Date: Tuesday August 8, 7:35pm
Teams: Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Ticket(s): Section 314, Row 5, Seat 8 ($5.24 – SeatGeek)
Miles Driven: 11,253
Average Ticket Cost Through 20 Games: $10.16
The Braves now call the northern suburbs of Atlanta home, which is pretty unfortunate from my outside perspective. Sure, it was nice to literally walk to the stadium from my relatively cheap hotel room. However, the suburbia setting certainly lacked much character. To be fair, I didn’t hit The Battery bar district, which looked great.
Immediately upon entering the stadium, I was taken back by the blandness. For a brand new stadium, there is simply no character, no defining feature. It looks like everything else except for that one interesting thing that everything else has.
The upper level concourse was a maze of concrete and steel walkways. The entire corner of the stadium behind home plate is especially cramped, a serious design flaw. There are now concourse concession areas directly behind home plate in the upper level, which is kind of crazy. You need to walk a non-negligible distance in either direction to get back to more open concourse.
I sat in the upper level for an inning and then went to find my buddy Dan who was at the game and watching from some standing room area in right field, above The Chop House. That was a great spot to watch the game from, but nothing close to the “on top of the field” type feeling you get in Houston or Toronto. Below us were several rows of outfield seats that were part of the restaurant we were standing above. Those seats actually have servers and a ledge for your food and drinks. I’m not a big fan of replacing outfield or bleacher seats with premium, corporate-y type seats.
Instead of continuing on towards right field, I back-tracked to check out Monument Garden, in the lower level behind home plate. This is SunTrust’s saving grace. It’s stunning, beautiful and a perfect tribute to Braves baseball history. Again, though, the area is cramped and I can’t imagine trying to walk through this area when the stadium is half full, let alone sold out.
I did luck out in one very important regard… The Freeze ran on Tuesday night! I didn’t realize that he doesn’t run every night, so I was lucky to see him. Unlucky to see him lose, though.
I finally wandered over to the right field corner to take in a few innings. For the 7th inning of a largely empty stadium, one usher was on a mission to not allow anyone to sneak into her section. Luckily, my ninja seat skills are well honed by now and I avoided detection. I did a couple laps, including checking out the kids area behind home plate (a pretty cool collection of baseball carnival games) before sneaking down to the dugout area to watch the last inning.
An 8-hour drive to the Tampa area for the Rays at Tropicana Field. Nothing really exciting on the way, but I’ll be staying near Clearwater and will get in a beach day prior to the Thursday night game in St. Pete.