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04/09/05 2:48 PM ET

Red Sox set schedule for home opener

TORONTO -- The Red Sox formally announced the schedule of festivities for Monday's historic home opener against the Yankees. The team advises fans to get to the park early, as the gates will open at 12:05 p.m. ET, which is three hours before the first pitch.

The most anticipated moment of the day, when the Sox receive their World Series championship rings, is scheduled to occur at approximately 2:15 p.m. Pregame ceremonies will start at 2:05.

There will be several other moments that are likely to stir the emotions of the fans, including the raising of the World Series banner. The team will have a moment of silence for Pope John Paul II and former Red Sox closer Dick Radatz.

Because it is a weekday, parking will be limited.

"We have two pieces of advice: Take the T and come early," said Red Sox executive vice president/public affairs Dr. Charles Steinberg. "We urge fans to make it a hassle-free day. Come when the gates open, check out the expanded Third Base Concourse and the new First Base Deck, get comfortable and be in your seats by about 2 p.m.

"The 2005 Fenway Improvements have not only added function, but they have helped make the ballpark even more beautiful. The new, restored exteriors will take some fans back to the 1920s, just as the sea of green does inside the park. We hope fans take the time to stroll around the park and enjoy the improvements."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.