Yankees 2012 Spring Training schedule opens March 2

The 27-time World Champion New York Yankees today announced that the club has scheduled 33 Major League spring training games in 2012, along with one additional home exhibition against college opposition. The first spring exhibition game will take place on March 2 at 1:05 p.m. vs. the University of South Florida at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.

The Yankees will play their first Major League spring game on March 3 at 1:05 p.m. against Philadelphia at Bright House Field in Clearwater and their first Major League spring home game on March 4 at 1:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia.

The Yankees' spring schedule contains 16 home games, including 15 Grapefruit League games against Major League clubs. Home opponents include each of the Yankees' four American League East rivals - Tampa Bay (March 7 at 1:05 p.m.), Boston (March 13 at 7:05 p.m.), Toronto (March 27 at 7:05 p.m.) and Baltimore (March 29 at 7:05 p.m.), and 2011 postseason participants Philadelphia (March 4 and 11 at 1:05 p.m., and March 30 at 7:05 p.m.) and Detroit (March 25 at 1:05 p.m.).

This season marks the latest start to the Yankees' Major League spring training game schedule since 2005, when they also played their first big league opposition on March 3.

On April 1 at 1:10 p.m. and April 2 at 7:10 p.m., the Marlins will host the Yankees in the first-ever Major League exhibition games at the New Marlins Ballpark in Miami. Following those historic contests, the Yankees will face the Mets on April 3 at 2:10 p.m. at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie and on April 4 at 12:05 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field, marking the Yankees' final exhibition games of the spring. They are the first spring meetings between the clubs since March 29-30, 1996, when the Yankees and Mets split a pair of games at Steinbrenner Field in the inaugural year of the facility (then named Legends Field).

Season tickets for 2012 Yankees Spring Training home games are on sale now at www.steinbrennerfield.com or www.yankees.com. Individual-game spring tickets will go on sale on December 2 at 10:00 a.m. at the Steinbrenner Field box office, online at www.yankees.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

For ticket information, fans can call (813) 879-2244 or visit www.yankees.com.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on February 20, with their first workout scheduled for February 21. Position players are scheduled to report on February 25, with the club's first full-squad workout scheduled for February 26.

This will be the Yankees' 17th spring training at Steinbrenner Field. The complex was renamed for the Yankees' longtime Principal Owner on March 27, 2008, following two unanimous resolutions supporting the change issued by the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council. The resolutions cited Mr. Steinbrenner's many charitable donations to youth activities, hospitals and the arts, and recognized his numerous extraordinary contributions to the area.

The Yankees' meeting with the University of South Florida will be the third all-time spring game between the teams. Four springs ago, the Yankees opened their preseason slate on February 29, 2008, with an 11-4 victory over USF at Steinbrenner Field. They also defeated USF, 9-1, on March 31, 1982, at Red McEwen Field in Tampa.