Review by Gary
On the third attempt at building a home for the Braves in Atlanta, they seem to have gotten it right with Truist Park, their latest ballpark, found northwest of downtown Atlanta. Truist Park was ready for baseball in 2017 and is an exceptional place to catch a ballgame. Spectators walking to the outfield entrance can spend some time before, during or after the game visiting The Battery, a vibrant mix of shops, dining, living and workspace. The complex was built with money left over from the construction of the stadium.
There are plenty of food options, including a healthy stand, to be found on the wide 360-degree concourse, including a vast kid's playland behind centerfield that boasts a zip line and climbing wall.
I recommend arriving early and spending some time strolling through the Braves Monument Garden, a superbly designed strolling Hall of Fame in an air-conditioned rotunda behind home plate. Audio, light and water features are deployed to great effect. In 2021, the team celebrated the 150th anniversary of the franchise as it traveled from Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta. Awards, photos, gloves, bats, jerseys, and the like abound to the left and right of an impressive statue of Henry Aaron. A subdued, but very cool Hank Aaron Home Run terrace sits in the left field stands, beckoning batters to deposit a shot in that second deck. On the field, Aaron’s #44 was painted in the centerfield grass as just one of the many homages to the true all-time home run leader.
On the field, the game featured two teams this Met fan hoped would both lose, the Braves and their guests, the Miami Marlins. It was hard not smiling as the Marlins overcame a 3-0 deficit enroute to a 14-8 shellacking of the home team. I did like that the Braves were decked out in their Hank Aaron-era 1970s uniforms, but also enjoyed seeing Miami bang out 17 hits and flambe Atlanta’s Max Fried for 8 runs in 4 innings.
The team organist, known for his witty accompaniment, dug into his greatest hits catalog by playing a wide selection of tunes. A Brave makes a great play? Cue the “Superman” theme. A visit to the mound? Play “Putting on the Ritz” or TVs “Facts of Life”. I especially liked hearing Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” after Miami scored, which was often. How many of these young fans know these songs?
While not exactly politically correct, the stadium lights were turned off for the infernal tomahawk chop so that Braves fans could make the chopping motion with their phone camera lights on. It did look kind of cool in when done in unison. With no regard to the score on the field or how many runs Atlanta had yielded, fireworks were still launched over the scoreboard each time the Marlins were retired. Less is more, Atlanta.
Due to Covid restrictions, just 12,036 of the 41,084 seats would be occupied on this April 2021 night game. While the score on the field was more akin to a Falcons-Dolphins game, the experience at Truist Park was something I highly recommend to any baseball fan.