The Braves had a lovely field in Turner, but apparently Atlanta was just too much for the team. 2017 marked the inaugural year for SunTrust Park, the new home of the Braves in Cook County, and while there was bad noise about the location, the park itself has hit a home run! With great views, classy decor, delicious food, and a hungry team, SunTrust has quickly risen through the ranks to become a fan favorite.
That traffic though...
Arriving at SunTrust Park
Alternative/Public Transportation to a Braves Game
The Cumberland District Circulator bus service loops around the area surrounding Suntrust Park. The CobbLink #10 bus connects to Circulator stops near Cobb Parkway & Windy Ridge Parkway just west of Suntrust. It does not run on Sundays, however.
You can also take the #12 MARTA Bus from the Midtown MARTA Station to the Cumberland Mall, which then connects to the Cumberland District Circulator.
If that public transportation option sounded pretty unclear, it's because it is, and fans do not appear to be using the bus options. You really may have to consider Uber your only real public transit option. And it appears SunTrust does as well, since they've actually set up an Uber stand near the park. If you've never used Uber before, get your first ride free!
Driving to a Braves Game
The Braves have had no choice but to accept that traffic is a part of the SunTrust experience. This is evident in the fact that they have been delaying the start of evening home games to 7:35pm on weeknights. Always check your ticket time.
The Braves currently operate 19 parking lots, offering over 14,000 spots! These range in price from $10 to $18, depending on distance from the park. And not all parking lots are equal!
A-List Parking: These parking lots, closest to the stadium, are only for Braves season ticket holders and select fans (including handicapped fans).
- Delta Deck
- Orange Deck
- Braves Lot 9
- Braves Lot 11
Super Shuttle Parking: These are the $10 parking lots, but there are lots of free shuttles operated by the Braves, so this is the route to go to save money.
- Braves Lot East 47
- Braves Lot East 50
- Braves Lot East 52
- Braves Lot East 51 (select games only)
- Braves Lot South 65 (select games only)
The Braves Offer Parking in the Area, with Cheaper, Distant Options via Shuttle
If you haven't planned ahead, you can take a chance with the first-come-first-served pay lots. These lots accept cash or credit on the spot, and prices range between $10-$18.
- Braves Lot North 29
- Braves Lot East 31
- Braves Lot East 35
- Braves Lot East 41
- Braves Lot East 43
But you can remove some of the uncertainty that comes with driving to a new ballpark by purchasing parking spaces ahead of time. Parking Panda offers guaranteed game day parking reservations and has a few options within walking distance of the park. Click on the game you're headed to in the window below to get started.
Best Food At & Near SunTrust Park
Save Money on Food
After some initial bad noise, it does appear fans can take food into the park. Food can be brought in on its own but technically not in a cooler. No glass or cans, and no individual beverages over a gallon. Beverages must be sealed, and no alcohol is allowed.
The Braves also have set aside two lots specifically for tailgating Braves: Lot North 29 and Braves Lot West 85. So don't tailgate elsewhere, but join the party with other fans before the game!
Food You Shouldn't Miss at SunTrust Park
While there was some uncertainty about whether the food at the new park would be a strike-out, it seems more the case that there are enough options to spray the field and satisfy any fan. SunTrust has taken advantage of the edgy and thriving food scene in Atlanta to bring some higher end fare out to the park, while making sure to stay true to the deep South's regional flavors. Prices are reasonable for a ballpark, and foodies will be solidly satisfied.
1. Taste of Braves Country: throughout the park, venues will feature tastes of the South. Check out the Mississippian Blackened Catfish Po’ Boy Taco, the Nashville Hot Chicken, and all the North Carolina BBQ you can handle.
- Alabama is represented at Braves Big Bites in Section 113
- Mississippi is represented at Taco Factory in Section 151
- North Carolina is represented at Smokey Q in Sections 113 and 343
- South Carolina is represented at 1871 Grille in Section 141
- Tennessee is represented at Fry Box in Section 320
2. Fox Bros BBQ: One of the hottest BBQ joints in one of the country's best BBQ cities, Fox Bros provides the flavors the city has grown to love. Brothers Just and Jonathan offer a variety of specials designed to compliment the beers on tap next door at the Terrapin Taproom.
3. Terrapin Taproom: Atlanta favorite Terrapin Taproom makes a variety of great beers in house, and is open to the park on game days and out to the street when the Braves are out of town. Their in-house "brew lab" offers new and seasonal flavors, all designed to pair well with Fox Bros BBQ.
Cheap Braves Tickets
At this point, nearly every Major League team has some kind of variable pricing model where depending on how in-demand a game is, the ticket prices you'll pay at the gate may go up or down.
Sometimes pricing varies from day to day, other times it is a more formal "tiered" structure where when they are playing a big draw team like the Yankees, you'll pay a premium price compared to a perennial bottom-dweller who might be in the "budget tier."
So rather than focusing on specific prices and sections which tend to change fairly often, I want to talk about general rules and strategies for getting the best deals on tickets.
1. Compare 3rd Party Sites
SeatGeek is a big time ticket comparison site that lets you compare a bunch of different ticket brokers, marketplaces, etc. and find the best price for the game you want to go to. They also have a tool that projects whether ticket prices will go up or down - AKA whether you should buy now or wait.
2. Buy Last Minute
If you've bought tickets online before, you've heard of StubHub. What you may not know however is that with the rise of print-at-home and tickets on your mobile phone via the Ballpark App that you can usually buy tickets right up to a couple of hours before game time.
As someone who has sold a fair share of tickets on StubHub, I also know that sellers are encouraged to set a declining price for their tickets. This means they'll set a starting price and then their lowest acceptable price, and StubHub will auto-magically lower the price of those tickets as the event date gets closer.
So in many cases, a game that isn't sold out will have plenty of below face value deals on StubHub that you can snatch at the last minute and then either print at home, or just use the App on your phone to get scanned into the game.
3. Avoid Craigslist
It's not to say that you can't find ticket deals on Craigslist, you can. It is just more of a peace of mind, safety issue. I'm a Craigslist kind of guy, but I also know it's easy to get screwed buying baseball tickets there.
Remember when I mentioned selling on StubHub? When you list tickets there, all you need to know is the barcode number from that ticket along with the other details on section, row, etc. - So when I sell tickets I never mail them to the buyer, they just print them at home and my actual tickets become void.
If I was a shady character, I could go sell those void tickets to an unsuspecting buyer on Craigslist for cash. The tickets look real, they are "real" in a sense - but what that buyer will find out is when they go to enter the stadium, the ticket scanner will say "thou shalt not enter thy game."
Don't be that buyer.
Stick to buying tickets from SeatGeek, StubHub, or directly from the team. You can still get deals and you never have to worry about being scammed.
Best Value Seats at SunTrust Park
With a park as new as SunTrust, there aren't any terrible seats. Instead, it's a matter of bang for your buck. Tickets are reasonably priced compared to bigger cities, but there are two experiences worth thinking about.
First, many fans have recommended shelling out for the tickets to sections 156-160, which are in the Coors Light Chophouse. A holdover from Turner, the Chophouse is a Braves fan favorite, and seats in this section have access to excellent concessions and great views on three seating levels.
Second, fans seem to recommend saving your money when it comes to the 200 and 300 level seats. The Vista Level seats (312-347) have been getting rave reviews for the food options at that level as well as the clean views all the way back the section. On the other hand, many have felt that the Terrace Level seats (210-248) aren't worth the price increase, with generic fast-food options and basically the same views as the above, cheaper Vista seats. So if you are going to spring for something better than the Grandstands, go with the Vista Level and buy an extra round of beers.
Where to Stay While Visiting SunTrust Park
My favorite way to travel to a baseball game is to stay as close to the stadium as possible and walk. Well, that's not going to happen. But since you are driving/taking an Uber to the park anyway, all of Atlanta is far game.
AirBnB is the best way to find a really cool house or apartment to rent so you can hang out with your friends/family before the game and get a more authentic local experience.
Not only is it cooler than a hotel, but you can save $35 on your first stay by using my referral link.
There are 2 types of rentals - those where you rent a private room and stay with a host and those where you rent out the whole place. I've done both, and you'll have some peace of mind about the people you rent from because of the review system they have for the hosts - so you have a high degree of confidence that you won't end up on the bad side of a future Dateline NBC episode.
AirBnB Offers Great Selection in Atlanta
Best of all, you usually can find places to stay that are close to the Atlanta scene in case you want to enjoy the city before or after a game.
Obviously places come and go on the site, but I've used AirBnB a number of times for sports road trips and it's become my default option when I'm traveling. Click the button below to save $35 on your first trip and see what kind of cool places are currently available near the ballpark:
Free Stuff at SunTrust Park
1. Braves History: Find the statues of great Braves players like Phil Niekro and Hank Aaron inside and outside of the park, making for unique photo ops. Also enjoy the exhibits and displays commemorating important moments in Braves history scattered around the Promenade level. The Hank Aaron Terrace, above left field, shows off awesome memorabilia.
There do appear to be a number of exhibits of Braves memorabilia through the Delta Club Levels. These are available to limited ticket holders. However, the open promenades still offer plenty of Braves history for every visitor.
2. Batter's Eye Watershow: Borrowing from the Rockies, the Braves now have their own little nature space behind the batter's eye past center field. There is a waterfall, massive evergreens, boulders and more creating a natural landscape. The fountain in the middle of the pond shoots water when the Braves hit a homer.
3. Monument Garden: behind home plate, this garden highlights a number of great Braves' men and moments. Exhibits cover everything from Hank Aaron's talent to Sid Bream's 1992 postseason injury. The centerpiece is a magnificent statue of Aaron, backed by a unique statue made of 755 bats, one for each Aaron home run.