Fresno Grizzlies plan big night for home opener

FRESNO, Calif.

The team is emphasizing the Valley's agricultural roots, from BBQ tri-tip to a big farmers market. But fans are coming to Chukchansi Park to see baseball and a sellout, or close to it, is expected.

Tickets for the opening home game were selling fast; fans were lining up early.

"Absolutely, I was lucky enough to get tickets for tonight's game," said Lucy Matoian.

Baseball is the main attraction and the Grizzlies have planned a big night.

"We think it's a really unique way to open the season. You're going to have a farmers market, you're going to have baseball, and you're going to have post-game fireworks; not too many places in the Fresno area you're going to get all those three things at one time," said Ryan Young with the Fresno Grizzlies.

The farmers market will be part of the new agricultural theme, centered around a rustic barn above the seats in left field.

"We've got that many vendors that will be at the park to where we're going to run all along the third base side every Friday night and it kicks off tonight," said team spokesman Derek Franks.

The Grizzlies are beginning a four-game home stand against the Las Vegas 51s. They've played their first eight games on the road -- four in Vegas last week and four in Salt Lake City this week. Hometown fans are glad they are back.

"Oh very excited, opening day is the best day of the year here in Fresno," said Mike Wells.

The Grizzlies are 3 and 5 on the season in action against Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. With a sellout crowd at home, they'll have plenty of motivation for a good game on Friday night.

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