The Tucson Padres will open their 2012 season at Kino Stadium on Thursday, April 5 against the Fresno Grizzlies. The Padres will play 72 home games, up from 68 home games in 2011.

Additional highlights include a fireworks show on Tuesday, July 3, to get fans in the Fourth of July spirit, and 13 Budweiser Thirsty Thursday games with the best drink specials in town.

“Our schedule for next year is much better than 2011,” said Mike Feder, Tucson Padres’ vice president and general manager. “We have more weekend dates than weekday dates. We also requested to be home July 3 instead of July 4, giving us the opportunity to have multiple fireworks shows leading up to Independence Day.”

The Tucson Padres will also have three day games next season, after having all night games in 2011. The first three Sunday games of the 2012 season will have afternoon start times.

The 2012 season includes the following game breakdown:

• 2012 home games by day of the week: Sunday (10), Monday (9), Tuesday (10), Wednesday (9), Thursday (13), Friday (11), Saturday (10).

• 2012 home games by opponent: Colorado Springs (8, Rockies affiliate) Fresno (8, Giants affiliate) Iowa (4, Cubs affiliate) Las Vegas (8, Blue Jays affiliate) Memphis (4, Cardinals affiliate) Nashville (4, Brewers affiliate) Omaha (4, Royals affiliate) Reno (8, Diamondbacks affiliate) Sacramento (8, A’s affiliate) Salt Lake (8, Angels affiliate) Tacoma (8, Mariners affiliate)

Ticket and weekend packages are now available. The full season package of 72 games, a $805 value, costs $500 for box seats and $400 for the early bird special.

Premier Seats, a $1,850 value, cost $650 and $500 for the early bird special.

The weekend package of 22 games, including July 3, costs $180 for box seats, a $295 value, and $150 for the early bird special.

The early bird special requires a $100 non-refundable deposit per seat, which is due by Sept. 30.

The season ticket package includes the same seat for all games with a personalized seat plate, an exclusive season ticket holder key chain, a discount on merchandise from the Padres team shop, and an opportunity to exchange unused season tickets for general admission vouchers.

The Tucson Padres will have more promotional announcements in the coming months about games next season.

The front office is open in the fall and winter months and can be reached at 434-1367.

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