We kicked off the first game of The Great Baseball Ride in Atlanta with the Braves. Keke was able to score some tickets on Stubhub as well as a parking pass. Our seats were great ($18 face value), second deck behind home plate, you could see everything. The area around SunTrust Park is very nice. It’s a newer stadium built into what looks like a suburban office landscape. It feels very safe.
Our parking situation was less great as we ended up parking in a ramp a 25 minute walk away. That doesn’t sound like a lot, and it probably isn’t, but it was a very hilly walk and we had a five year old with us that wanted to be carried both ways. Adding to this we, walked around most of the game, and we were exhausted at the end of the night. I’d definitely do better research and park closer next time.
I had reached out to the Braves prior to our arrival telling them what we were doing, and to see if they had any resources to help us learn more about the team and the stadium. I didn’t hear anything until we had sat in our seats. A representative from the Braves texted me and sent someone to meet up with us. They gave us a gift bag with some gear and upgraded our seats to lower level first base side. This was amazing and unexpected, but only the beginning.
As we were sitting there, an usher came up and asked us to come with him. Waiting for us was a man named Walter Banks. Walter was an usher for a number of years, and now meets with people and gives tours of the stadium. Walter proceeded to take us around the park, showing us all of the cool parts and telling us about the history of the team and baseball in general.
I don’t have the words to describe how wonderful Walter is. He has been with the Braves for 54 years, and is an absolute treasure. On our tour with him, one would think one of the players was showing us around; he gets that much respect as he walks by people.
Every single person we met, whether it was front office people or vendors was wonderful. People were happy, friendly, an interested.
As for kids stuff, the Braves have a play area, and go so far to have a zip line and a rock climbing wall. Soren, being five, wasn’t as interested in trying that (I am not sure if he was old enough anyway), but he loved sitting and watching others play there while eating his kids meal. The kids meal at SunTrust came in a full-sized helmet and contained a small soda, a hotdog, and chips. This was perfect for him.
We want to try that must have food and local beer from each place we visit. Keke and I shared the chicken tacos and I had an IPA from local brewer Terrapin. We’d recommend both.
We endeavor to be a fan of each home team we visit. Unfortunately, the game didn’t go so well for the home team as the Arizona Diamondbacks won the evening. We, however, felt very fulfilled after getting to spend the evening in a beautiful new stadium (newest in the league), and meeting wonderful people.
Very tired, we made the trek to our car and headed to our hotel. Trying to keep our schedule, we didn’t linger in Atlanta, but headed further south for an overnight at a Travelodge in Perri, GA.
What a wonderful evening! Thank you Atlanta!