One of my favorite things about living in Knoxville is our close proximity to so many excellent venues. My family really enjoys exploring new locations and attending sporting events, so we were excited to check out a Braves game in the team’s new home, Suntrust Park. The new 41,000-seat venue opened for the 2017 season and is located at The Battery Atlanta, a three-hour drive from Knoxville. The Braves website describes the new facility as, “the perfect marriage of classic ballpark feel, modern amenities and southern hospitality, which creates a fan experience unlike any other.” I agree. We had a wonderful time at the game and can’t wait to go back. If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly event, I highly recommend making the trip to Atlanta.
To help make your trip easier, here are five quick tips for a home run experience with the Braves at Suntrust Park.
1. Purchase tickets and a parking pass in advance.
The Braves website is very informative and is a great “one-stop shop” for planning a trip to Suntrust Park, purchasing tickets, and navigating parking. Depending on the game, general admission tickets start as low as $8. All children under three are free, but must sit in the lap of an adult. There are some open lots available on game days, but I was so glad we pre-purchased a parking pass. We were able to drive to the parking garage, park easily, and take a short walk across the pedestrian bridge to the stadium. The park is designed so that all seats provide a good view of the field. Many of the seats are also covered, which provides great protection from sun or possible rain.
2. Bring some water and a few snacks, but don’t forget to try the food venues.
Each guest is permitted to bring one bag (no larger than 16” x 16” x 8”). Outside snacks and sealed bottles of water are also allowed, as long as each guest has only one clear gallon-sized bag. We filled our snack bags with individual-sized popcorn, apples, granola bars, fruit snacks, peanuts and cracker jacks. This was a game changer for our family since everyone seemed to be hungry just from the walk from the parking garage into the park. It really helped the children (and the adults) stay happy and content while waiting for the lines at the food venues to lessen. I also highly recommend taking advantage of the concessions within the park. There are many delicious options and the customer service is excellent.
3. Take advantage of family activities.
Suntrust Park was certainly designed with families in mind, and there are so many activities to make the experience fun for fans of all ages. Children 14 and under are invited to join the Kids Club, which offers special benefits depending on membership level. Young fans will be happy to check out Hope and Will’s Sandlot, which features everything kid-related. From games and activities including a rock wall and zipline, to kid-friendly snacks and mini-sized merchandise, this may become a favorite section of the park.
Monument Garden is another area worth visiting. Located behind home plate in the stadium concourse, it is filled with team artifacts and paraphernalia. We enjoyed looking at the statues and jerseys and learning more about the history of the team and its players.
During Sunday home games, kids have the opportunity to run the bases. There are no reservations required, but participants can line up at the 3rd base ramp during the 7th inning. There are also several special events throughout the season, including concerts performed at the stadium. These events are free with the price of admission, which allows guests even more entertainment!
4. Allow time to explore Suntrust Park/Battery Atlanta.
There is so much to do at Suntrust Park and the surrounding area that you want to have time to explore. The Battery Atlanta features hotels, dining, and shopping. If you arrive to the game early, you can give yourself time to park and walk around some of the venues surrounding the stadium. You can even schedule a tour during certain times.
5. Make it an event!
Attending a Braves game can be a great way to celebrate a special occasion or even kick off a mini vacation. Birthday parties and group tickets are available for purchase and special offers are available throughout the season. With so many hotels in proximity to the stadium, it is a great opportunity to stay overnight, head into Atlanta for some family activities, enjoy some great food, and drive home the next day.
Bonus tip: There is an app that will make the whole process even simpler. You can download it here.