Consider it a gift from the GreenJackets to their fans. The 2008 campaign might be the most fan-friendly season in recent memory.
"I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say this may be our strongest schedule and promotional schedule in the 20 years of Augusta baseball," GreenJackets general manager Nick Brown said.
The first hint of a good season came when the GreenJackets released their 2008 schedule in October.
It was then that fans learned the team would play a pair of four-game home series on the July 4 and Memorial Day weekends. A home opener scheduled before Masters Week was also a good sign.
Now, with the new promotional schedule out, the season is looking even better.
"With that type of schedule it gave us the opportunity to provide more entertainment," Brown said. "Last year we did not have an Independence Day celebration in the month of July because we didn't play at home that week. We had to do it in June."
The GreenJackets added more fireworks, more theme nights, a record number of national acts and made an adjustment on Sunday afternoon game times, all in an effort to further improve the fan experience at the ballpark.
A total of eight national acts will appear at Lake Olmstead Stadium throughout the season -- more than any other season in the 20-year history of baseball in Augusta. The lineup includes the ZOOperstars, Mad Chad, Rally, Skip Banks, Myron Noodleman, Bucket Boys, Blooper and America's Best Frisbee Dogs.
Brown said the extra bookings came in an effort to make sure GreenJackets fans will have a good time at the stadium regardless of the final score.
"There are two things I can't control: Mother Nature and wins and losses," Brown said. "But we can control the environment at the ballpark."
The season will open at home on April 3 with a four-game series against Greensboro. Fireworks and an appearance from the ZOOperstars will wrap up the first home series on the weekend before the Masters Tournament.
Four other fireworks nights will follow throughout the season including May 23 to start off Memorial Day weekend, July 4 and 5 and Aug. 29, the final home game of the season.
Sunday afternoon games for the first two months were moved from an evening start time to 2:05 p.m. to take better advantage of the spring weather.
Reach Billy Byler at (803) 648-1395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRIL 3: Opening Night
APRIL 4: Fireworks
APRIL 5: ZOOperstars
APRIL 18: Mad Chad
APRIL 19: Superhero Night
APRIL 26: Kid's Carnival
MAY 3: '70s Night
MAY 8: Ocho De Mayo
MAY 9: Rally
MAY 10: Skip Banks
MAY 23: Fireworks
MAY 24: Myron Noodleman
MAY 26: Memorial Day
JUNE 6: Bucket Boys
JUNE 7: Bark in the Park
JUNE 20: Blooper
JUNE 25: Camp Day
JULY 4: Fireworks
JULY 5: Fireworks
JULY 18: Military Appreciation
JULY 19: Cartoon Night
AUG. 2: Pink in the Park
AUG. 15: Olympics Night
AUG. 16: Auggie's Birthday
AUG. 29: Fan Appreciation: Fireworks