Review: Turner Field

My review of Turner Field is remarkably biased.   I am incapable of separating the stadium from the team I despise.  I despise the Braves for their shady scouting practices (ever wonder how Jayson Hayward slipped all the way to 14th in the draft), how poorly they represented the NL East in the playoffs, and how they are then biggest obstacle to a decade of Nationals domination.

Turner Field is a direct mirror to the city of Atlanta.  That is to say, very generic, little charm, and a terrible location. Coca Cola and Chick-fil-A billboards are everywhere and mediocre bar-b-q seems plentiful. Unlike virtually all successfully designed stadiums that integrate or define a new neighborhood, Turner Field is located in the middle of a parking lot near, not in downtown Atlanta. So far, attempts to develop the area around the stadium are mired in bureaucratic city planning nonsense (let’s build a ferris wheel or another convention hotel)

English: Turner Field - Atlanta Braves play he...English: Turner Field – Atlanta Braves play here – player memorial numbers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears there is some kind of informal dress code which goes as follows: Women:  Cut off jeans and cowboy boots, lots of makeup and an Upton Shirsy. (I couldn’t find anyone who was positive if they were wearing B.J. or Justin) Men:  Wear a shirt, untuck it, and never actually watch the game. Only watch the roughly 1000 TV positioned around the stadium and talk on your cell phone.

The stadium is just like every other stadium developed by Populous over the last two decades.  That is to say, it is sorta like Nats Park, but worse because it is filled with people rooting for the Braves.

755 club

A unique featuresof the park is Club 755, which my ticket gave me access to.  If Tuner Field is a great reflection of Atlanta, Club 755 is a fantastic reflection of Turner Field.  It is an upscale vodka bar type area accessed through the club section It allows you tonot watch the actual game in an air-conditioned environment.  There seems to be an obsession with Hank Aaron around the park, a player who played a majority of his games for a team (albeit the same franchise) in another city.  It seem like an over-correction to some previous franchise slight and ambivalence over his usurping Babe Ruth as the home run king in the 70s and a complete refusal to acknowledge Barry Bonds existence.

 club 755

The park appears to be an elaborate construct to sell Braves merchandise.  Every 50 feet there appears another kiosk to purchase your Chipper Jones doll or one of the various incarnation of their hideous hats.  All of this is more about growing the Braves brand and less about the on field product.

hats        big and tall

The Turner Field game day experience also has some remarkably annoying quirks.  The tomahawk chop is derivative of Florida State. The seventh inning stretch seems to be an homage to Baltimore Orioles seventh inning stretch. Thank God I’m A Country Boy is an already overplayed “tradition” in Baltimore, but at least the O’s have a folk tale to go with it.  The team mascot is simply ridiculous.  Homer (really) is a baseball head wearing a Braves uniform, you know exactly like Mr. Met.

mascot

The stadium is generic, the traditions are derivative, the fans are the worst.  The stadium is even named after a wealthy but obnoxious former owner. Come to think of it, the name fits.

field

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