With one season done, a weekend AJC story went into the finances and decision-making behind the Gwinnett Braves and its new stadium in Lawrenceville. In its first year, it drew 423,000 visits in 71 home games, and 4,000 more for two home postseason games.
But I want to hear about another aspect of the new stadium: was it as fun as some said and hoped it would be?
From the story, “Gwinnett Stadium a winner for county?”:
Proponents say the stadium is an asset to the community, that it was meant to add to the quality of life in Gwinnett more than to generate income for the county.
Preston Williams, who served as point man for the project for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the first year was a rousing success.
“The venue is doing exactly what was intended from the inception: It is serving the people of Gwinnett as a destination for family fun and entertainment. It has created jobs,” he said.
County Commissioner Bert Nasuti, who led the campaign for a minor-league team, said county residents who attended games “had an experience they just cannot have anywhere else but in minor-league baseball.”
“My constituent feedback on baseball and folks’ experience at the park was overwhelmingly positive all season long,” Nasuti said.
I made it out to one game, and had a nice time, but — and it’s rare for me to type this — it would’ve been more fun with little kids. Baseball was the after-thought of the experience. It was more about the games between innings and the bounce houses in eyeshot of the field. Chopper, the team mascot, is a total star. All this makes sense — the minor league lineup and game is dynamic, so the consistency comes from base races and beer offerings. Unless a big star comes back from an injury, Chopper really is most recognizable face at that level.
By the way, you can check out a much different version of Gwinnett Braves Stadium starting Oct. 15, when it reopens as Stadium of Screams.
So what do you think? Did you go to a Gwinnett Braves game, what was it like, and would you go again? If you didn’t make it out, why not?