that all fans will have an unobstructed view of the ballgame, the Orioles do not permit the hanging of banners anywhere in the ballpark. Banners may only be displayed before and after the game and between innings. Banners are subject to confiscation if the content is commercial, political, and/or in bad taste according to the Orioles' discretion. The Orioles reserve the right to remove any banner at any time. Banners or signs must be made of a light, flexible material, such as paper or cloth, and cannot be made of wood, metal or other inflexible materials that could be dangerous in a public setting.

ORIOLE PARK IS NOW A SMOKE-FREE FACILITY

Effective March 4, 2013, the Maryland Stadium Authority began the enforcement of a smoking ban at the Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Complex, which includes Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Code of Maryland Regulations prohibits smoking or carrying lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars and pipes) within 25 feet of the stadium, ballpark and warehouse, as well as in the outdoor space along Eutaw Street between gates A and H. Fans attending Orioles games will be permitted to smoke only in a designated area just outside of Gate E1 on the third base side of the ballpark.

BICYCLE PARKING

New for 2013, the Orioles have added a designated Bicycle Parking Area to accommodate over 100 bicycles located just outside Gate C along the south side of Oriole Park. While the area will be supervised during games, owners are advised to lock up their bicycles when not in use.