Turner Field in May 2013 (Getty Images)
Have a baseball road trip coming up? Well, in a bid to help you with your upcoming journeys, Big League Stew has solicited the help of the locals. Over the next month or so, we'll be hitting up our usual guest blogger crew to feature 10 tips for enjoying each of the 30 ballparks like the locals do. Have a suggestion in addition to the ones listed here? Make sure to list it in the comments below.
First off, welcome to Atlanta! Or at least, to a writeup about Atlanta. We’re glad you’re here. This is that Southern hospitality you’ve heard so much about. Also, reading these words has just added to your cholesterol count; we deep-fry everything here, even our verbiage.
Now, to business: You’re looking to know more about Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. You’ve come to the right place, sugar. Pull up a chair and sit a spell.
Turner Field began life as the stadium for the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996, and if you squint, you can imagine how the oval used to run. The seats that enclosed what is now the Fan Plaza beyond center field were temporary, and you can still find them in restaurants all over Atlanta. In the near distance, you can still see the Olympic torch that Muhammad Ali lit in one of the most dramatic moments in sports history; fittingly for Atlanta, it now adorns a highway overpass.
Turner Field itself is one hell of a ballpark, a more-real-than-real Disneyfied version of the retro-classic Camden Yards style. Your every need is provided for here, your every wish can come true … except in October, of course. Turner Field is the ideal spot for hookups of both the business and personal variety. Families love it, and baseball aficionados can get close enough to the action to smell the seams of the ball. If it was even the slightest bit easier to access, this place would be sold out 81 games a season.
So join us on our tour of Turner Field. For the truest fan experience, put this article aside and go sit in your car for 90 minutes before reading it. If you must go on now, though, let’s start right there…
1. Get in the car, Junior: One of the most wonderful things about Turner Field is its easy access from anywhere in Atlanta, as well as the bountiful offerings of bars, shops and nightlife that ring the stadium, creating a destination that’s — HA! Kidding. Turner Field, like its predecessor Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, is in a cultural and transportation dead zone, somehow simultaneously in the middle of everything and yet completely inaccessible. True mass transit doesn’t come within a mile of the stadium, meaning you’re going to be driving. And if you’re looking to make an evening game, you’d better leave now to catch a 7:35 first pitch in September. Pro tip: Don’t take any of the “designated” stadium exits. Drive south past the stadium and double back, or get off early on I-20 and take the back roads past Grant Park.
Read More »from Turner Field: A local’s guide to enjoying a road trip to the home of the Atlanta Braves