A few weeks ago we visited my family in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Before our visit, we looked for events happening over the weekend, and discovered the Atlanta Braves would be playing the Colorado Rockies. Michael had never been to a baseball game before, and my family had not been to the new SunTrust Park yet, so it was perfect!
We arrived about two hours before the first pitch, and we’re very glad we did. There are only a few lots that accept on-site payment (we did not purchase a parking pass prior), and I quickly looked up the available lots on the AJC site. Parking cost $20, and they only accepted credit card. From the lot, it was a ten or fifteen minute walk to the stadium over the pedestrian bridge.
Once we arrived in the stadium, we located our seats (way, way in the nosebleed section) and walked the concourse to check out the activities and food options.
The kids were excited to visit The Sandlot – the kids’ area filled with a rock wall, zipline, and carnival games. I’d read online that reservations are often necessary for the kids’ activities, however there was not more than a ten minute wait when we visited.
For dinner, we all ordered hot dogs and sausages from First and Third, a counter service restaurant from Chef Hugh Acheson, accessible from inside or outside of the stadium. They were priced at $9 each, and did not include a side or beverage. Prices at the ballpark are high, as expected, and lines are long. The wait for a table at our first choice, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, was several hours long. The park has a Chick-Fil-A as well, where our milkshake cost a whopping $7.
We climbed up to our seats, which were thankfully covered and in the shade, and watched the preparations on the field for the game. During this time and also in between innings, the stadium offers lots of entertainment on the large screen. This was a good time for us to review the rules of play.
The pace of baseball can be surprisingly fast and slow. Some innings dragged on, while others were over very quickly. Night fell, and the lights turned on. It was impossible not to notice all of the branding throughout the stadium.
The Braves were down three runs by the last inning. To excite the crowd (some of whom were leaving), a clip played on the screen showing other times that the team had come back at the last minute to win the game. They scored two home runs, leaving them needing to score only one more run to tie the game, and two to win. It was over shortly after that, however, ending in a loss for the home team.
Despite the intense buildup and letdown at the end, we had an incredibly fun time at the game, and I think we will try to make a point of attending baseball games in our hometown as well. While I’m not usually one for crowds, the stadium was large enough that we never felt suffocated in the stream of people. I’d love to return on a future Atlanta trip, and maybe have the chance to cheer on the team for a win!
Have you visited the new SunTrust Park in Atlanta? How do you like it compared to the old Turner Field?