It’s finally here! We have waited a long time for this day! April 14, 2017!! Three years ago when we got the announcement that we were getting a new ballpark, I had no idea how much progress, vision, and creativity could be carried out so well, so beautifully and so quickly!!
What an honor to serve on the Braves Fan Advisory Board for the new SunTrust Park for 2-1/2 years, working with some of the nicest people, and it is really amazing to see Braves’ vision (and what we have been talking about for so long) finally come to LIFE!!
There was so much excitement Opening night, throughout opening weekend, and so much energy in and around SunTrust Park. There is so much to do and see at SunTrust Park and in The Battery Atlanta. We attended the games Friday and Saturday night of Opening Weekend and still didn’t get to experience everything there is to offer. I can’t wait to go back (which will be soon), and try several new food items by Delaware North in SunTrust Park, and enjoy all the cool places to eat in The Battery Atlanta. There is so much thought and creativity that has gone into this ballpark. It is amazing!! I will let the pictures tell the story.
I was so happy to be a part of this project, even if in a small way. I am proud to call this ball park, HOME! Go Braves!
An amazing feature of our new SunTrust Park is the area called, the Coors Light ‘Below the Chop’. As you can probably figure out, the new Coors Light ‘Chop House’ is above this, and this ‘Below the Chop’ area is field level, and out in right field. This is a nice sized space for fans for a premium cost, and for private parties. As you can imagine, it’s very popular already. This area has a bar, food buffet area, and 2 rows of bleachers that have drink coolers that will keep your drinks cold on a hot day. There are also restrooms so you don’t have to go far away from the action. Everything you need is close by. The Coors Light sign you see here is designed with baseballs. Of course, the tables you see here are appropriately themed as well! Take a look to see what else this area includes!
Plenty of seating with drink coolers (those holes you see in the tables!) to keep your drinks cold on a hot summer day!
I wanted to pass on some important information from the Braves about how to get to and from SunTrust Park on game day!
The Atlanta Braves have put great thought and detail into how to make getting to SunTrust Park the best experience for you! The Braves have joined in partnership with Uber, Waze, and Cobb County to help get you to the ballpark easier and help manage the traffic during game days. They are excited to pilot new technology with the Uber app, and the updated MLB.com Ballpark App, to help make the entire process easier from purchasing your tickets, and planning your trip to and from the ballpark.
New Partnership with Uber:
“Uber announced the pilot of new technology that will make the pick-up experience fast and more efficient at SunTrust Park.”
“Riders leaving SunTrust park will be directed to the Uber Zone, which is located steps from the ballpark along Windy Ridge Parkway, through in-app messaging and physical signage. At the Uber Zone, fans will open their Uber app, set their destination and request a car as usual. Instead of having to navigate to find a specific car and driver, riders will see a personalized PIN cole in their app and can simply give it to the next available driver in the Uber Zone.”
For game day travel, you are encouraged to make a plan in advance of your trip to SunTrust Park. This can be done in 3 easy steps, and can be completed through the updated MLB.com Ballpark app.
What You Need to Know:
Buy your ticket in advance!The Braves have transitioned completely to PAPERLESS TICKETS. Tickets can be purchased through the MLB.com Ballpark app where you will receive a barcode that will be scanned on your phone as you enter the gates. You can also purchase tickets at Braves.com, or calling the Braves ticket office at 404-577-9100.
Buy your parking in advance! When you purchase your game tickets, please also select and purchase your parking! This will give you better choices of where to park and ultimately save you money. There are 14,000 spaces around the ballpark, but purchasing before you arrive will give you customized directions and a pre-purchase discount. Many lots will require a pre-payment, although some will accept credit cards at the site. Plus, if you have bought your parking in advance, you will have the added benefit of the Waze app to help you get there.
Use the Waze App! Because they are partnering with the Braves, Waze will be receiving real-time traffic information and updates from Cobb County to help spread out traffic in such a large area and help you maneuver around and find the best way to your parking lot (another reason to buy parking in advance). Cobb County and Waze will be able to get you around trouble spots, much more than a smartphone map app, because it is customized to help you get to a Braves event.
To also help reduce congestion, The Cobb County DOT is assisting with traffic manageability by offering The Cumberland Circulator. This transit system will have new routes to help you on game day, make daily traffic a bit more manageable, with enhanced mobility and frequency.
There are 14 access points to get in and out of the ballpark area, minimizing impact on everyday commuters. There are 14,000 parking spaces available around SunTrust Park. 5,000 more parking spaces than at Turner Field…. for a ballpark with 8,000 less seats!
I’m ready for new season in our awesome new ballpark!! Let’s Play Ball!
The Braves have worked very hard to include a fun space for our kids! As with the rest of the ballpark, this area has been well thought out and carefully designed. Now when your kids come to a game, they will get to enjoy so many amenities that SunTrust Park has to offer. The Braves, in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, have come up with a fabulous kids’ zone called ‘Hope and Will’s Sandlot’. It is located behind sections 151-155!
As always, there is a Braves Kids Club membership so your kids can be a part of the team! A premium membership is $25 (per membership) or there is a free membership option as well. When you buy a Premium Membership, there are several really great benefits and prizes that include a Dansby Swanson jersey and much much more. Check out all the info at Braves.com/kids.
And be on the lookout about how you can reserve your times in advance for all the fun games and activities you will see here.
In the meantime, let me show you around….
Thanks for letting me show you around the Kids’ area! It’s going to be a really fun season!
Like everyone else I’m sure, I am still “on a high” from game 7 of the World Series!! What an incredible game that was! That was probably the most exciting game we’ll ever see…especially a game 7 of a World Series!
I am a Loyal Atlanta Braves Fan, but knew the Cubs were having a great season. We lived in Chicago for a short time, only 6 months. I have been temporarily rooting for them during the NLDS and NLCS. After all, the Cubs have Former Braves David Ross, Jason Heyward, Tommy LaStella, and assistant hitting coach, Eric Hinske.
About a month ago, my 11 year old son asked me who I thought was going to win the World Series, I confidently said, “Cubs all the Way!!” For some reason, I knew… They had won 103 games this season and had been gaining such momentum! I was just feeling that they could do it!
Sure enough. They did it! I’m so happy for them that they were able to come back and WIN…especially after trailing the series 3-1!
I mean, WOW!
And I am intrigued for many reasons:
The 100 year curse…the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908.
There are some that have never in their lifetime have ever seen their Cubs WIN a World Series. I can’t imagine.
How emotional this is for many…. Fathers and Grandfathers that influenced their now grown children to love the Cubs from their childhood..and those “children” get to see the Cubs be CHAMPIONS.
Five years ago, the Cubs LOST 101 games! Since then, they have built their way back winning more games each year until reaching a winning season of 103 games in 2016!
And why? 2 words: Theo Epstein! He is the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs. He worked wonders with the Boston Red Sox, leading them to their first World Series Championship in 86 years in 2004 AND 2007. He took over the Cubs in 2011 to rebuild this franchise and told the Cubs Fans five years ago, “just be patient”.
I can’t imagine how he and the Cubs Organization must feel today.
I’m also very impressed with the Cleveland Indians who kept pushing and fighting all the way to the end. They are a talented bunch of guys. If you told me when they were leading the Series 3-1 that the Cubs would come back and win the entire World Series, I would be be shocked…
What a great World Series! Congratulations to all the Fans that have waited for so long!
History was made last night!
What a great love we have for the Game of Baseball!
I had the privilege of touring our new SunTrust Park yesterday. What an incredible sight! What was once a field of dirt and just an idea, is now quickly becoming a reality. Every detail, every design element, every space, seat, feature, club, food venue has been carefully thought out and constructed for us, the Fans! The players will get a state of the art clubhouse, a separate area to hang out, eat, cook, and rest. When it comes time for them to bat in a game, they will have a different space to take some swings before stepping onto the batters circle. I am so proud of Derek Schiller and everyone at the Braves Organization for tirelessly examining every detail possible to make this a nice ballpark for Braves fans and the players. I have had the pleasure of serving on the Fan Advisory Board for SunTrust Park for the past 2 years and I can tell you that this new ballpark and the adjacent development, The Battery Atlanta, is going to be amazing! Bring on 2017! And Let’s Go Braves!
We can’t wait! Thank you again to the Braves Organization for all of your hard work!
I am in awe of the effect dogs have on people. You see the joy, the smiles, and the stress just melt away when a dog is around. Whenever I am at the ballpark with our dog, Sammy, people will often approach to say hello. He is very sociable, loves everyone, and enjoys the attention. He’s like a “people magnet”. 🙂
The road to finding our Sammy wasn’t easy. Over the past couple of years, our son had been experiencing some anxiety and was having a hard time with friends in school. He had also fallen in love the with the Disney ‘Air Bud’ movies, starring Buddy, the Golden Retriever, ultimately falling in love with breed. My son has watched the ‘Air Bud’ movies so much, that he started to want a dog. Not just any dog, but a Male Golden Retriever.
We also had a friend with a white English Buttercream Retriever that was so calm and wonderful. That dog would put his head in my son’s lap. He loved it! It was priceless and further drove the point home that my son wanted this type of dog.
It became clear to us that a Golden Retriever would be perfect for our son since we knew that these were great companion dogs, can ease stress and anxiety, and could possibly one day end up serving as a therapy dog, something I had always been interested in. We knew that Goldens can sense distress in people and care about you with a heart of GOLD. But seriously, having this kind of dog might help ease my son’s anxiety.
So, we began searching. We searched high and low, specifically for a male Golden Retriever. We searched every rescue place in town. We paid application fees, we had home visits, we tried everything. I think we tried 5 or 6 rescue organizations, as well as the Humane Society. We found nothing. Even the rescue volunteers we telling us that with the dogs they had, who had a lot of problems, they didn’t have a dog with the right fit for us.
This went on for 9 months…
It was heart wrenching…
We were SO ready for this dog. And not just ANY DOG, but the RIGHT DOG. We had started to give up hope.
Out of desperation, one night I posted on Facebook that we were looking for a male Golden Retriever and if anyone knew of anyone that knew of anyone that had one, I would be forever grateful.
Within hours, My friend replied that she had a friend with a male Golden puppy that was available…. WHAT??? Seriously???
That friend owned a Male and Female Golden, and they had delivered 9 puppies, 4 months ago. We were so thrilled!
We were able to visit and take home our 4 month old puppy, Sammy, like the same day!!! It was awesome because we also got to meet Sammy’s mom and dad. I was reminded that timing is everything. If we, or the dog’s owner had been in a different place in our lives, then we would have missed this wonderful opportunity. It was truly meant to be.
We have had Sammy now for 3 months and he has been so much fun! My son, who is now 11 years old, has been wonderful with him. Our boy is more responsible than I have ever seen him. He takes Sammy outside to go to the bathroom, he feeds him, makes sure he has his water. He will take him outside to play ball and run around. At the same time, this dog will put his head in my son’s lap and rest. Just what he’s always wanted. We have taught Sammy to fetch, catch a ball in his mouth, shake hands, walk on the leash, etc. When my son comes home from school, he will say with excitement, “SAMMY!” and then say, “Oh… Hi Mom!” 🙂
I see so much more happiness, and less anxiety, in my kid because of this sweet, insightful, dog. There is a bond there, a love for each other. I will bring Sammy to my son’s baseball games and Sammy totally knows which one he is on the field. Sammy is so loyal and wants to be with his people. I see the excitement in my son now and I think about all the months that we searched, tried, cried, and wanted to love on this wonderful creature.
And…I am touched at what sweet, intuitive, dogs they are. Just today, I brought Sammy with me to see my son’s game. There were several kids that came up to Sammy to say hello, which of course I encourage. But, there was a special needs child in a stroller that showed interest in Sammy. I told them it was okay to say hello and brought Sammy over. This child started squealing and flailing his arms out of pure excitement of seeing this dog. Sammy was so wonderful and gentle with him, letting this child touch his face and rub him. Then Sammy, sensing how much joy this child had, layed down, rolled over, and wanted this child to rub his belly. He had not done that with any of the other children that came up to say hello. It was positively precious.
I will say that with Goldens, training is absolutely essential. I heard an awful story of a Golden that was turned over to a rescue organization because he was too wild for the kids. This dog had been banished to the basement and was never allowed to join the family. Basically, all he needed was some training.
They can be strong and they are big. If they are not taught correctly, they can be difficult.
I know having a dog with babies and small kids can be challenging, but if proper dog training is done and practiced each day, you can have a DREAM DOG. We have been through puppy training with Sammy and will continue on as he gets older. These dogs are so smart and pick it up super quick. It is so important to teach them the appropriate way to act. Just like we do with our children…
Last night, my son had a baseball game. Husband was coaching. I was running the dugout. Our boys faced a tough team and played hard. Our son had a good game but made some mistakes that don’t usually happen. He was upset.
On the way home in the car, it was just the two of us. We were quiet for a few minutes, just relaxing and downloading all that had happened. Something prompted me to say, “I am proud of you”. I saw his stress start to melt away. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Why would you be proud of me?”
I told him that he doesn’t have to do anything spectacular on that field for me to be proud of him. As long as he tries his best, I will always be proud.
I reminded him that baseball is a tough sport. There is a very good chance you will strike out, drop a ball, miss a grounder, or be called out at a base. It is ok. You will not be perfect every time.
There were some good things that happened on the field. He had some good plays and hits, so we focused on those. I reminded him that the rest of the player development will come… just to keep working hard.
The conversation could have gone a very different way in the car on the way home. We could have focused on all that went wrong and how we were going to make it better, but instead, he needed to hear that I was proud. And my words made a difference.
Later he told me that those words made him feel better about himself. I hope so. I don’t want his self-worth to be dependent upon his performance on the field. He has a lot of heart, he loves the game, and as long as he is having fun and trying hard… I will ALWAYS be proud.
It’s hard to imagine that our baseball coaches are simply volunteers. There is a great deal of love, passion, and time that goes into a season. My husband loves being able to coach. I love being able to help. One of my many responsibilities as a Team Mom is that I get to run drills with the boys on the field, I also do administrative stuff for my hubby/coach since he has a full time job, but I think my most important job is that I run the dugout. For every game.
A lot happens in the dugout. It is a very adventurous place. Our son is now 11 years old, but when he and his teammaues were 9/10 and younger, I found it was important to be in the dugout. I end up being the batting order coordinator, counselor, cheerleader, photographer, motivational speaker, nurse, aka boo boo fixer, monitor of boys climbing the fence, and trying to make sure none of the players swings a bat in the dugout. I also am a “bat runner” or “bat girl” if you prefer. It is fun but you have to stay on your toes. I have to be prepared.
I make sure I have these important items in my trusty Team Mom Bag:
First Aid Kit
Pens for my husband/Coach who always tends to forget his
Game Schedule/Snack Schedule
I will always have a first aid kit with me for those moments where anything can happen. Blisters, cuts, scrapes, bumps, and bruises. This is also why I will bring a few ice packs. (Summer Baseball is an entirely different situation… more on this later.)
Our park has asked our players to fill out medical forms in case of emergency. I will always have those with me in a folder or notebook.
I will always bring a few extra water bottles and snack bars in case someone is starving in the dugout, or forgot to bring their water bottle. Especially those who are running from somewhere else or forgot to eat breakfast. Keeping in mind food allergies.
I always have a copy of the game schedule either in writing or on my phone because someone will almost always ask me about an upcoming game or when they are supposed to bring snack.
But, like I said I help out in the dugout, every game. As the coach’s wife, he puts me to the task and trusts I will handle it.
The first couple of games are the funniest because the boys are still bonding as a team, and learning so much. Some are climbing on everything, and some are throwing balls and/or swinging bats. This is my job to monitor (prevent) all of this.
As the “batting order coordinator” so I have to have those boys ready to go on deck or up to bat. No matter what. It takes a game or two to get them to understand the timing of all of this. When the boys were younger, sometimes it took 2 of us in the dugout… 1 for crowd control and 1 for batting order.
The first couple of games, our players can get so nervous. I teach them to cheer each other on. Sometimes things on the field don’t always go their way and this is an important lesson to learn. If one of our players strikes out, I will teach they boys that as that player comes back to the dugout, that are met by their team with pats on the back and a “it’s ok, man!” or to give them a High Five. Lift them up when they are down. And to do that throughout the game no matter what. Sometimes just hearing a “you can do it!” from another player can mean so much.
This is so much a part of the game. Lifting each other up when GOOD things happen and lifting each other up when BAD things happen.
Things on the field will not go their way every single time.
Just like life…
When things don’t go our way, it’s always nice to have a teammate, friend, family member to pat us on the back and say, “it’s ok, man!” or give us a high five for at least trying and getting out there and giving good effort.
By the end of the season, the boys are usually connected, they are teammates and friends. They know what is expected of them in the dugout. I don’t have to watch for swinging bats as much…or balls flying through the air, but I will see them give pats on the back and hear them give words of encouragement to their teammate when things didn’t go their way on the field.
Do you have an amazing coach that has given your kids a great experience at their favorite sport? As we all know, a good coach is hard to find. These guys are volunteers and choose to spend their time teaching and helping our kids. I know we all want a meaningful way to show our appreciation.
I love the idea of going in together as a Team and doing something nice for your favorite coach. There are many ideas circulating but these are my favorite.
The parents on our team usually collected money for a very nice gift card to various restaurants or sporting goods stores and present it to the Coaches at the End of the Season Party. This is such a great idea. They do this on their own. They know as a team mom, I am working on a gift from the players to the coaches, and I have something special I give to our players….See my post on Team Mom: End of Season Gifts for Coaches and Players.
A meaningful gift for a coach from their players, is a team picture, surrounded by a mat, in a nice frame that the players have signed. I’ve had several coaches tell me they really appreciated this. My husband loves seeing pictures of every team he has coached on a special wall in our home. See my post on Team Mom: End of Season Gifts for Coaches and Players.
Another great idea I heard about was from my friend, Donna. A coach she had worked with had really done an outstanding job with her kids. She also knew he was a HUGE Boston Red Sox fan. She emailed them telling them how excellent this coach was and that she wanted to do something nice for him.
They sent her a bottle of field dirt…to some, it might not mean that much, but to him, it meant the WORLD. It contained actual MLB Authenticated game-used dirt from Fenway Park. You can actually go to an authentication database and enter the hologram number which is displayed on the bottle. This validates that this is actually game-used field dirt. A very thoughtful gift, and something very meaningful to a true fan.
So, if you are looking for a meaningful gift for an important person or favorite Coach…. find out what their favorite team, or player, and try sending that email to that professional organization to see what they may send you or see what you can find online.
Everyone appreciates a good coach and we want to properly show our gratitude!