#3: SunTrust Park, Atlanta Braves

Number of visits: 2 (2017)

You have to take a risk to get a reward and so far the Braves investment in their ballpark seems to be paying off. It’s 15 miles from their former home at Turner Field in Downtown Atlanta. SunTrust Park is located in an area dubbed The Battery Atlanta.

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With Brian Bookman in 2017

“The Battery” is where modern residences merge with shops and restaurants, anchored by the ballpark, creating an atmosphere full of energy. Limited parking and neighborhood traffic will need to be addressed but that is a common issue with new parks. Local garages run $50 on game day, however, if you spend $50 in the shops and restaurants outside the ballpark you can have your ticket validated for free parking.

Once inside, it won’t take long to realize you are in a park designed for baseball lovers. Monument Garden is an entire hallway dedicated to the history of baseball’s oldest franchise. A large play area for kids features boardwalk style games, rock climbing and zip lining. If you are more interested in the social scene than the game, multiple bars in right field offer standing room views as well as corn hole, ping pong and foosball.

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LED lighting on the overhang.

I have not seen this in other parks, but I loved the colorful LED lights that shine onto the overhang above the upper deck.

Another unique feature for this park is the location of the luxury boxes. Typically, luxury boxes are on a single level and stretch from foul pole to foul pole. At SunTrust, the luxury boxes are on two levels and only extend from dugout to dugout.

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The overhang above the lower deck can obstruct fans view of fly balls.

I love the vertical design of this stadium, allowing fans in the upper deck to sit closer to the field. However, some rows in the lower deck are covered by the overhang and fans will lose sight of fly balls.

On the main concourse behind home plate is a shop dedicated to authentic game-used memorabilia. If your child is upset that he or she didn’t catch a foul ball, you can purchase a game-used ball for $50. The ball has a unique bar code, which you can scan and learn how it was used in the game.

Overall, I loved this ballpark. Well done, Braves.

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