IT'S OPENING DAZE BASEBALL TEAMS READY EFFORTS TO WELCOME FANS BACK TO PARKS

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So what happens to all those thousands of magnetic baseball schedules now that the season has been changed?

That's just one concern for Major League Baseball teams, with Opening Day for a strike-snipped season set for late April.

Every day is Opening Day for promos

Some club officials believe that promotion-wise, every day will be Opening Day this season.

"We are seeing some renewed interest [from fans], but we aren't assuming anything," said Mario Alioto, director of marketing and sales for the San Francisco Giants.

Teams say a late Opening Day isn't a reason to scrap a planned promotion. Some say they may reprint pocket schedules but not the magnet schedules. It's believed revisions will be minimal with only about four dates out of 144 changed.

Here's a sampling of teams' promotional plans:

The San Francisco Giants' Mr. Alioto asserted, "The emphasis is on our fans, and the first week of the season will be Welcome Back Week with a lot of giveaways." Some of the planned events sound more like the razzle-dazzle typically associated with minor league teams. "We will let fans sit in the radio announcers booth, kids will run the bases after a game, fans will have the chance to hit off our batting practice pitcher and we will give tours of the clubhouses," Mr. Alioto said. The Giants will have Cap Day and Gym Bag Day plus American Express Co. and Hitachi America will sponsor a calendar schedule promotion on Opening Day.

Boston Red Sox fans are responding to the "Friendly Fenway" theme, with the team reporting 94% renewal rate among season ticketholders. Kids Opening Day plans have been firmed up for April 29 and 30, said Rob Capilli, manager-corporate sales. Kids will receive a Red Sox T-shirt, sponsored by Coca-Cola Co.'s PowerAde, on the 29th and a Red Sox batting helmet on the 30th, sponsored by Kahn's hot dogs. "We are working on some type of welcome back event that will occur shortly after Opening Day," Mr. Capilli said.

The St. Louis Cardinals are doing more new promotions with their own money and not sponsorship dollars even though there were no sponsor casualties due to the strike. Fans at Busch Stadium will see clowns, face painters, mimes and girls doing back-flips between innings a la Ozzie Smith. The Cards have a 90% renewal of season tickets, but VP-Marketing Marty Hendin predicted Opening Day won't sell out. "We have a lot of free tickets already out," he said.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking at an Opening Day weekend April 28, 29 and 30.Season ticketholders, of which 91% have renewed, will be guests of the club the first night, said Paul Kalil, director of advertising and special events. Ticket prices at the gate will be rolled back to $3.50, $2.50 and $1.50, the cost in 1958 when the Brooklyn Dodgers went west. Cap Night, sponsored by Unocal, is planned for the second game. Sunday will be Fan Appreciation Day-a promotion that teams typically roll out at the end of the season-when the club will give away 130 prizes. The Dodgers will reprint their pocket schedules, but Mr. Kalil said the team pulled the plug on the Unocal magnet schedules before they were produced.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking at an Opening Day weekend April 28, 29 and 30.Season ticketholders, of which 91% have renewed, will be guests of the club the first night, said Paul Kalil, director of advertising and special events. Ticket prices at the gate will be rolled back to $3.50, $2.50 and $1.50, the cost in 1958 when the Brooklyn Dodgers went west. Cap Night, sponsored by Unocal, is planned for the second game. Sunday will be Fan Appreciation Day-a promotion that teams typically roll out at the end of the season-when the club will give away 130 prizes. The Dodgers will reprint their pocket schedules, but Mr. Kalil said the team pulled the plug on the Unocal magnet schedules before they were produced.

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