As Jays fans prepare for the trek to sunny Florida to see if Toronto can follow up on its best season since 1998, here are some questions and answers that should help fans catch their favorite club in person this spring:
When do the Blue Jays arrive at camp?
Toronto's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Feb. 16, with position players following on Feb. 21. The first full-squad workout will be on Feb. 22.
When do games start?
The Blue Jays begin their Grapefruit League slate with a home game against the division-rival Red Sox on March 1. Among the spring highlights are three games against the Yankees (March 19 and 29 at home; March 24 in Tampa) and meetings with AL Central powerhouses Detroit (March 6 in Lakeland; March 17 at Knology Park) and Minnesota (March 11 at home; March 23 in Ft. Myers). Jays fans can get an up-close look at National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Howard when the Phillies come to Dunedin on March 21, one of three games against Philadelphia. The Jays break camp on March 31 after their Grapefruit League finale against the Reds at home.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets for all of Toronto's Spring Training games at Knology Park are on sale now and can be purchased online at bluejays.com., in person at the Knology Park box office or by calling the Blue Jays Spring Training ticket office at 888-525-JAYS (5297) or locally at 727-733-0429.
Knology Park, located in a residential area, holds 6,106 fans. A center concourse separates the lower and upper seating and a small roof provides some shade for the higher rows. There are air-conditioned skyboxes and three picnic areas. When Spring Training is over, the stadium becomes the home of the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League.
Ticket prices and other information can be found at the Blue Jays' Spring Training Tickets page.
Where is Dunedin, and how do I get there?
Dunedin is located roughly 25 miles west of Tampa and 20 miles northwest of St. Petersburg on the Gulf coast of Florida. Tampa International Airport and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport are your options as flying destination points.
If driving to the stadium from Tampa, take State Road 60 across Tampa Bay and turn right on McMullen Booth Road. Go to Sunset Point Road and turn left. You'll cross US 19 before arriving at Douglas Avenue, where you'll turn right. Parking is at the second stoplight. If coming from St. Petersburg, take SR 686 to US 19, where you'll turn right. From there, you'll take a left on Sunset Point Road and a right on Douglas Avenue.
How can I watch the team work out?
All Spring Training workouts are held at the Bobby Mattick Training Center at Englebert Complex and are free to the public.
The Bobby Mattick Training Center at Englebert Complex is located a little more than three miles from Knology Park. Take Douglas Avenue to Main Street and turn right. Then take a right on FL-580 and drive for about a mile before turning left on Keene Road. Less than a mile from there, turn right on Solon Avenue and you'll see the complex. Parking is on nearby Garrison Road. There are bleachers located in between the fields, and workouts will have started by 9 a.m.
Where can I get autographs?
Players move freely from one diamond to another during workouts and will occasionally stop to sign autographs if time allows. You might also be able to catch them heading back to the clubhouse once workouts are done for the day. Once Grapefruit League and exhibition games begin, the players move to Knology Park, where there is a short fence near the clubhouse by the right-field foul pole and players will sometimes stop there to sign.
What else is there to do in Dunedin?
Dunedin has numerous beaches, including Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island State Park. There is also the Pinellas Trail, a 39-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that runs throughout Pinellas County and intersects in Dunedin. You could venture into the many shops in town or enjoy the various crafts and foods available from vendors at the Dunedin Green Market, which is open every Friday during Spring Training from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and is located near the ballpark in Pioneer Park at Douglas Avenue and Main Street.
Tampa and St. Petersburg are two also nearby, and Disney World is less than a two-hour drive from Dunedin. Visit the City of Dunedin Web site for more information.
When do the Blue Jays open the regular season?
After a day off following the conclusion of Spring Training, Toronto visits the AL champion Tigers for the season opener on April 2. The Jays host the Royals at Rogers Centre a week later for their home opener, on April 9.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less