You won't need a sleeping bag to buy tickets for Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Or even mosquito repellent.
In a move designed to put an end to overnight lines at the Baltimore Orioles box office, team officials yesterday announced a new plan to distribute the roughly 4,000 tickets they plan to make available to the general public.
The team will hold a lottery.
Orioles spokesman Bob Miller said the Orioles were thinking back to sale of tickets for the final game at Memorial Stadium last October when they latched onto the lottery idea. Fans began lining up at Memorial Stadium 23 hours before the box office opened hoping for tickets to that game. Many went away disappointed, including some who had waited all night.
Miller said the Orioles were eager "to avoid the problem we encountered during the final-weekend fiasco.
"In that case, people assumed the best way to get tickets was to wait on line. We didn't want to see that happen again," Miller said.
This year's general-sale allotment of 4,000 tickets is double what the team offered to the public last year, Miller said.
The Orioles also announced tickets for other 1992 home games will go on sale Jan. 24 at the Memorial Stadium box office and at Orioles baseball stores. Tickets also can be purchased by phone by dialing 481-7328 in the Baltimore area.
How to enter
Fans who want to buy tickets -- primarily reserved ($8) and general admission ($4.75) -- for the Orioles' opening game, April 6 against the Cleveland Indians, should send a standard, 3 1/2 -inch-by-5-inch postcard to: Orioles Opening Day Ticket Drawing, P.O. Box 33488, Baltimore, Md. 21218. Ticket seekers should include their name, address and telephone numbers.
To be eligible, postcards must be received by the Orioles by Feb. 1. There is no limit to the number of postcards that can be submitted, but each fan's name can be chosen only once. Winners can buy 1 or 2 tickets, but no more.