Major League Baseball debuted its newest ballpark with great fanfare when the Atlanta Braves played host to the San Diego Padres earlier this month. The league’s new addition is an impressive blend of tradition and technology. The Braves’ new home boasts the game’s most modern fan experience, without sacrificing any of the classic ballpark feel that MLB fans have come to expect.
The field itself is quite traditional, although it has already been recognized as a “hitter-friendly” park where there will be plenty of offensive fireworks. The wall in center field is 400 feet deep and 8’8” high.
A New Type of Ballpark for a New Type of Fan
One of the Braves’ primary goals for their new park was to make sure that it was in a thriving mixed-use urban area that included residential and commercial spaces. All around the perimeter of SunTrust Park is a new development called the Battery Atlanta.
The Battery Atlanta includes premium hotels, corporate office space, music venues, condominiums and apartments, and plenty of retail. Although the Braves’ old home was near downtown Atlanta, CEO Terry McGuirk thinks their new home in Cobb County has a more urban feel than their old stadium, which was surrounded by a sea of endless parking lots.
The mixed-use design is intended to cultivate a bustling atmosphere where millennial fans will enjoy themselves, with plenty of extracurricular activities to keep them occupied before and after the Braves home games.
Focusing on the Fan Experience
Throughout the stadium, you will find activities that are designed to get fans physically involved in the gameday experience. There are activities for fans of all ages and all skill levels, and because there are so many different attractions, fans will always be able to find something new that they haven’t experienced before.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is hosting a play zone for children called Hope and Will’s Sandlot. Kids will be able to take part in many different interactive games, including a zip line and a climbing tower.
Older fans will enjoy the Mizuno Experience Center, where fans will get a chance to handle some of Mizuno’s professional caliber gear and even test out some cutting-edge technology that hasn’t made its way into the big leagues yet.
For the executive crowd, there’s the Delta Sky360 Club with its 30-foot marble topped bar. And the Infinity Club is a 15,000 square-foot private dining club offering a premium menu with a bird’s eye view of the playing field.
The Top 7 Fan Experience Features at SunTrust Park
There are too many attractions at the new ballpark in Cobb County to list them all. You’ll find unique dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities throughout the Battery Atlanta development.
Within the gates of SunTrust Park itself there are more than 11 merchandising booths and 10 one-of-a-kind hospitality areas. Trust us, there is enough here to keep any baseball fan busy for days on end.
Here’s a quick overview of 7 key features that help to define the new MLB fan experience at the new SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
#1 – Transportation: Easy Come, Easy Go
The new and improved fan experience begins long before you arrive at the ballpark. The Braves went out of their way to make sure the stadium would be easily accessible to people throughout the Atlanta area.
The park is served by three separate public transportation agencies, including Atlanta’s MARTA system. High-frequency dedicated routes on game days ensure that no one will wait endlessly in the Georgia heat for a ride to the game.
For those who choose to drive themselves, the Braves have created a prepaid parking pass system to alleviate congestion and inconvenience for their fans.
To accommodate millennials, the Braves have partnered with Uber to create designated pickup locations for quick and efficient transportation to and from the ballpark.
#2 – Up Close Action
Each of the 41,000 seats in SunTrust Park is designed to maximize sightlines and provide the best possible viewing experience. But there’s no doubt about where the best seats in the house are located.
The fans in the first row of seats behind home plate are situated only 30 feet from the batter. Considering that the pitching mound is 60’6” from the plate, the fans in these seats are actually twice as close to the plate as the starting pitcher.
#3 – Social Spaces for Millennial Fans
There is an abundance of places for social gatherings inside the new ballpark. There are wide open spaces like the Batter’s Eye Deck which offers a head-on view of the game from straight-away center field. And there are more intimate gathering spots like the Coors Light “Below the Chop” area which is tucked in along the warning track in right field.
There is truly something for everyone in this venue, including some areas like the private party suites high above right field which offer a more exclusive, and expensive, experience for discerning fans.
#4 – High End Retail and Dining
While there are plenty of opportunities to shop and dine within the ballpark, the most intriguing attractions are outside the park in the Battery Atlanta. From high-end chains to independent boutiques, there is enough retail shopping in and around the development to keep fans busy all day long.
Unique dining opportunities include Wahlburgers, a gourmet hamburger joint which is owned Hollywood’s Mark and Donnie Wahlberg. Antico Pizza Napoletana offers visionary pizza chef Giovanni Di Palma’s signature pies. And CRÚ provides a cozy and romantic setting for couples who want to enjoy the evening with class.
#5 – All You Can Eat, Right in Your Seat
Fans who aren’t interested in the high-end eateries of Battery Atlanta might enjoy the more traditional fare that’s available in SunTrust’s “All You Can Eat Seats.” Groups of 20 or more can reserve these seats which come with a complimentary buffet that lasts all night long. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, and more.
#6 – Rent-A-Glove
There’s no need to worry if you left your mitt at home. The Mizuno Glove Experience lets fans check out a glove before the game to field foul balls and home runs from the stands. Rental is free with a $1 hold on your credit card.
#7 – The MLB Mobile App
MLB’s new mobile app makes the fan experience at SunTrust Park seamless and efficient. Use the app to navigate directly to your prepaid parking spot, play in-game trivia, upgrade your seats, and much more. The app is free to download on iPhone and Android. In addition to unique interactive features, you will also get access to special offers and coupons only available to users of the app.