For the last six months you’ve had an incurable craving. Hot dogs were good, not great. Seventh-inning stretches were reserved for snack runs during baseball-themed movie marathons. And Friday nights lacked that extra “pop.”
Good news? The offseason doesn’t last forever! Start sharpening your mustard-relish-spreading skills, trade in that movie subscription for a new ball cap and grab the family for another season of Friday Night Fireworks, because baseball is back in Central Texas and the hometown boys are on a roll!
The Round Rock Express open their 17th season at the Dell Diamond on Friday, April 15 with an eight-game homestand featuring back-to-back four-game series against the Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate) and Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals affiliate). The Express began the season with four straight wins, their best start in franchise history!
To keep the “E-Train” rolling in style, Opening Day and weekend are packed with top-notch entertainment, delicious eats and, rest assured, plenty of great baseball! From an opening night first pitch thrown by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Friday Night Fireworks presented by Bud Light, to giveaways galore, craft brew tasting and a Saturday night kickoff to the Summer Concert Series featuring LC Rocks, you’re sure to hit a homerun in the family fun department!
Below are a few highlights for opening weekend. Make sure to check the Express website for updates or changes to the schedule.
Friday, April 15 | 7:05 p.m. (gates open at 5:30) | Express vs. Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs)
- HELLO, GOVERNOR: Texas Governor Greg Abbott will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday.
- SCHEDULE IT: The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive the official 2016 Schedule Magnet courtesy of Budweiser.
- CRAFT BREW REVIEW: Brown Distributing will host a complimentary craft beer tasting for fans 21 and older in the new Nolan Ryan Beef Fireball Grill Express area, located in right field.
- BABY, YOU’RE A FIREWORK: Following Friday’s game, the Texas sky will light up with the first Bud Light Friday Fireworks of the season.
- TEXAS ORGAN SHARING ALLIANCE: Opening Day is also Donate Life Texas night. Transplant recipients and donor family members will welcome guests to the ball park and give them the opportunity to register as an official organ donor. Those who register on the spot or show their driver license with donor designation will receive a small giveaway from Donate Life Texas.
- TICKETS: Tickets still remain for the home opener, but are going fast. Fans are encouraged to look for tickets in the reserved section and Home Run Porch. Also, fans who purchased tickets online are encouraged to print their tickets before heading to Dell Diamond
Saturday, April 16 | 6:05 p.m. | Express vs. Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs)
- STARTING EARLY: Saturday’s game will start at 6:05 p.m.
- CAP IT OFF: The Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships will be providing the first 3,000 fans with Express caps on Saturday in honor of opening weekend.
- SATURDAY’S FIRST PITCH: Christopher Suprun, a twenty-plus year veteran of public safety, who served during the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the Berrendo Middle School shooting with throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday.
- HOMETOWN HESTER: Express will honor Round Rock businessman Gail “Big Boy” Hester. He’s celebrating 55 years of business at Hester’s Auto and Body, a Round Rock institution. Hester will be recognized on the field and presented with a framed personalized Express jersey, signed by Nolan Ryan.
- “LC ROCKS” ROCKS DELL DIAMOND: LC Rocks, an 80s rock cover band, will be performing live at Dell Diamond after the game to kick off the St. David’s Summer Concert Series presented by Dell. A ticket for the game will also get fans into the concert on the field following the game.
- KIDS CLUB RUNS THE SHOW: Kids Club Runs the Show is back for another season. Junior Sluggers Kids Club members will be in charge for the day and will get to interact with Express staff. Kids will also get to run the bases after the game and there will also be inflatables and the Kiddie Train set up outside the home plate gates.
Sunday, April 17 | 1:05 p.m. | Express vs. Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs)
- STARTING EARLY: Sunday’s game will start at 1:05 p.m.
- KIDS RUN THE DAY: Kids giveaways, pregame events outside the stadium and postgame run the bases (12 & under). Presented by H-E-B.