Stadium Review: Turner Field

The Ted holds a special place in the heart of a lot of southerners.

Turner Field - Home of the Atlanta Braves

Maybe not as close a place as Fulton County Stadium did but Turner Field in Atlanta is home to many a winning Atlanta Braves teams.

I had a chance to make another visit to the stadium last weekend as my beloved Milwaukee Brewers came down to Dixie in the final game of a four game series with the Braves.

The 50,096 stadium opened in the mid-90's and for the first several years, it saw a ton of winning. In fact, the first nine years of the stadium's existence, Atlanta was a playoff baseball team.

Of course, the stadium played a huge part in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta so even if you're not a southerner you probably have seen some event that took place inside.

The local powers that be are obvious inside the stadium, which you'd probably expect. You know, Atlanta-based Coke and Delta --- among others. I guess I've never thought much of "the ATL" but in its own way, Coke and Delta are community-based businesses I suppose.
Left Field at turner field
The view from near the visitor's dugout toward left-field

Next year will be the last season at Turner Field because any stadium that's more than 15 years old needs to be replaced, apparently. The team will be moving to the suburbs and "The Ted" is expected to be demolished by the city.

It's really sad, the new stadium is being financed with a bunch of a public money ($450 million). The new field, SunTrust Park is in the northwest suburbs in a place called Cobb County. The Braves' departure from their current just-south-of-downtown locale is definitely going to leave a huge gap on the city's south-side.

Still, walking around inside Turner Field, there's not much that seems to be in disrepair. It's a fine ballpark and at the surface, the only thing that shows obvious wear are sun-battered plastic seats.

Seat at Turner Field in Atlanta
Imagine what you'd look like after 20 years of hot Georgia sun!
There's nothing that's necessarily iconic about Turner Field inside. Some stadiums have quirks --- like Miller Park's slide that the mascot goes down after homeruns and things of that nature. I wouldn't say there is anything distinctive about the park. But there is one thing that is distinctly trashy southern:
Waffle House Inside Turner Field
Yep, just beyond the left-field bleachers you can get a greasy plate of breakfast!
Yep, there's a Waffle House inside. Crazy, right? As for food, this is about as crazy as it gets for The Ted.

Some of the coolest parts about Turner Field aren't even inside Turner Field. Outside, in the parking lots you can see the old footprint of Fulton County Stadium. In fact, they even still have the fence up where Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run (record breaker).

There's a certain sterility to Turner Field. But you know what, I feel that way about a lot of major league/professional arenas stadiums. Does Atlanta deserve public money for a new stadium? Hell no. Will I miss Turner Field? Nope, not at all. I just wonder what it's absence from South Atlanta will do to the metro area as a whole.