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Baseball festival makes game at Coliseum all-day family event
03/18/2008 11:30 AM ET
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are creating an all-day family-style baseball festival March 29 outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to ease ingress to the venue, where more than 100,000 fans are expected. The Dodgers play an exhibition game that evening against the Boston Red Sox at the site that was their home when they first arrived from Brooklyn in 1958.

The game is a fundraiser that launches the club's official charity, "ThinkCure!" More than 100,000 fans have already purchased tickets for the game, which begins at 7:10 p.m. Some standing room tickets remain.

"We are grateful that so many fans are responding to this event," said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. "It promises to generate a substantial sum that will fund research at City of Hope and Childrens Hospital LA. This is the beginning of a dream come true."

The gates to the Coliseum will open three hours before game time, at 4:10 p.m., prior to either team taking batting practice.

To further ease the flow to the event, the Dodgers are creating the "ThinkSpring! ThinkCure! Baseball Festival presented by Time Warner Cable." Starting at noon, fans with tickets to the game can enjoy an afternoon featuring family-oriented baseball activities. Former Dodger stars will be on hand to sign autographs. Fans can take their photo with the two most recent Dodger World Championship trophies. Children can test the velocity of their pitching arms at speed pitch booths, and they can take swings at batting cages. Other activities, such as "moon bounces" and an obstacle course, also provide energy consuming adventures for children. The Dodgers have added extra restrooms for the event, including high-end "luxury ladies rooms" in addition to the facilities available inside the Sports Arena.

To further celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles, and their days at the Coliseum, the festival will include a live revue of music from the 1950s and '60s.

In addition, children can volunteer to take part in a contest to form the Children's Chorus for the 7th Inning Stretch. As Major League Baseball celebrates the 100th anniversary of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in 2008, the Dodgers will invite children to participate in a live audition. Participants will then form a chorus that will lead the crowd in the singing of the standard during the game.

All of the activities at the festival are free, and are a courtesy to invite families to come early and reduce any concerns about traffic and parking. In addition, fans can participate in a silent auction until 4 p.m. of memorabilia to raise additional funds for the fight against cancer. In advance of the game, fans can bid online (\ticketauction) to participate in various on-field activities, such as a child who gets to say, "Play Ball," another who gets to present the game ball, and another who gets to announce the Dodgers' first hitter in the bottom of the first inning.

"We love how the nostalgia and sentiment of the games at the Coliseum are inspiring people to come back to the venue that was their home," said Dodger President Jamie McCourt. "The combination of that emotional tug with the undeniably good cause is connecting generations and connecting the community. That represents so much of what we love about baseball."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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