|When Ted Turner announced
that the Atlanta Olympic Stadium was going to be converted into a baseball
stadium for the Braves, he promised that it would be the best stadium in
baseball. But this has become standard language among owners who are building
new parks. Every new park is going to be the best. While Turner Field is
a nice ballpark, there is nothing particularly distinguishing about it.
It has all the standard modern amenities that other new ballparks have
- wide concourses that overlook the field, numerous concessions stands,
and many luxury boxes. The main entrance to the park is in centerfield.
This is where most of the concession stands and activities for kids are
located. In order to bring in more money, this centerfield plaza is open
several hours before the game. The plaza is nice and very festive, but I would like it better if it were in view of the field. Also located in this area is a gift shop,
restaurants, and a Braves Museum. Unfortunately, the museum is not free
of charge, even with a ticket to the game (it costs $2).
With all the activity in centerfield, the concourse area around the infield
seemed dead, which felt odd since this is usually the most active area
of a ballpark. One nice touch is the dual concourses - there is one for both the 100 level and 200 level seats. This really helps to ease the stampede of fans that usually occupy the main concourse of a stadium. The atmosphere at Turner Field can be a bit minor league at times - silly contests are done between many innings and the soundtrack can be annoying. With the outfield open (and Fulton County Stadium now torn
down), there is an excellent view of the Atlanta skyline. Parking is plentiful
near the park, though it is not cheap ($10). Nothing is here - everything from tickets
to concessions to programs are expensive. Certainly an improvement on Fulton
County Stadium, though Turner Field is not really much more unique or memorable
than its predecessor.