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A visit to Truist Park in Atlanta

It’s nice enough, but kind of generic.

Al Yellon

ATLANTA — The first thing you need to know about Truist Park is that it’s not actually in the city of Atlanta, despite having an official address of 755 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta, and an Atlanta postal zip code (30339). It’s in suburban Cobb County. To wit:

Google Maps

It’s in Cobb County, just barely across the county line from Fulton County, where the city of Atlanta is actually located. The uniformed police (yes, they have them inside the park, unlike Wrigley Field) wear Cobb County uniforms.

The park is also in an odd location weather-wise. This study done by an Atlanta-area meteorologist shows why this specific location is prone to thunderstorms:

Fortunately, weather shouldn’t be an issue for this Cubs series at Truist Park, though a rainout in Atlanta in 2018 helped put the Cubs in that late-season crunch of games that might have contributed to their September collapse out of the N.L. Central lead.

If you haven’t been to this ballpark, it’s where you can picture it in your mind given that map: A confluence of very wide highways (I-75 and I-285) with some suburban-type sprawl surrounding it. There were multiple reasons given for the Braves to leave Turner Field after only 20 years there and move to this ballpark, but one of the main things they wanted is the real estate play that surrounds the park. To wit:

Al Yellon

There are tons of bars and restaurants surrounding Truist Park, and this is where the Braves are making a lot of their revenue. It’s the same thing the Ricketts family has wanted to surround Wrigley Field with, and to some extent they have succeeded. There are a lot of other teams who are desiring similar things. They’ve got something like this in “Ballpark Village” in St. Louis, but definitely consider this sort of thing the new wave in baseball stadium construction.

Here are a couple more views of the area you first encounter after parking (more on that later):

Al Yellon
Al Yellon

There were long lines to get into the park before the gate opening time (5:30 for a 7:20 start):

Al Yellon

This was likely because a bobblehead of Braves reliever A.J. Minter dressed like a cowboy was being given away:

Note to the Cubs: The Braves gave away 15,000 of these, while the Cubs’ ceiling for gate giveaways is 10,000.

Inside the ballpark, the concourses are wide and easy to maneuver:

Al Yellon

Also inside, there’s a nice display of Braves history, which includes the entire history of the franchise dating back to its Boston days:

Here’s the view from my seat:

Al Yellon

As I mentioned, the sightlines are good, and I’ll add that the entry process was pretty good despite the long lines, the food was pretty good and fairly reasonably priced and the gameday staff was friendly and efficient. The only real criticism I have of this ballpark is that it feels very generic. There’s nothing about it that really says “Atlanta!” to me, other than the team history exhibit.

Now, the traffic and parking. Get there early enough and the traffic isn’t all that bad, and I had pre-paid for a “Red Deck” parking space which turned out to be... in a parking garage. I had awful visions of waiting an hour to get out after the game, but as it turned out by the time I got to my car the garage level I was on was mostly empty. That made it easy to get out and the signage to get back on the highway I needed to be on (I-285) was actually pretty good. I had been warned about traffic and parking before arriving, but this appears to be a place where as long as you know exactly where to go and not go, it works out all right.

I only wish the Cubs baseball had been better.

Truist Park is the 47th park in which I have seen Major League Baseball regular-season games played. Earlier this year, London Stadium was the 46th. Of the current parks, I have yet to visit Petco Park, Marlins Park and the new Rangers stadium, Globe Life Field. Here’s a ranking of the 45 parks I had seen as of 2020; I’d put Truist Park somewhere in the middle of the pack.