Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium
255 Ferst Dr
Atlanta, GA 30332
Year Opened: 1980
Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium
The skyline of Midtown Atlanta drapes the outfield at Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium, creating one of the most stunning backdrops in college baseball.
Baseball has been played at the corner of Fowler Street and Ferst Drive for close to a century. Originally built in 1930 and known as Rose Bowl Field, the stadium was rebuilt in the early 70s with just aluminum bleachers, then upgraded in 1985 by donations from A. Russell Chandler II. While the official name became Russ Chandler Stadium, it garnered the nickname “The Rusty C” due to the rusting of the bleachers. The stadium received a full upgrade in 2002 when a full grandstand was built, and then again in 2021 when the Mark Teixeira Skyline Terrace was added down the third-base side of the stadium.
Food & Beverage 3
Concessions are what would be expected at most baseball concession stands, highlighted by chicken fingers and fries ($10). Other choices include hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, and popcorn for $6 each. Peanuts, chips, and candy can also be purchased. Non-alcoholic beverages include 22 and 32oz Coke products, which are available for $6 and $7, respectively.
There is a wide selection of beer, from domestics ($10) to premium beers ($12) that include the Georgia Tech branded “Helluva Lager” and “Ale of An Engineer.” New Realm Brewing Company also offers draft Hazy Pale Ale and Fruited Wheat Ale. Seltzers ($11) and wine ($12) are also available.
The use of brick is prevalent throughout Russ Chandler Stadium. From the outer façade to the press box, to the backstop and the recently added Mark Teixeira Skyline Terrace, the use of brick really jumps out, and it complements the natural grass field perfectly.
The field plays a bit to the advantage of left-handed hitters with the right field sitting 328’ and power alleys just 353’. The left field wall is 332’ from home with left center going 391’; it is 400’ to dead center. The distances are a bit lopsided, with a relatively short fence from right center to right field given the street that runs just beyond the wall.
Georgia Tech does not do a lot when it comes to between-inning entertainment, and it is wonderful! This is not to say there is not occasional fan-cam, or fan contests, but those are kept to a minimum and the focus is kept on the game itself. Best of all, there are no sound effects following each foul ball, nor scoreboard messages prompting fans to clap.
The chairback seats behind home plate are almost entirely shaded and covered to help eliminate the elements; they are a good investment when it comes to protecting against the sun. Or, if looking to take in the game solely as social event, the Teixeira Skyline Terrace is a great place to grab a drink, watch the game, and take in Atlanta’s skyline.
The Georgia Tech campus is in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood – Russ Chandler Stadium itself is surrounded by many of the Tech’s fraternity and sorority houses. Georgia Tech’s campus will never be confused as being a college town, but the stadium’s proximity to Greek housing helps create a campus game day atmosphere.
Given Georgia Tech’s location, there is nearly an endless amount of food, lodging, and entertainment in the area. Just across the interstate is where much of the entertainment and restaurants are located, along Peachtree and Juniper Streets. Hotels in the area are also plentiful – the most convenient might be the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. Georgia Tech’s campus is also just over a mile from Centennial Olympic Park, which is surrounded by many downtown attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame, and World of Coke.
Georgia Tech fans pack the house for big games, and the Tech students are a big part of that. Students fill three of the four sections behind the visiting team’s dugout along the first base line. The student section is rather active with chants and cheers throughout the game.
Georgia Tech baseball fans turn out to support the Ramblin’ Wreck, but it is not a highly intense atmosphere; the feel is simply one of a large number of fans turning out to support their team.
The Georgia Tech campus is located directly off Atlanta’s Downtown Connector, where interstates I-75 and I-85 merge. This can be quite a traffic nightmare when trying to get to the stadium for a weekday game.
Once on campus, the parking deck that serves most of the baseball traffic is directly across the street from the stadium’s front gates.
Atlanta’s subway system, MARTA, also has two stops close to Georgia Tech’s campus, one on North Street and the other at the Midtown transfer station. Both stops are less than a mile from Russ Chandler Stadium.
Fans enter to a plaza area where they can access their seats or stop at some of the beer or apparel stands. A secondary entrance near the right field corner makes accessing along the first baseline easier for fans sitting on that side of the stadium. Trying to navigate the concourse can be a challenge as there is not one direct route around it.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets are priced fairly, with chair back tickets behind home plate starting at $15, and both bench reserved and general admission seating for $10. Midweek series offer two general admission bench seats for $10.
When it comes to concessions, Tech’s prices are not outrageously expensive, but when compared to the super low food prices at nearby State Farm Arena or Mercedes-Benz Stadium, concessions at Russ Chandler Stadium come in a bit high.
There is a $5 charge to park in the garage directly across from Russ Chandler Stadium. Given its downtown location, Georgia Tech has to charge for parking, at a drive-up rate of $5. While there are many college baseball programs which do not charge for parking, given the location of Tech’s downtown campus, charging for parking here is unavoidable.
Georgia Tech’s beloved mascot, Buzz, makes his way around the stands riling up fans, leading them in chants, and stopping for an almost endless number of selfies.
Atlanta’s Midtown skyline provides for a fantastic visual from right center field around to behind the first base dugout.
Fans go wild when Georgia Tech’s Ramblin’ Wreck makes an appearance and takes a lap around the warning track. The 1930 Ford Model A Sport Coupe also remains parked behind home plate for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing fans to snap a quick photo with the classic car.
Much like their professional counterparts, Georgia Tech features several stadium giveaways and theme nights throughout the season.
Georgia Tech has a fabulous game day atmosphere – from the Greek housing just outside the gates to the chants and cheers from the student section, to the fact that Georgia Tech stays out of the way of the game and lets the contest on the field be the feature of the day.
Russ Chandler Stadium might not be the largest stadium, it might not have tons of amenities, and the fans might be considered subdued by some standards (they defiantly are not), but it hard to beat the laidback atmosphere where baseball is kept as the center of attention.