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Turner Field

 

Turner Field, named after Brave owner Ted Turner, is located at 755 Hank Aaron Drive in  Atlanta, Georgia.  The stadium debuted as Centennial Olympic Stadium for the 1996 Summer Olympics and had a seating capacity of 83,500.  After the Olympics it became Turner Field and opened for baseball only on March 29, 1997 to house the Atlanta Braves.  On April 4, 1997, the Braves defeat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 in the first game at the state of the art ballpark as 50,096 fans watched.  

 

Despite it's short history, has hosted an All-Star Game, a World Series,The world class ballpark a no-hitter and a baseball milestone.  On July 11, 2000, Turner Field hosted the 71st  Midsummer Classic,  which saw the American League beat the National League 6-3 with the New York Yankees Derek Jeter going 3 for 3 and made a fantastic play in the field to capture the MVP award.  

 

Turner Field also hosted the 1999 World Series which the New York Yankees swept in four games from the Atlanta Braves, who disappointed the home crowd after winning 103 regular season games.  Yankee closer Mariano Rivera was names the MVP.  Other notable milestones at the ballpark include Randy Johnson’s no-hitter against the Braves on May 18, 2004 and Braves’ legend John Smoltz recording his  3,000 strikeout on April 22, 2008.

 

The park is less than a mile from downtown Atlanta, surrounded by highways making it accessible mainly by car and bus.  Due to the surrounding infrastructure, the stadium is not very accessible to pedestrians and has no restaurants, bars, or entertainment outside the stadium.  It is an open air stadium, brick and limestone exterior, with GN-1 Bermuda Grass playing surface, seating capacity of 49,743, and was privately funded at a cost of $235 million.   Turner Field has four levels, field, terrace, Lexus, and upper deck, plus 59 luxury boxes and three party suites that are discretely located below the upper deck.  There are no bleacher seats at the stadium; each spectator gets a seat with an armrest and back.  

 

The ticket booth and Monument Grove is located on the northwest side of the ballpark and thus is the main entry into the park.  There are several other entries, but most fans utilize plaza entry where they can take in Brave History with a stroll past Monument Grove, which has statues of Hank Aaron,  Phil Neikro, and Ty Cobb, plus retired player number statues of Aaron, Niekro, Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, and Dale Murphy.  Adjacent to the Grove, is the main entry with a plenitude of food and activities.  Tooner Field is located in the main entry plaza and has games and souvenir shops.  Scouts Alley, located under the left field stands houses interactive games for kids.  A 100 foot diameter photograph of Hank Aaron's 715th homerun ball adorns Plaza Side Scoreboard and fans can walk the entire lower concourse and without losing sight of the action, an oddity among stadiums.  

 

Spectators search for their seat by red numbers against dark blue seats, and white/gray concrete to match the uniforms of the home team.  The park dimensions are 335 feet to left, 380 feet to left-center, 401 feet to center field, 390 feet to right-center, and 330 feet to right field.  The stadium has panoramic views, a high-definition video screen in center field (the largest at time of installation), the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame beyond left field, the Chop House restaurant overlooks center field, and the private 755 Club restaurant overlooks left field.  The Coca-Cola sky field is located in the left field upper level concourse and has games for kids as well as a mist spray for all fans to cool off.    The East and West Pavilions feature games and concession stands.  The stadium has a strong affiliation with Loony Toons, which caters to the atmosphere of the ballpark, and makes going to Turner Field a family experience.

 

Hard core baseball fans sometimes think the Loony Toons presences is a little excessive, yet send them to a game with a four-year old and they may enjoy a different perspective.  The Atlanta Braves provide a first class stadium, baseball, and entertainment experience.

 

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Tagged:
1999 World Series, All-Star Game, Atlanta Braves, Hank Aaron, Olympic Baseball, Ted Turner, World Baseball Championship, World Baseball Classic

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