My visit to SunTrust Park was one that was hard to plan for but based on perfect timing I was able to attend a game during the stadiums inaugural season.
While at home for the Labor Day weekend, I checked the MLB schedule and the Atlanta Braves were returning home from a road trip on Labor Day. Based on my flight leaving from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on the Tuesday following Labor Day this game was perfectly scheduled.
Here are my thoughts on SunTrust Park.
The location of SunTrust Park is definitely a contrast to their previous home of Turner Field. The area surrounding SunTrust Park gives off a upscale business vibe. Although this may not be true, that is the feeling when surveying the area.
From the walk up to the stadium, you can see the amazing detail on the outside of the ballpark. There are several statues outside of the ballpark that provide photo opportunities for fans attending games. The views within the park are amazing. There isn’t really a bad seat in the ballpark. The ballpark builders made sure they provided every fan an up close feel when inside of SunTrust Park.
The concession offerings in the ballpark are plentiful although repeated several times throughout the ballpark. The pricing is standard compared to other ballparks and stadiums I have attended. They also have special concession pricing for season ticket holders at SunTrust Park if you’re interested in that type of ticket package.
The ticket pricing was relatively cheap for a new ballpark. This was rather surprising but based on the Atlanta Braves record this late in the season the pricing seemed to make sense. The cheapest seats on the day of the game I attended were $8 and they had several promotions that occurred on that same night.
The biggest thing that disappointed me regarding the ballpark was the parking or lack of parking for that matter. The Braves utilize the parking lots of the surrounding business in the area but that can easily create traffic and issues in the future.
They also utilize parking decks that neighbor the ballpark as well as several other parking structures down the street from SunTrust. The parking near the stadium was $40 and parking several blocks away only dropped to $20 but it came with a long uphill walk.
The lack of diversity in the concessions is another thing that may bother some fans. Although they have a lot of concession locations within the ballpark, they repeat themselves a lot throughout SunTrust Park. Maybe over time, they will add some different selections that can add a different taste within the ballpark.
The fan support was lacking for a team in a brand new ballpark. This could be because of the Braves record and the tendency of fans to slack off during these times. Based on the Atlanta Braves history and my previous experiences at Turner Field, I was expecting to see a larger fan outing from the Braves faithful.
Overall Game Day Experience
I would give SunTrust Park a 8.5 out of 10. The location is amazing and definitely fits the new Atlanta Braves focus. The food selections are plentiful but don’t offer much variety for the fans.
There is definitely a parking issue that they will face when hosting larger game turnouts. The pricing of parking is tied for the highest that I have seen for a MLB game. With a team that is currently struggling, those prices won’t bring people to the ballpark.
The stadium architecture is amazing and they have a lot to offer for families attending the games. The concourse entertainment will keep everyone entertained if they want to have a quick getaway while inside of the ballpark.
Based on the newness of SunTrust it is definitely a ballpark that I would recommend to any sports fan. Definitely worth the visit but they have room to improve.