Part IV: Turner Field
(AKA: Baseball in Hot-lanta)
Ballpark 18: Turner Field, elevation 1050 feet
The game: Mets @ Braves on June 21, 2015
Ticket prices: The problem with sitting together is that cheap tickets are just not possible with a big group in general… unless you go to Dodger Stadium. As it was, we ended up sitting in the general admission area in right field for $14 each ticket. This was mistake number one. We should have sprung for the $24 tickets in left field because the right field seats are splashed in sunshine. Hot and humid sunshine. Atlanta is more than warm. There is a good reason why the city is nicknamed “Hot-Lanta.” It felt that bad out there.
Luckily, I was able to get a small water cup for free to alleviate the heat. It felt like 105 degrees out there, and that was not fun. I have done off-ice officiating in hockey for five years now… I’m very used to the cold. This weather was probably the worst weather I’ve ever watched a game in. Can you tell the weather was just that bad out there? My advice for this stadium is unless you love sunbathing, avoid those seats at all costs.
The fans: Keeping this short, this was actually a fairly well-attended game because it was a Sunday, and because it was Father’s Day. In talking to fan services, they said there was a bigger crowd than normal because it was also the final home game for the Braves in a long while. It looked… decent at best. I’m happy the fans that were there became enthusiastic when they needed to. Atlanta fans that do show up are your standard baseball fans that know when to cheer. Overall, the support is there okay, but it’s so typical. Nothing overly enthusiastic about them.
The food: There is nothing too special about the food in the park, and the prices reflect the food they serve there. Their classic dog was only five bucks, and was pretty good. At least the corn dogs there are only $3.25 and was quite tasty. The good deal there was their frozen lemonades. Many parks will charge over six to seven bucks for a frozen lemonade. At Turner Field, they were only five and a quarter. Not a bad price at all! I couldn’t help but buy one because of the heat! It really hit the spot.
The game: Unfortunately, I missed the first pitch and was slightly saddled behind since I had to wait around, something I don’t normally do. Because of this, I never even got my passport stamp in the ol’ notebook for this ballpark. As it was, the game started off very quickly without any real chances of scoring. The Braves had a runner on third base in the 2nd inning, but Julio Teheran (Atlanta’s starting pitcher) couldn’t bring the runner home.
Somehow, maybe I didn’t miss out on much because not a whole lot really stood out at Turner Field. The sight lines are decent if you can get good seats. Because of the original configuration, some seats are simply too far from the action. Worst off, there are too many empty seats to give this ballpark a passing grade, especially for a Sunday afternoon. At least I got some great pictures of myself with the ballpark after the game, but everything after that was a bit of a nuisance. Another bit of information I should pass along has to do with their “Kids Run the Bases” promotion. When I tried to find my family downstairs along the ramps after the game, I wasn’t allowed to go down certain ramps because some of the ushers thought I would be cutting to run the bases. When trying to explain that I needed to find my family, I was told to go around and wait by the “family waiting area.” I didn’t take too kindly to their attitude, and this is something that needs to be remedied in the near future.
However, because I was told to go around the waiting area, this gave me a chance to look around the main concourse and see what they had to offer in terms of hats and merchandise. I was a bit happy to see some decent merchandise in a small kiosk, but there was nothing fitted. There was some great hats that were adjustable. I was then told that there would be a much better selection of hats in the main team store. I became highly disappointed when I didn’t find anything in my size, and was told that they were just out of stuff my size. I felt very despondent at this point and was ready to give up, but I found a cheap merch stand outside the stadium and just got one of those hats… and it doesn’t even fit correctly. If nothing else, I got a hat to add to the collection, but I don’t know how often (if ever) I’ll wear the Braves cap from Turner Field.
As far as ballparks go, this trip was off to a slightly disappointing start. While it’s a good thing this current “white elephant” ballpark is going away, the new SunTrust Stadium doesn’t look all that promising because there is nothing distinctive about it. I understand why the new place is being built, and why it’s being built in the north part of town, but I think some changes need to be made in the current mock-ups otherwise the Braves could still see an attendance problem. Overall, at least I got to spend the holiday weekend with my cousin and his soon-to-be family! They really are a great bunch.
Please don’t forget to check out the twitter with the hashtag #JDsBallparkTour and follow me at: @StimpyJD. Thank you everyone for continuing to read about my travels, I so greatly appreciate it. Feel free to e-mail me about my travels, baseball, or life in general. Finally, please follow along as I continue my journey to all thirty current MLB parks. Once again, thank you so much and see you at the ballpark!