BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- It may be windy and cold Thursday morning--but it is Opening Day at Fenway Park, and that warms the hearts of many New England sports fans.
Fans were out along Landsdowne Street early, waiting to get tickets to the 2:05 p.m. game, where the Sox will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in their 107th home opener at Fenway.
Some of those fans told WBZ they didn't mind the chill.
"It's practice for October baseball," said Mike, who drove down from Manchester, New Hampshire for the game. "We've seen snow, we've seen 60 degrees, we've seen everything in between."
Another fan told Parker just what the big day meant to him.
"It means the world," he said. "It's the Hajj, it's the Mecca, it's the journey. This is the start of the world series. It's going to be amazing."
Another fan, Glenn from Quincy, said he's been coming out early to get tickets on Opening Day for 21 years.
"It's the adrenaline," he said. "It starts like in December for me, and I make a poster up. I enjoy it, and I meet some great people."
There will be all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with opening day--including an F-16 flyover by the 134th Fighter Squadron from Vermont's Air National Guard.
The Hanscom Air Force Base will present the colors, and Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters will sing the National Anthem.
There are some changes at the ballpark in 2018--additional netting down the baselines, dugout-style seats, and some new food options, to name a few.
This year, security has been stepped up on Landsdowne, Van Ness and Ipswich Streets. Outside Gate B, barriers were put in place to prevent any vehicles from driving into the crowd.
Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy said security remains a top priority.
"We've had force protection bollards at every gate," he said. "We've obviously got the metal detectors, the wanding, we've got cameras, eyes on all parts of the ballpark."
Before heading into the park, fans are screened at all of the gates--and the team asks that all cell phones, cameras, and other large, metal objects be removed before fans walk through the metal detectors.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports