Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has given high marks to SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves.
On Friday, the Braves played their first regular season game at SunTrust Park. The debut of the facility had been anticipated for some time, and many offered positive feedback upon its opening.
Manfred was on hand for SunTrust Park’s debut, and was quick to compliment the facility. In particular, he cited the entertainment options the Braves provide, as well as SunTrust Park’s amenities. The features inside the ballpark, including the number of unique seating options, are among the elements that Manfred believes could serve as a model for other ballparks. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“I do think it’s a model for other organizations,” Manfred said. “We ask our fans to do a lot. They come 81 times a year. You’ve got to make sure you have a venue that is attractive, provides entertainment alternatives and food alternatives. And the Braves have just done an unbelievable job with those concepts.”
The ballpark itself has a combination of elements the Braves gleaned from visits to other highly rated ballparks, and the reviews of SunTrust Park have been favorable from fans, baseball officials and players.
“It is a classic-feeling ballpark,” Manfred said before Friday’s game. “We just had a little tour; some of the different seating areas in the ballpark — a lot of imagination, a lot of options in terms of seating. It’s the kind of ballpark that will attract not only our hardcore fans that really are the backbone of our game, and we always have to pay attention to people who may not be quite as interested because there’s so many options today.”
As was noted in one of our preview stories on Friday, SunTrust Park offers numerous social spaces that reflect some of the offerings at modern ballparks. These areas could appeal to many fans, especially at a point in time where more teams are emphasizing social spaces and flexible ticketing options at their ballparks.
On the field, the opening weekend of SunTrust Park was successful for the Braves. The team won Friday’s inaugural game, before taking two subsequent contests from the San Diego Padres.