Truist Park - Atlanta Braves
Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Truist Park 755 Battery Ave Atlanta, GA 30339
Year Opened: 2017
Truist Park at The Battery Atlanta – Atlanta Braves
Out of what was once a small, forested area with not much more than a walking trail and duck pond, has grown what many feel is the gold standard of “Eat-Stay-Play" destinations not just in baseball, but in all professional sports.
The Battery Atlanta was built with the idea of attracting fans to the area well before the start of the game, keeping them there well after, and making the neighborhood a 365-day-a-year destination.
Food & Beverage 4
The Braves have made a point to emphasize the food and beverage experience at Truist Park – it is not just the traditional concession stands throughout the stadium or specialized foods, but the stadium has a handful of sit-down restaurants for fans looking for a bit more than the typical ballpark fare.
One of the most popular social locations to watch a game from at Turner Field was the Chop House in right center field. The popularity of this location was not lost in the design of Truist Park. A three-level version of the Chop House in straightaway right field not only features two full-service bars, table service inside, but also its own specialized Chop House menu.
Another sit-down option at Truist Park is the Terrapin Taproom and Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. The Terrapin Taproom is accessible from both inside and outside the stadium; it serves not just a full barbecue menu, but many of Terrapin's family of beers including the Chopsecutioner, that is aged with Mizuno bat chips.
The sum of the gluttonous highlights of the 2023 specialty menu include a three-foot “Submarine Sandwich” consisting of house-smoked turkey breast topped with Red Dragon cheddar sauce, bacon, a fried green tomato, butter lettuce, and avocado crema. In addition there is “The Cleanup Burger” and its four grilled beef patties piled with hash browns, hickory-smoked bacon, cheese, and a sunny side up egg, between two Belgian waffles slathered with maple syrup, as well as the Georgia BLT stuffed with bologna, butter lettuce, tomato, pimento cheese, and garlic mayo on a brioche bun.
For those searching for meatless options, the Slutty Vegan has a stand near the 3rd base gate with a limited menu from their highly popular brick and mortar location in Atlanta’s West End.
More in the realm of a traditional burger, the highly sought after Holman & Finch burger would be the “must have” item of the food options at Truist Park. At its original location, the H&F burger used to be limited to 24 burgers, made available at 10pm each evening – of everything served up at Truist Park, this is the one thing not to miss.
One of the reasons behind the Braves move from downtown to the outermost reaches of Atlanta was so they could develop the area around the ballpark; to make it more than just a destination fans would flock to for the game itself. In creating The Battery around Truist Park, the Braves have created one of the top pre-game atmospheres in sports.
Truist Park was built with many obvious honors to the legacy of Hank Aaron in mind – the statue and display in Monument Garden, the Hank Aaron Terrace, and the 755 bat nobs engraved with the date of each of Hank’s home runs. Yet, some of the tributes are not as obvious, like the 755,00 bricks used to build the stadium.
Brick is a familiar theme throughout; from the outside façade of the stadium to the interior walls, right field wall, and backstop, brick is a major component to the visual appeal of Truist Park.
The canopy of Truist Park extends up to 60 feet over the upper level of seating and provides a great deal of cover. While protected from the elements, seats on the field level toward the back of the sections do have an obstructed view of the scoreboards and the flight of the ball on high flyballs. Another seating option that might be less than desirable, especially early in the game, is the seating from left to left-center field; fans in these sections must contend with a heavy sun field for the first few innings of the game. However, depending on the price point, seats either in the terrace level or the upper deck give fans a nice view of the action on the field, the main and auxiliary video boards, and the area surrounding The Battery.
The main scoreboard at Truist Park sits in straightaway center field, above the two-tiered, forested batter’s eye and waterfall. While the center field scoreboard provides every bit of information a fan might want to know, it is the secondary videoboard in left field that provides pitcher-batter data that stat nerds will enjoy. This board provides real time updates of pitcher and batter statistics, but also a running log of pitch type and speeds of pitches, along with instantaneous feedback on batter launch angles, distance off the bat, ball speed, and the hangtime and apex of home runs.
Truist Park tends to play a bit in favor of pitchers. For the most part, distances play to league averages with left to left-center being a bit deeper, but it is the wall heights that challenge batters, especially the 16-foot brick wall in right field. This wall can create some interesting ricochets that can quickly turn doubles into triples.
The excitement on the field is bolstered by the excellent job the entertainment staff does with pre and in-game bits. Between inning games and contests are kept simple, and have a bit of whole fan interaction to them.
The most popular mid-inning event in all of baseball might be “Beat the Freeze”, where a fan goes head-to-head with a track athlete in a speed suit and goggles, in a race from foul pole to foul pole. The fan is given a sizable lead and The Freeze tries to chase them down before reaching the other side of the field. This event creates a lot of buzz in the stands that feeds the crowd’s excitement in the game.
The nightly “Tool Race” is also a fan favorite; the race that seemingly always has a plot twist as four anthropomorphic tools, Phil the Bucket, Hammerin’ Hank, 2-Bit the Drill, and B-Rush race each other around the warning track. Not to ruin the experience, but sadly, 2-Bit probably will not win!
In all, the Braves provide their fans an exciting experience, both from the standpoint of the fun team they have on the field and from their in-game entertainment.
Part of the draw for the Braves to build on the outskirts of Atlanta was so they could develop the property around the stadium, something they had tried to do at Turner Field, but for which they were never able to strike a deal with the City of Atlanta.
The neighborhood the Braves have created gives fans everything they need within the confines of The Battery. With four apartment buildings and two hotels, it makes staying at the ballpark easy, either short-term or as a home. There is also a wide selection of restaurants and entertainment options that give fans everything they could ask for and more when it comes to a full experience of visiting Truist Park.
Just steps from the Chophouse Gate is the 16-story Omni Hotel at The Battery. The Omni gives fans magnificent views of Truist Park and the north Metro Atlanta area. A second hotel, Aloft, sits closer to the front of the neighborhood and is just a short walk down Battery Avenue to the stadium.
If talking about the area immediately outside the gates of Truist Park, without question a perfect score of 5 would be appropriate. But since the larger footprint nearby includes office buildings, car dealerships, and Highway 41, the excitement flowing out of the stadium seems to almost immediately dissipate once you get further from the stadium.
The enthusiasm for baseball in Atlanta can be difficult to specifically nail down. The 2021 World Series Championship and a combination of newly established stars and young budding personalities brings a buzz to the ballpark each night. Fans are excited with the anticipation of witnessing Ronald Acuña, Jr. or Matt Olson flirting with 450’ home runs, and Spencer Strider touching 100 mph while setting strikeout records seemingly each outing.
The Braves have had a loyal following that spans the nation, due in large part to the reach of TBS in the 1980s – that fandom was strengthened in the 1990s with the Braves run of 14 straight division championships, but what the Braves contend with when it comes to fandom is the region’s love affair with college football. Some of the finer nuances of the game tend to go unnoticed. What the fans notice though is the excitement of what Braves baseball is now, and they turn out in droves for that.
A bit of the controversy circling the Braves in recent years has been their use of war drums to engage fans in the “Tomahawk Chop.” Though the Braves have curtailed their use of the sound effect, it is still a part of the late inning atmosphere. During night games, a visiting team’s call to the bullpen is met with a dimming of the lights, prompting fans to get their phones out, turn their light on, and rhythmically “chop” to the beat of the drum. Putting opinions of the use aside, the darkened stadium full of cellphone lights bobbing up and down is an amazing sight to behold.
When the stadium's location was first revealed, naysayers claimed it would create traffic jams that would keep fans from getting to their seats until the game was a couple of innings deep. The truth of the matter is that while there is congestion on the roads around the stadium, it is no worse than any other Major League ballpark; it definitely is not worse than it was when the Braves played downtown.
Parking lots are not concentrated right at the stadium, so it helps the flow in and out of the area, and cuts down on the gridlock surrounding the stadium. Finding a lot in the direction of your approach might be your best bet.
Parking can be a bit tricky at times, especially for those wanting to get to the stadium prior to the gates opening. The Braves utilize much of the parking of the neighboring office buildings, but given they are in use during the day, some of those lots do not become available until after the gates have opened. Make sure to check lot access times before purchasing parking. Also, check lot locations to know where you might be parking in relation to the stadium. Of the parking choices, Lot E31 might be the easiest to get in and out of, and is a reasonable walk to the third base gate.
All gates are typically crowded when they first open at 5:30, but after the initial push, any gate will provide quick entry as long as there are not giveaways that night. Pro Tip: If the gates are backed up, the entry point across the Atlanta Braves Bridge, atop Fox Bros., typically has little to no line.
Truist Park’s concourses are not the easiest to navigate – fans are not able to pass through the field level walkway from one side of the stadium to the other due to the premium seating area. A similar issue arises on the Terrace Level, where the Xfinity Club blocks full navigation of the level.
It is not just the roadblocks in passing from one side of the stadium to the other that is challenging, but several areas throughout the stadium are narrow and get very crowded. The upper-level concourse is already a tight fit, and is made more difficult to pass through with the placement of concessions carts. The area near Hope and Will’s Sandlot, a children’s entertainment area, also gets very crowded and can make getting through a challenge.
Getting in and out of Truist Park does not tend to be a significant issue when attending a Braves game; rather, where problems arise is when trying to do anything during the game, due to issues navigating the concourses or due to how long some of the concessions lines can get.
Return on Investment 3
Two things that can influence the demand for tickets are a new stadium and a World Series championship – the Braves have found themself in a perfect storm for high attendance numbers, with a stadium that opened in 2017 and coming off a World Series title in 2021. These factors have helped make Braves tickets one of the hottest commodities in baseball.
Get-in-the-door prices start at $14 for weekday games in the spring and fall when school is in session. This price alone is reasonable, but dynamic pricing and Ticketmaster fees can quickly escalate those ticket prices; Ticketmaster adds a flat order processing fee of $2.10 to the order, plus a service fee that is a percentage of the ticket price for each ticket purchased. These fees take a very reasonably priced ticket and might put some doubt into the mind of the average fan.
When it comes to stadium food Truist Park tends to be a bit pricy, but the Braves average concession prices are some of the lowest in Major League Baseball. This is not to say a family of four is going to be able to eat for $20, but prices for the basics (e.g. hot dogs, beer, or soda) are reasonably priced.
According to Bookie.com, the Braves do have one of the more affordable baseball experiences for a family of four at $133; there is a steep drop off from the top of the lower third to the bottom of the pack.
When it comes to making the game affordable, be on the lookout for ticket deals, which can make the game a much more affordable experience.
Braves organist Matthew Kaminski adds an extra element to the in-game experience. Not only does he put on an enjoyable performance during the visiting team portion of batting practice, but the walkup music for each visiting player also turns into a game of “guess the connection” – Kaminski plays a song with some connection to the batter. At times it is obvious (Bryce Harper – Harper Valley PTA), but some can really test even music enthusiasts. Fans in the stadium and on Twitter try to put two and two together and figure out the song’s connection to the batter.
The tribute to Hank Aaron in Monument Garden on the field level concourse does an excellent job remembering the legacy of the home run king. The centerpiece of the historical walk through Braves history is the statue of Aaron depicting his 755th home run, which sits atop a water feature backed by a highlight reel of Aaron’s life, and a sculpture of the iconic “755” created from 755 Hank Aaron model bats.
The biggest disappointment though is that the actual 755 bat and ball are displayed in the ticketed Hank Aaron Terrace, and so are not on display for all fans to see. The historic and cultural significance of these relics should be on display for all to witness.
At the Braves previous home, Turner Field, only the accomplishments of the Atlanta Braves were recognized, but Truist Park has 40 banners affixed to right center field lighting stations acknowledging the franchise’s success not just in Atlanta, but in Milwaukee and Boston before that.
If looking just to experience the feel of being at the game, but not wanting to go into the stadium, you can join a few hundred fans who watch the game from the green space on the big screen at the Georgia Power Pavilion. During the 2021 World Series, thousands of fans flocked to The Battery to watch the games being played in Houston.
Truist Park is everything fans could ask for in a baseball experience – there are plenty of attractions to fill the time before gates open, and to wind the night down if looking to make a full night out of going to the ballpark.
Though Truist Park is a wonderful experience for most baseball fans, stadium enthusiasts might leave feeling a bit underwhelmed. It just feels like, with a stadium so new, there is just something missing; there is not that one feature which just leaves you in awe of the visit. Pittsburgh and San Diego have spectacular city backdrops, Fenway and Wrigley have history oozing out of every brick in the stadium, and Baltimore has the B&O Warehouse in right field. Unlike those, Truist Park lacks the feeling that its stadium has something you can’t find at another ballpark.
The overall experience at Truist Park is top notch when factoring in The Battery and the excitement of the product on the field; Truist Park itself though just leaves you wanting more from the stadium.