During the coming days, throngs of baseball fans will experience a Braves game for the first time in a splendid new ballpark in Cobb County.
»RELATED: What’s new for year 2 at SunTrust Park
Heading to SunTrust Park for the first time raises all sorts of questions − from questions about traffic and parking to dining options at the ballpark.
Here are 6 tips to make your first trip be stress-free and fully enjoyable.
March 31, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia - A fan erupts in laughter and joy as a four Yankee players all converging on a ball fail to catch it at the Atlanta Braves Exhibition game in SunTrust Park where the Braves played the New York Yankees in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 31, 2017. (HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM)
Photo: Henry P. Taylor/Henry Taylor / AJC
1. Go early. Really early. Don’t leave at 6 for a 7:10 start time. Go two, even three hours early, and make a day of out of it. There is plenty to see and do at The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use development, adjacent to SunTrust Park, to pass the time. A greenspace is a perfect spot to play a game of catch with your kids, or take a seat surrounded by a fountain area with with steps. There are also plenty of restaurants to eat, and get a beer, including Terrapin Taproom featuring Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q: A collaboration between Athens-based Terrapin brewery and Atlanta’s popular Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Generally, you can enter the ballpark 90 minutes before first pitch.
While inside, you can check out Monument Garden in front of the Hank Aaron statue, a 28-foot climbing tower for the kids, and get of course get comfortable in your new green seats and take in your view at the new ballpark.
2. If you are bringing your own snacks and drinks, know what you can and can’t bring. You can bring food as long as it fits inside a clear, gallon-sized plastic bag. You may also bring a sealed plastic bottle of water. One bag of food and one bottle of water is allowed per ticket. (Special considerations will be given to those with infants and/or for those with dietary concerns).
Prohibited items include alcoholic beverages, large bags, ice chests and drones.
3. Figure out parking before you go. Parking is limited and parking lots will fill up. You don’t want to drive around trying to find a spot once you get there. Here is a detailed guide and map of parking at SunTrust Park. The Braves strongly urges advance parking purchase, noting very few lots will accept payment, and it makes it easier for fans to find their parking spot if they know where they will be parking (and can type address into Waze before heading to the ballpark).
4. Use a travel and navigation app like Waze to help you avoid traffic jams. Waze can also you direct you to your specific parking lot.
MARCH 31, 2017 ATLANTA Fans wait for the opening of the ballpark as the Atlanta Braves take the field in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees in the first game in the new SunTrust Park stadium Friday, March 31, 2017. The new home of the Braves seats 41,149 and took 30 months to build. HYOSUB SHIN /email@example.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin/HSHIN@AJC.COM
5. Consider alternatives to driving to the game. Here’s one option to get to the new Braves stadium using MARTA: At the MARTA Midtown station, catch the MARTA Bus Route 12 bound for to Cumberland Mall. At the Cumberland Transfer Center, exit the bus and catch the Cumberland District Circulator to SunTrust Park. MARTA bus Route 12 operates seven days a week. For MARTA schedule: Download the free MARTA On-The-Go app for schedules and real-time bus information. Here are more MARTA options and bus stop locations.
Another option is to take Uber. SunTrust has a designated “Uber zone,” where drivers can drop off and pick up fans. And the company has adopted some new procedures to simplify the process of hailing a ride after the game. Ordinarily, when customers use the app to hail a ride, a particular Uber driver responds. For Braves games, when passengers hail a ride the company will instead give them a personal identification number. They can flash the number at any available Uber driver instead of trying to figure out which car they’re supposed to ride in.
6. Familiarize yourself with SunTrust Park. Here, you can check out a map: Seating chart, gates and entrances.
March 31, 2017, Atlanta: Excited Braves fans David Swinehamer, his son Austin, 4, and wife Amber enter the gates for the first time for the MLB exhibition game against the N.Y. Yankees for the soft opening of SunTrust Park on Friday, March 31, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Comptonfirstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: email@example.com/Curtis Compton