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Official Review by Paul Donaldson, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Through the spring and summer seasons, Braves baseball provides Jackson, Mississippi with an entertaining brand of minor league action and family entertainment at Trustmark Park. The Mississippi Braves, the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, have called the Jackson area home since 2005. The Mississippi Braves don the colors and logo of their MLB affiliate and are affectionately known as the M-Braves by locals.
Trustmark Park is a state of the art minor league facility with general seating wrapping from left to right foul poles in the lower deck and suites with box seating in the upper deck. One of the highlights of the experience is Farm Bureau Grill, which is located on the right field wall and offers a full-service restaurant experience with a view of the game action. With an appealing open-air concourse design and great sight-lines, you'll rarely miss game action regardless of where you are in the ballpark. With 8,480 seats, Trustmark is the third largest ballpark in the Southern League.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Trustmark Park comes through with a wide variety of concession options and even a full-service restaurant in right field. Throughout the open air concourse, you'll find several stands built into the outer wall of the concourse, including the popular Flash Point Grill which serves up most of your ballpark favorites. Other specialty stands include Domino's, Franx (gourmet hot dogs), Sweet (desserts), and Salsa (burritos and nachos). There are also a handful of specialty carts scattered throughout including Smokie's Sausage Shack, Steakadelphia, Hickory's BBQ, Dippin' Dots, a popcorn stand, and a Kona Ice truck. Needless to say even without the Farm Bureau Grill in right field, there are an abundance of options in the concourse. Prices are a bit steep for the basics such as a hot dog for $5.25 and a box of popcorn for $3.50, but that's to be expected at minor league venues.
Farm Bureau Grill is just simply a wonderful element to the M-Braves experience. Grab a seat at a table on the deck and enjoy a full service restaurant experience. The fried catfish and fried chicken tenders baskets are popular items.
In terms of beverages at the concessions, Coca-Cola products headline the line-up with a souvenir soda (32 oz.) running $5.50 and a regular soda (16 oz.) at $3.50.
Trustmark features a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Draft beer is available ($5.50 for a 16 oz., $6.50 for a 24 oz.). Yuengling is a fan favorite at the ballpark. You must have a wristband to purchase beer, so you'll need to make a quick stop at one of the tables in the concourses to show your ID.
Trustmark Park is a state of the art facility featuring an open air concourse, chair back seating with cup holders throughout the ballpark, and great sight lines. The concourse is filled with action and packed with amenities.
The Wall of Fame adds a really nice touch along with the retired player banners and championship recognition along the outer fencing of the upper deck. While the video board in the outfield is fairly small by modern standards, it provides the stats you need along with replay and player intros. The iconic Braves logo sits atop the scoreboard.
There's really not a bad seat in the ballpark. The seats in sections 108-112 are immediately behind home plate and offer a unique perspective, considering their location just below the playing surface.
The promotions team keeps you entertained between innings with on-field promotions that are enjoyable but not over the top. Trusty, the Braves mascot, makes appearances in the stands to pose for pictures and interact with fans.
From design to layout, Trustmark Park is a great place for minor league baseball.
Trustmark Park is located in Pearl, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson. While Pearl isn't exactly a hotbed of activity, you'll find a few nice places to eat and some entertainment within close proximity to the ballpark. Pearl is only about five miles east of Jackson, so there's more to explore without wasting much time on the road.
In terms of restaurants, a must stop while in town for an M-Braves game is Frisco Deli. The rib plate is very tasty and comes at a reasonable price. Locals also rave about the Reuben and catfish plate. One of the more unique dining options in the area is Farm Bureau Grill at Trustmark Park. Not only is the grill open during games, but also holds regular restaurant hours outside of game time. If you're looking for Mexican food or some good tamales, try Jose's Tamales and Restaurant. There are several other chain options close by.
For entertainment beyond what the ballpark offers, you'll probably want to take the short drive into Jackson for a more extensive list of options. However, there are a few attractions Immediately around Trustmark including the Outlets of Mississippi, a Bass Pro Shop, and a movie theatre.
Immediately across the street from the ballpark is a Holiday Inn. This is a great option if you are making a short stay only for the game. For extended stays, you may want to look for lodging near downtown Jackson.
Average attendance for the Braves at Trustmark Park is roughly 3,000 per game, which places it near the middle of the Southern League. While attendance may rise or fall some each year, this average has held as a pretty steady number over the last 10 years.
Jackson has a storied history of support for minor league baseball. In the 1980s, the Jackson Mets regularly drew over 100,000 fans a season to Smith-Wills Stadium. Future big league stars including Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson, and Darryl Strawberry (among others) created a special connection between Jackson and the minor leagues. Though the Mississippi Braves have yet to rekindle the same kind of support the Mets enjoyed during the 80's, you'll still find passionate fans at the ballpark in Pearl.
Fans can generate some noise during big plays and you'll enjoy seeing the famous Braves 'Tomahawk Chop' at various times throughout the game.
Trustmark Park is located just off I-20 to the east of downtown Jackson. This is a very convenient location which allows fans to jump off the interstate and drop directly into the ballpark parking lot.
Parking is ample around the ballpark and it's free. There are plenty of helpful attendants in the lot keeping traffic flowing smoothly. The ticket booth and main entrance are at the corner of right field, next to the Farm Bureau Grill. Lines move quickly for both will call and general ticket purchases. Bags are checked as you walk through the gates, but the lines moves swiftly.
As you enter the ballpark, you'll notice the concourse is spacious and there's plenty of room to move around in the seats as well.
Ticket prices for the 2016 season are affordable for M-Braves baseball at Trustmark Park. Club Level seats are $25 and are located directly behind home plate. Home Plate Level seats run $16, Dugout Level $14, Field Level $9 and General Admission for $6. It's quite a steal to take in the M-Braves baseball experience for as low as $6.
Concessions are a little high, but typical for minor league venues. Programs are $5 and parking is free.
Several promotions are offered to help make prices even more affordable including '2 for Tuesdays' (select tickets and concessions are two for the price of one) and Thirsty Thursdays (where 16 oz. domestic beer and sodas are only $2). On Friday and Saturday nights fans can enjoy fireworks at the end of the game.
There are several extra elements at Trustmark Park which help make the overall experience special.
The Wall of Fame on the third base side of the concourse is a great addition to the feel of the ballpark.
Trustmark Park has an excellent team shop just inside the main entrance. It's spacious and has a lot to offer.
The Farm Bureau Grill beyond the right field wall is really something special. It's a unique sight from the stadium seats and it offers a good view with a restaurant experience while you watch the game.
Adding to the family friendly feel of the ballpark is the Family Fun Zone located just inside the main entrance. There are four massive inflatables here that offer a game's worth of fun for the little ones.
While the atmosphere in the ballpark is a shade of the old Jackson Mets in the 80s, there's still lots to love about overall fan experience. If you're looking for a family friendly event or quality minor league action, find yourself in a chair back at Trustmark Park rooting for the M-Braves.
Member Review by Nathan
Baseball in Pearl, Mississippi doesn't go back too far, but in the short time the Braves have been in the Magnolia state, they've made some great memories on the diamond.
The days of this Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves began in 1966, when the Braves played in Austin, Texas for two years. Afterwards, they moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where they only played for three seasons. In 1971, the club moved to Savannah, Georgia, where they spent a good 12 seasons. In 1984 they moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where they spent 21 years as the Greenville Braves. The stadium there was in poor condition, and the team could not reach a deal with the city to build a new stadium, so they relocated to Pearl, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson.
In 2005, the team's first season in Mississippi, the Braves opened Trustmark Park, a stadium that can seat nearly 7,500 fans. The park has seen the Braves win the 2008 Southern League championship as well as a college baseball game between the state's two SEC powers, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
The Braves might have finally found a good home. They have a nice stadium, a great community and a supportive area behind them now. Don't look for this team to leave Pearl anytime soon.
Member Review by oldskoolberk on Aug 24, 2015
Maybe because the Atlanta team has been having a very rough year that if you are in closer proximity to the parent club, you don't feel like the fans are really into the Atlanta Braves like they were 10-15 years ago, or even 5 years ago. Fans in the Atlanta area are really ready for the football season to start.
I bring this up because Mississippi is a nice, healthy distance away from Atlanta. And the vibe is very different than what you see at Turner Field and even in Coolray Field and State Mutual Stadium in Rome. The fans are INTO the game and still do the chop. So the Tomahawk spirit still lives, just 5 hours away from Atlanta.
FOOD: Nothing really standing out of the ordinary. Cheesesteaks though there isn't much cheese on them and taste more like an Italian Beef Sandwich. But the signature item was the bacon ranch cheddar fries in a large helmet. Very tasty and while $8, it is worth it. Domino's has a stand there and it says it has sandwiches but only offers pizza. It kind of goes against their new sales pitch of being more than pizza.
ATMOSPHERE: Great. You definitely get a nice vibe of a Minor League game and honoring Braves players who have made it to the Bigs. Seats are fine, though best avoid the right field corner, and you get the fun stuff of between innings shenanigans, and you are able to walk all over the park to get a good vibe of the place.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Pearl is in a suburb of Jackson, and thank goodness it was. Pearl is a nice area and the park is actually by a lot of outlet stores. Most of what you want for grub is really about a mile away for food, but nothing really stands out with that. Just your basic bars & grills like Ruby Tuesday's, etc.
FANS: Very much into the game and you had a few hecklers there, but kept it clean and funny. But overall, a good base that care about the Braves.
ACCESS: Right by I-20 and I-59. You cannot miss it. And parking is plentiful and free. Easy to get in and fairly easy to get out.
ROI: Overall, this is one of the cheapest places to go for a Minor League game. Most foods under $5, souvenirs are actually pretty cheap (and not all Atlanta Braves like Rome uses), and tickets are inexpensive throughout. It is a great Minor League experience and an underrated place to watch a game.
EXTRAS: The place is served for the fans, whether it is winning free things on Saturday nights, something for everybody, or just the fact you get good quality baseball at a decent price, you cannot go wrong at all. Great park and a hidden gem though the park itself doesn't break any barriers of standing out.
1227 Phillips Ln
Pearl, MS 39208
1 Braves Way
Pearl, MS 39208
411 Riverwind Dr
Pearl, MS 39208
110 Bass Pro Dr
Pearl, MS 39208