Warm thought: spring training tickets on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

Need a comforting, warm thought to take the chill off a mid-winter's day?

Orioles spring training tickets go on sale Saturday, Jan. 22 at 10 a.m.

So, if you want to ditch snow, ice and cold for the sunny shores of Sarasota and the new-look Ed Smith Stadium, you'll want to know all the details for how to acquire tickets for the Birds' 16-game Grapefruit League slate. Play starts March 1 with a home game against Tampa Bay.

Individual game tickets can be purchased by phone by calling 800-745-3000 or via the Internet at www.orioles.com. For those of you in and near Baltimore, those are the surest bets.

If you're down Sarasota way, you've got other options.

Through the Orioles' agreement with TicketMaster, individual game tickets can be purchased at Sarasota-area Wal-Mart stores. Game ticket orders can be faxed or mailed to the Orioles box office in Sarasota. The fax number is 941-365-1587; the mailing address is 2700 12th St., Sarasota, 34237. To request a ticket order form, call the Orioles at 941-954-4101.

Folks in Sarasota can also purchase tickets at the temporary box office at Ed Smith Stadium. That's located at the Orioles Clubhouse Building, adjacent to the stadium at 1090 N. Euclid Ave. in Sarasota. This temporary box office will be open on Jan.22 from 10-4 p.m., and will then be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m-4 p.m., from Jan. 24 until further notice. Limited parking will be available at the temporary box office, with additional parking available on 11th Street, as well as in the Orioles Preferred Lot on 12th Street, across from the stadium.

When you get to Sarasota, you'll notice a slew of changes at the Orioles' Florida roost. Ed Smith Stadium is undergoing extensive improvements that will dramatically transform the ballpark aesthetic and radically expand areas and amenities for fans. Enhancements to the fan experience include the addition of a two-story concourse with shaded views of the playing field; a new stucco façade with tile accents; refurbished stadium seats from Oriole Park at Camden Yards; additional private suites and party facilities; and a state-of-the-art audio/video system and video board. Improvements to the player facilities include new dugouts and bullpens; a new half field with AstroTurf; refurbished batting cages; and a practice field with the same dimensions as Camden Yards.

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