Phillies Ballpark Buzz: Top 5 Things to Know About First Homestand vs. Nationals (4/8-9) & Mets (4/10-12)

This weekend, the Phillies host the Washington Nationals (April 8-9) and the New York Mets (April 10-12) for the first homestand of the season. Below are the top 5 things to know; plus, prepare for your visit to Citizens Bank Park by checking out What's New at the Ballpark in food, fashion and fandom.

  1. McDonald's Opening Night A.K.A the first night game of the season.

The Phillies first night game of 2017 is on Saturday, April 8. All fans 15 and over will receive a McDonald's Opening Night T-Shirt at the 7:05 p.m. Phillies-Nationals game.

  1. Calling all youngsters: Cavity Busters Kid's Opening Day is Sunday!

On Sunday, April 9, kids are taking over the ballpark! As part of Cavity Busters Kid's Opening Day, there will be pre-game and in-game fun for kids at the 1:35 p.m. Phillies game against the Nationals. Fans can be on the lookout for kid-drawn player headshots, a special starting nine lineup, and more. All children 14 and under will receive a Cavity Busters Kid's Opening Day Hooded Sweatshirt.

Plus, children can explore and take part in fun Philadelphia Science Festival Day activities being held at the Left Field Gate Plaza.

  1. First-ever Phillies Charities, Inc. Auction on the Ballpark app.

Also on Sunday, April 9, fans everywhere can bid on game-used and autographed memorabilia through the Phillies Charities, Inc. Auction starting at 11:35 a.m. to 3 p.m. All bidding on Phillies Charities, Inc. Auctions will be through the Ballpark app only. Be sure to visit the First Base Plaza where the auction items will be displayed from gates open to 3 p.m.

  1. Start the week right at the Phillies-Mets series, leading off with dollar dogs & @Phillies giveaway!

Be sure to come to Monday's game hungry! During the 7:05 p.m. Phillies-Mets game, all fans can purchase a hot dog for $1.00 at any concession stand.

On Wednesday, April 12, fans 15 and over will receive an @Phillies Cell Phone Wallet at the 7:05 p.m. Phillies game versus the Mets.

  1. Educational, philanthropic and fun: student promotions begin!

Starting in April, the Phillies have a ton of promos for college students, geared toward education, philanthropy and fun.

During the Mets series (April 10-12), the Phillies spring #CollegeSeries gives students a behind-the-scenes look at the business of baseball. Each night features networking, a player appearance, ballpark tour, and photos with the World Series trophies. The spring semester includes College Baseball Analytics Night (4/10), College Business of Sports Media Night (4/11),and College Finance Night presented by Citizens Bank, KPMG & PICPA (4/12).

Also on Monday, April 10 at the 7:05 p.m. Phillies-Mets game, are exclusive college Theme Night ticket offersincluding Phillies College Night, featuring a limited edition t-shirt in school colors and Red Goes Greek Night. Sororities and fraternities can highlight their charitable work while raising money and awareness for their respective philanthropies at the Red Goes Greek Night; plus ticket purchasers will receive a special Phillies Red Goes Greek snapback hat. Fans must purchase tickets through the Theme Nights page to receive discounts and giveaways associated with each night.

Plus, the Phillies are offering a Student Steal - a $15 ticket, plus the first "jawn" of food or drink (up to $12). That's right - Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries, Bull's BBQ, Tony Luke's, hot dog & soda, basically anything you can eat or drink in Ashburn Alley - is included with the Student Steal ticket deal. It's a special offer for all high school, college and graduate students during the entire month of April. Fans can visit Phillies.com/StudentSteal to order.

Gate Openings: Ashburn Alley opens two hours prior to game time, all gates open one and a half hours prior to game time.

Fandom: Check-in using Ballpark, Citizens Bank Park's official mobile app, to receive special offers for retail, concessions and more. Also, follow the action via @Phillies on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Plus, after EVERY game, the fun continues with XFINITY Live! Post-Game Specials, available one hour immediately following the game.

Broadcast: For the most up-to-date TV broadcast schedule, please go to Phillies.com. MLB.TV and SportsRadio 94WIP will host all games during the season. CSN Philly will stream the game, as well as the pre- and postgame shows, on www.csnphilly.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Traffic: Fans should be aware of dual events taking place at the sports complexes on Saturday, April 8 and Monday, April 10. Log on to www.511pa.com, www.511nj.org or call 511 from any phone to check traffic conditions. Transit services are also available; for a SEPTA schedule please visit www.septa.org.