ALL STAR GAME:
BEEN THERE: I paid a brief visit in February 2021, walking through the plaza beyond right field.
Even though the Braves' second home in Atlanta, Turner Field, was only two decades old, the owners decided to make a deal with Cobb County, and in 2014 announced their plans to relocate. The new ballpark, initially called "SunTrust Park," was completed in plenty of time for the 2017 season, but some of the transportation infrastructure remained uncompleted by Opening Day. It is all part of a new high-rise retail/residential high-rise complex, aiming for the best of the urban and suburban lifestyles. The location was chosen based on where the greatest number of Braves fans live, in Cobb County on the northwest side of Atlanta. At eight miles distant from downtown, it is more remote than any of the contemporary "neoclassical" stadiums, other than Globe Life Field (in Arlington), home of the Rangers.
The field dimensions are quite similar to those of predecessor, Turner Field, except that the outfield walls are straight with clear angles, whereas at Turner Field they were mostly one broad curve. There is much less foul territory compared to Turner Field, and the position of the grandstand resembles those of Marlins Park and PNC Park. Like most other newer ballparks, the playing field is about 20 feet below ground level, except on the southeast side where there is a large ravine. Truist Park has four decks extending all the way around between the foul poles, the only other such stadium being Miller Park. One feature that becomes immediately apparent is the huge roof, which covers both upper decks, extending for about 15 feet in back. Apparently, many fans in "Hotlanta" complained about the lack of shade in Turner Field. The portions of the upper deck near the right and left field corners are uncovered, however. The second deck is larger than in most other baseball stadiums, while the lower deck is smaller; both features are characteristic of Yankee Stadium II. There are large table-seating areas in both left field and right field, where the new "Chop House" is located.
The Braves struggled for much of the year in their new home, but led by slugger Freddie Freeman, they showed improvement toward the end, finishing in third place in the NL East Division. Since then, they have claimed first place honors for three straight seasons: 2018, 2019, and 2020. With a team full of eager young stars, the new home of the Braves can expect to host ball games in October for years to come. In January 2020, SunTrust Park was renamed "Truist Park," following the merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T Bank which resulted in the creation of "Truist Bank." (See Stadium names chronology.) On April 2, 2021, in response to a restrictive voting law passed by the Georgia legislature, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the All Star Game will not be played at Truist Park, as had been previously planned.
SOURCES: MLB.com, http://www.myajc.com/news/sports/baseball/outfield-dimensions-wall-heights-different-at-new-/nqgxs/, http://www.ajc.com/sports/
FAN TIP: Alex Peneton, Mike Zurawski