Braves to open '18 season at SunTrust Park

ATLANTA -- SunTrust Park will be introduced to the splendor of Opening Day when the Braves begin the 2018 season with a home game against the Phillies on Thursday, March 29, the earliest opening date in Major League history.

A September visit from the Red Sox and trips to both Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park stand as just a few of the highlights of the Braves' tentative 2018 schedule, which was released Tuesday.

This will mark the second time in the past three seasons the Braves have opened at home. To provide extra time to construct and prepare their new stadium this year, they played nine road games before their home opener. Thus, there might be some extra energy in the air next year when SunTrust Park hosts its first Opening Day.

The Braves will play the Phillies during the season's first three days, enjoy an off-day on Easter Sunday and then conclude a six-game opening homestand against the Nationals (April 2-4). They will then likely be introduced to some chilly conditions as they embark on a nine-game road trip that will include stops at Coors Field (April 6-8), Nationals Park (April 9-11) and Wrigley Field (April 13-15).

The Phillies will once again be present when the Braves return to SunTrust Park to begin a seven-game homestand on April 16. They will serve as the opponent in six of Atlanta's first nine home games and nine of the 29 games the Braves will play before the end of April.

The Braves will open the first of 20 Interleague games when they travel to St. Petersburg for a two-game set against the Rays on May 8-9. They will travel to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox on Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27) and then spend the Fourth of July at Yankee Stadium as they conclude a three-game road set against Aaron Judge and the Yanks (July 2-4).

After traveling to Toronto (June 19-20) again next year, the Braves will return home to play the Orioles (June 22-24), who will be visiting Atlanta for the first time since 2012.

The Braves will welcome the Red Sox to SunTrust Park from Sept. 3-5. They will conclude the home portion of their schedule with a 10-game homestand that will bring the Nationals (Sept. 14-16), Cardinals (Sept. 17-20) and Phillies (Sept. 21-23) to Atlanta.

After concluding their second regular season at SunTrust Park, the Braves will close the 2018 schedule with a six-game road trip against the Mets (Sept. 25-27) and Phillies (Sept. 28-30).

Beginning Friday, fans will have until Nov. 3 to buy Braves season tickets at the same price they were available for the present season. Anyone who purchases season tickets before Oct. 15 will be invited to gain behind-the-scenes access to SunTrust Park during the team's A List Member Play Day on Oct. 22.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.