Let’s Play Ball!
Growing up, my family was big on two sports. Football and baseball. Fall and winter was filled with college and pro football, then spring training and the baseball season would take us right through the summer and back into fall and football again.
I spent a lot of time at Turner Field with my dad. It was a decade of great baseball, and we were pretty sad that they decided to move the team. There were a lot of memories at that ballpark and it was hard to imagine seeing Braves baseball somewhere else.
However, we certainly were very happy about the new stadium being built closer to the house, right here in Cobb County (a fact that helped my dad take this move better than when the Braves moved out of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium). While I do love baseball, I also love the perks that come with a modern ballpark. Suntrust Field promised new amenities and would actually be designed for baseball instead of a repurposed (but still great) Olympic stadium.
And because it was being built in Cobb County, I knew they would do it right. Public transportation is easy to use to get yourself to the stadium. There are places to eat and shop even when the Braves aren’t playing at The Battery Atlanta. There are hotels for people who are coming in from out of town to enjoy the area and catch a game. There’s also the Coca-Cola Roxy, where you can see performances and concerts. The area around the stadium has become a social and economic hub of the county, which is fantastic.
The new stadium has a bunch of things that Turner field did not. The best thing, of course, is the parking. It has doubled! There’s still not enough, obviously – 14,000 spaces – but there is always “unofficial” spots that are available in the neighborhood thanks to some creative Cobb residents. There’s also more bathrooms and stalls. That probably doesn’t mean much to guys, but us gals don’t miss as much of the game as we used to when waiting for a stall to free up. And who doesn’t love the Lego tomahawk at the main entrance? I love watching games here just as much as I did as a kid back at Turner.
I do like the fact that Turner Field is still standing and has been renovated. It shows that Atlanta has a real commitment to the area around the old stadium. I am happy to see that the businesses in the surrounding area haven’t been abandoned now that the Braves have moved 20 minutes away. Turner Field has been rechristened as Parker H. Petit Field, and is now home to the Georgia State Panthers. It should also be home to Alliance Atlanta, an Alliance of American Football team, in the next year or so. It’s just an excellent use of resources and makes me appreciate my home state even more! I can’t wait to see what they do next.