Turner Field was first built in anticipation of the 1996 Olympic Games. When those games were over it became the home of the Atlanta Braves. The Braves former home was Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, which was one of those cookie-cutter football, and baseball stadiums built in the early 1970s. Fulton County Stadium was known as “The Launching Pad” because for whatever reason, the ball carried very well there.
Graphic via kellydestinations
Turner Field is a baseball park, more along the lines of other baseball only parks such as Camden Yards that were built in the 1990s. It is being replaced in 2017. That is how fast time flies. It also goes to show how fast stadiums go from fancy and new to old and obsolete.
It is a shame nobody will be using this ballpark by 2017. It is a nice ballpark for one that will be sitting there empty. It holds 50,000 fans so using it for minor league ball is probably not an option.
The new ballpark will be in Cobb County, which is in the suburbs. The neighborhood will be better and it will be better for the fans. Still, this just seems to be a bit unnecessary with Turner Field still being fairly young. But, then again the Orlando Magic built a new arena about 20 seasons after their original arena was built as did the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets had to lose their franchise for a while over their arena issues. So perhaps 20 years is all one can expect to get out of a stadium these days.
The seats at Turner Field are comfortable. They are not too large but also not to small. All of them have a cup holder as well. Legroom is ample. It is a nice place to sit and watch the game, much more than Fulton County Stadium.
The fare is a typical ballpark also with a little southern flavor. They have Chik-Fil-A which is an Atlanta area based fast food chain available at the Stadium as well as Waffle House. Coke products are sold at Turner Field as well as a good selection of beers. The Chop House is a restaurant located behind centerfield and it has plenty of beer and food options.
If you want a good spot to hang out before and/or after the game, Stats or the All Star Grille are near the ballpark. These are sports bars with plenty of TVs for watching the games while eating the typical sports bar foods and beers. Or, if you want a restaurant there is the Bullpen Ribhouse nearby.
The typical Turner Field crowd usually runs about 25,000 per game. This is a bit below average but in the Braves fans defense, they have ben both spoiled and heart broken so may times over the years they have become jaded.
The Braves have won one postseason game in 10 years. This comes on the heels of a 14-year stretch which saw the team win the Division every season, play in five World Series and nine NLCS Series.
All of this produced only one World Series Championship, which happened at the old Fulton County Stadium. The last games played at the old ballpark were three losses to the New York Yankees in the 1996 World Series when they came home with a 2-0 lead.
In the first season at Turner Field, the Braves won the East again but lost to the Marlins in the NLCS. The Braves made it to the NLCS in 1998. The World Series in 1999 and the NLDS every year from 2000-2005. So with all those postseason appearances and only one title, the Braves fans now are not fooled. They are the ultimate “Call me when we win it” fan base. It will take a World Series Championship to get them back.
The fans that do go to the games are very good fans, they still do the “Tomahawk Chop” cheer trying to rally the team like they did in the 1990s. Braves fans are a hearty bunch that has seen a lot of disappointment but they love their team.
If you want a good time at a baseball game get to Turner Field in 2016. It will be your last chance.
Graphic via blogspot