Ballpark Review: Turner Field

Franchise: Atlanta Braves

Year Opened: 1997

Capacity: 49,586

Games Attended: May 23 & 24, 2015 v Milwaukee Brewers

Sec 204, Row, Row 1, Seat 4; Sec 105, Row 5, Seat 4

Over Memorial Day Weekend I had the chance to catch two Braves games in Atlanta. When reading ballpark rankings in the past, Turner Field always placed near the bottom. So my expectations were not that high.

1) Aesthetics- 16/25

Exterior- 3/5

The open outfield exterior of Turner is great, especially the brick wall where the ticket windows are located. However, the exterior running from third around to first definitely make Turner look more like a stadium than a field.

Interior- 7/10

From afar, Turner Field doesn’t seem special. But seeing this place in person was awesome. The video board looked nicer, the advertisements looked nicer, everything looked nicer. I love the championship banners displayed in left and the coke bottle and Chik-Fil-A in the upper deck. For an older, “bland” stadium those details make it stand out from others (think US Cellular).

Backdrop 6/10

You can’t see the skyline from the lower levels, but you can from the first base side of the upper deck and it is a great sight. While Turner lacks a skyline like Pittsburgh, fountains like KC, or any other unique part of the backdrop, it still comes together as a whole.

2) Seats &View- 15/20

Sight lines- 8/10

In the first game, we sat in the 200 level. This is still the field level but further back than the 100 level. Despite that, it was still a good seat that felt close and gave a great vantage point of the whole field. For the second game, we had the pleasure of sitting five rows back of home plate. These were by far the best seats I have had for a ML game. Even though we sat so close, there was still a good angle to pick up balls hit to the outfield. These tickets also came with access to the 755 Club- which was a blast- as I’ll mention later on.

Proximity- 4/5

Before the games we walked around to get a feel for the park and the upper deck was great as well. You don’t feel like you are sitting up too high at all and the top row of the upper deck was just as good as the first row. The vantage point is good, you get a view of the skyline, and the seats are angled so that people sitting in front of you won’t be in the way.

Outfield seats are also nice and are probably the most affordable. Really, there are very poor seats in the house.

Recommendation: 200 level, the sections that align with the batter circle on each side. There were probably 50 fouls hit into these sections each game. A lot of people went home happy with a souvenir as a result.

Comfort: 3/5

The seats were somewhat cramped, but there was good leg room.

3) Atmosphere- 11/15

Fan Participation- 4/5

The atmosphere was fantastic. The crowd was into the game and knew when to cheer and boo. Hearing the tomahawk chant in person was great and when it came time to close the game out for a Braves win, the crowd noise was deafening. Braves fans certainly impressed me.

Attendance- 3/5

A lot of people, myself included, rag on the Braves for low attendance figures, even when they were annual division winners. However, both games I attended had to have had at least 30,000 people there.

Fan Knowledge- 4/5

Braves fans are the real deal.

4) Attractions- 14/15

Museum & Team History- 9/10

The team museum is in Scouts Alley and one only needs a token to enter. The museum was very in-depth, showcasing uniforms throughout team history, the dugout bench from Fulton County, history on the different cities and eras of the franchise, as well as lockers highlighting awards and stories from past players and seasons.

Stuff to See and Do- 5/5

The attractions at Turner Field blew away just about all the other stadiums I have been to. First, when pull up to the parking lot you see they still have a cutout of the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, which is really cool. You can go stand on the old pitchers mound or dig into the batters box. Moreover, the spot of Hank Aaron’s 715th career HR is marked off with the original fence. As you walk past this in the parking lot and carry onto the stadium, you see several statues, plaques, and tributes to past players such as Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, Greg Maddux, and many more. For a history junkie like myself, this is awesome.

Now once inside the stadium, you have Scouts Alley to the right. For just 10 tokens, you get a free Braves shirt and a chance to take batting practice in a cage or speed pitch. It’s a great gimmick for kids to enjoy their Turner experience, while making easy money.

5) Food & Drink- 8/10

Hot Dog- 3.5/5

To begin- the classic hot dog. They offered a jumbo dog for $6. Take or leave that price, but it was a better foot long dog than I expected. Most longer hot dogs suck, in my opinion. But this wasn’t bad. Not the best ballpark dog, but not disappointing.

Best of the Rest- 4.5/5

A lot of this ranking is based on the food I ate, the food offerings, and the beer. As for the beer, they just have the run of the mill drink choices. But a 25oz’er for $10 is good for ballpark prices (I once got a 16oz Bud from Yankee Stadium for $12). They offered some southern food and BBQ along with ballpark staples. There was even a Chik-Fil-A stand which is the greatest thing ever. At least it was until I walked around the 755 Club. Food wasn’t free up there, but it was amazing. You could get 5 star, restaurant quality fajitas, pasta, or asian food for $12. Yes, only $12. There are also dessert stands with froyo, cheesecake, and giant cookies. A meal might be $12, but it’s the best $12 I’ve spent at a ballpark.

6) Game Entertainment & Presentation- 2/5

The one thing I can’t really recall, because of its low presence, was game entertainment. There was a mascot race and a lot of the “Kiss Cam” stuff, but that was about it. Although they did have a unique “oblivious cam” that stayed on a person until they realized they were on camera. Now some people find the lack of game entertainment to be a good thing, but it hurts Turner Field in my rankings.

7) Cleanliness- 3/5

Turner Field was meh when it came to cleanliness. I mean, it was clean, but you could tell was a 20 year or so old stadium. Some of the bathrooms smelled funky and you could tell the concourse had been through some shit. But it didn’t detract from the game experience.

8) Local Scene & Location- 1/5

There is no local scene at the park other than a rib joint. But downtown Atlanta is a five minute drive and there is more than enough to do there.

9) Access & Cost- 2/5

Between Scouts Alley, the good food, and merchandise, it can be easy to spend a lot of money at the park. But for the quality of your seats and food, there is good value in the money you’re spending. Their ticket prices and food prices are probably above average, but unlike a lot of places you get your money’s worth.

As for access, you have to drive. There is ample parking which leads to a lot of tailgating, but there is no good transportation system getting to the park.

10)- Misc +3

Stats & Info- 1

I have seen better, but all the info needed was present and easy to spot. They went pretty in-depth with player info, going so far as to state their MLB service time.

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 0

Wasn’t a fan.

Concourse- 1

It was open so I could see the game when getting beer.

Roof- 0

Tradition- 1

The Tomahawk chop!

Personal Opinion- 4/5

As I mentioned at the start, I had low expectations for Turner. But I was amazed with the whole experience. If you want to tailgate, you can do so. If you want to catch BP, you are more than welcome to (and A LOT of balls were hit into the LF seats). If you want to learn about the team history, you can do so. If you want to buy some cool gear, you can do so. If you want good food, you will get it. If you want a good seat, you will have one. Turner Field is a great park worthy of visit for baseball fans.

Overall Score- 79/115

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