It’s America’s favorite pastime. And if you’ve lived in metro Atlanta for more than a year but haven’t seen the Braves play at Turner Field, it’s far past time.
Whether you’re thinking about going by yourself, taking a date or making it a family affair, we asked a couple local baseball fans for their tips on how to get the most value out of your Braves experience:
Many seasoned Braves fans will tell you the best way to get to the game is via MARTA — it’s cheaper than parking and will save you a post-game traffic headache. Exit the train at the Five Points station to catch a Braves shuttle bus. It departs from Steve Polk Plaza, on the east side of Underground Atlanta, and returns to the station’s Broad at Alabama Street entrance.
If you drive to a game, parking in most official Braves lots costs between $8 and $15. But some motorists have other tricks up their sleeves.
“We like to park for free about a half-mile away on a side street off Georgia Avenue,” says John McCosh, public relations manager for CredAbility, a credit counseling group.
If you choose to park in an unsupervised lot or on the street, officials caution you do so at your own risk “If I take a date,”McCosh says, “the only thing I would change is I’d pay for parking in an official lot.”
It’s hard to find a bad seat at The Ted (the stadium’s named after one-time Braves owner and CNN founder Ted Turner). Plus, there are more than 500 television monitors throughout the ballpark, as well as the giant, 29-by-38-foot BravesVision video board beyond center field.
Going to a day game? Whitney Callan, a client services coordinator with Fox Sports, recommends sitting in the terrace level on the third base side of the field to stay out of direct sun. She says it also helps if your seats are above the first few rows.
Having a good view of the game is a priority with both Callan and McCosh.
“If you sit down in field- or dugout-level seats, sit on the left side for odd-numbered aisles and right side for even-numbered aisles,” Callan says. “Otherwise, you have foot traffic constantly between you and home plate. For example, 117L is better than 117R and 116R is better than 116L.”
Or, adds McCosh, sit a bit higher for an even better perspective.
“If you can purchase tickets in advance, go to the ticket window at Turner Field and ask for the lowest row available around sections 408 or 409,” McCosh says. “That puts you around the front of the upper deck … a good view with an upper-deck price.”
Most regular tickets range from $6 to $95.
Most people agree: You’re going to pay a premium if you choose to eat in the stadium.
“I don’t think there are any good food deals at Turner Field,” said Callan. “I love the Kevin Rathbun steak sandwich, but I have season tickets, so I can get it for $10 instead of $15. I would say eat at the Varsity or bring it with you.”
“We usually bring in a sub sandwich, a bag of peanuts and bottled water,” says McCosh, who figures he could add a bag of chips and still feed two people for about $20.
If you do plan to bring your own food, remember that aluminum or glass containers, alcohol, ice chests and hard-sided coolers are prohibited.
Upcoming Braves homestands
Sunday: Toronto Blue Jays
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: New York Yankees
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Baltimore Orioles
June 26, 27, 28: Arizona Diamondbacks
June 29, 30 and July 1: Washington Nationals
Have your own tips for the best Braves experience? Share your suggestions in the comments.
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter