Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Monday, May 08, 2017

Stadium report (and single game recap)

So, I went to the game Saturday evening, and I promised that I would give my report on the stadium.  In summary, I'd say "meh".  There were a few things that were better than Turner Field, and a whole mess of things that I felt were worse than Turner Field.  First, the good stuff:

  • The seating bowl is really nice, with a very good view of the field.
  • For the most part, the concourses are open to the field, so you can, in theory, see the action.
Really, that's the list of good stuff, in my opinion.  Obviously, that first one is important.  But here's the bad stuff:
  • The parking situation is a disaster.  The lots are much further from the stadium than at Turner Field, and the sidewalks are narrow, uneven, and poorly lit - if they're lit at all.  Also, since all parking is supposed to be prepaid, you end up giving Ticketmaster a bunch of service fees, which I don't like at all...
  • As a corollary to the parking setup, the process of entering the park is unpleasant.  Everyone who parks east of I-75 (where the bulk of the parking is) ends up at the 3rd base gate, which ends up overwhelmed.  We were there almost 90 minutes before gametime, and the lines were insane.  Part of that is the security theater involved, part of it is an assumption that everyone will get there early, walk an extra half mile on top of the half mile or more that they walked already, and go spend money at the Battery.
  • About those open concourses....  They're narrow, and there's not enough concessionaires.  So the lines for concessions are immense, and both block the ability to move around on the concourse, and the ability to actually see the field.  
I expect that the sidewalk thing will be resolved at some point, but it was an unpleasant experience getting to and from the stadium.  There was evidence of a lot of road work being done in the area.  It's stuff that really needed to be done before they opened the stadium, but that's probably asking too much.

The other two items are much tougher to resolve.  How do you improve the gate situation?  There's not really anywhere to add gates there.  And the concourses are what they are.  You can try to manage the lines better, but there's really just not room to do anything meaningful there.

I did not check out all of the other entertainment options, because I go to a ballpark for a ballgame.  And I'm a mean dad, so I try to make that apply for my son too.  We tried to get something to eat, but the lines were awful, and the one we stood in didn't move for ten minutes.  He got annoyed by the rain starting to hit us (between the wind, and the specific location of that concession stand, we were not in a dry spot), so we gave up.  We were in General Admission (because that's where the Scouts tickets were), so we never saw any vendors walking around us.  They stuck to the places where people had spent more money for tickets, I guess.

The game itself was awful.  Julio Teheran has regressed horribly; he struggled to throw strikes, and got hit pretty hard when he did come into the strike zone.  The Braves' offense made Mike Leake look like Greg Maddux.  At no point did I have any belief that the Braves would make a game of it.  We left after the sixth inning - it was cold, wet, and hopeless, so we decided to go find food outside the stadium.  (OK Cafe was delicious, for what it's worth.)

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be back at some point, but it's not really high on my list of things to do right now.  I'll let them fix the surrounding infrastructure, and probably keep an eye on hotel prices in the area.  Maybe we'll stay over that way, and avoid the mess.

I'll try to post the weekly recap tomorrow.  Spoiler alert - it wasn't a good week to be a Braves fan.

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