The field is beautiful and the history is plentiful, but the Braves could use a few more fans showing up to their games was my first impression of the Atlanta fan base.
Waiting for the start of the games, the entire time I was in Atlanta, I couldn’t help but think “This is it?” I have seen some low stadiums, but the 14,000 people filling the stands was not much for a franchise as storied as the Braves. This was the franchise that seemingly won the east every year for like a decade right?
Turner Field by Tom Walsh
I scanned the area and took this picture in the beginning of the game, allowing for the stragglers to fill in. This is not a pre-game picture. This is it.
The fans that did fill in the seats seemed to genuinely care about the Braves but they were too few to really feel like this team was loved. I know the Rockies may not be the biggest draw of any franchise, but even the cheap seats sat empty and for $6, most baseball fans will pay that to see a Major League game.
Most fans will remember the Braves and their fans for the “chop.” Some outsiders will tell you the chop was taken from the Florida Seminoles and adopted by Braves fans in the ’90’s but they still use it to this day. But when you only have 14, 000 fans filling seats, the chop seems lackluster at best. If I were a player and had the bases loaded with a full stadium doing the chop, I might feel different. Watching a mostly empty stadium do it, was not so impressive.
I was not heckled once and if anything, most people were willing to poke a little fun at the “stranger” in Rockies colors. I never felt threatened or unwelcome at Turner and it would be a field I’d visit again. The fan base may be uninterested in the team currently, but I’d like to see how the place acts when it’s full and filled with the faithful. Maybe the chop won’t seem like a flop with more voices behind it.
And last but not least. If you are wearing an opposing team jersey, expect the camera operator to pick you out and do his best to get a laugh at your expense on the jumbo-tron. As the 8th inning kissing cam rolled around the park , I was the guy they focused on while playing the song lonely. All in good fun. I blew the camera a kiss and laughed I made the Braves jumbo-tron.
If ever you are in Atlanta in general stop for the food. This city loves to eat and the varieties of food abound. You can find down home southern cooking or other great mixtures of Asian or American to Italian cuisine. I recommend the fried green tomatoes!
My first and main choice would be the standard dog for the stadium. This place had no name for the dog, but the extra-large version for $5.50 would call for some examination.
This was a good size dog for the price and it was made by the same company who supplies the dogs at Coors Field, Hebrew National, so I knew they had to be good. What I wanted to test was the toppings the field offered. Here you could get chili, cheese, sauerkraut, or onions.
Pushed towards the chili, I would take my first bite.
The price was just right at $5.50 and a great eat that hit the spot.
I wanted to try the restaraunt overlooking center field called the Chophouse, but I didn’t have enough time. I looked at the menu and it seemed reasonable. Most of the food items were standard fare for a ballpark, so I was not overly compelled because I was missing out. I’d like to try it the next time I get there and our best player is not hitting for his historic 2,000th hit. Maybe I can relax a bit more and try some of the views from the Chophouse and it’s food.
Overall, Turner Field is a great place to catch a ballgame. The tickets are very reasonably priced and the fans not showing up leave a ton of great seats open to anyone. Plenty of parking near the stadium and even a tailgating section can make for fun times. The food is good and reasonably priced so you may not go as broke as some stadiums.
If you’re in Atlanta take a peak, get some good eats, and catch a game at Turner Field.