I had the chance to not only see my team play, but to play at SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. Here are my thoughts.
The area is located about twenty minutes outside of Atlanta. For us Seattle folks, I compare it to if a ballpark was in Federal Way instead of Seattle. I don’t think public transportation looked that great in the sense of drop offs right at the park, other than a bus.
For my stay, I was able to easily book a local hotel near the complex referred to as the Battery Atlanta. This is a large entertainment complex which has parking, shopping, bars, and restaurants. A hotel is being constructed as well (Omni brand) right at the park and should open in 2018.
As I stated, I booked close to the complex. I stayed at the Holiday inn Express. It was easy to find a decent choice of hotels. I’m not sure if that’s because of the team’s performance, it being a weeknight, or not many out of town visitors. Either way it worked out for me. I used 15,000 IHG points to book a King bed room. If you are paying there were many hotels in the $125 a night range which included free parking and free breakfast. By the way, I was highly impressed with this Holiday Inn Express. They must be upgrading that brand because it’s the nicest one I’ve seen.
I was impressed with the complex and it was about 8/10 of a mile from my hotel. Pack along a water for the walk in the hot Atlanta sun. My first stop was to just walk through the complex and get an idea of my options. There are still many businesses under construction and not open yet. Parking seemed high as I saw a valet parking sign for $50. That’s seems a bit crazy to me for a Monday night game.
My first stop was a local brewery called Terrapin which is located right outside the gate. I met a nice bartender who used to live in Seattle. He informed me of the beers and let me sample a couple. He also informed me this is the only place in the complex that you can go in and out of during a game. The one downside to this location is in the bar, they remove all the normal bar chairs for pre-game crowds. In addition, you cannot order dinner in the bar. For me that’s a no go especially when traveling solo. After my samples and a quick pint, I was off to find some food.
I stopped at a reliable favorite which was Yard house. Pretty good service and met many locals there. It was a great spot to relax before the game. Lots of beer choices are the great thing about Yard House. I found the locals to be very friendly as I had one guy offer me his tickets to the next game. I had to decline since I had a flight the next day. It was time to head in to the ballpark.
I got my ticket on StubHub although I also browsed the Game time app (my referral code is OTOD17820 for a free $5). Both are great apps. I paid $60 for a fantastic seat. I was row 1 right near the Mariners dugout. This whole lower section is called the dugout club so the ticket came with $10 loaded on the ticket for concessions. It also included an entrance to a private concession area with bathrooms. It was air conditioned as well so a great spot to get a drink and get out of the heat. I opted for a beer and 1-liter water every two innings. That humidity will get you so hydrate. The Braves fans were great and very friendly. The ballpark is beautiful. I’ll admit I didn’t explore nearly enough as I opted to enjoy the up-close experience.
Atlanta has a gem of a complex and ballpark. If I was in the area again, I would certainly visit even if my team wasn’t playing.