The Atlanta Braves’ traffic plan will be put the first true test on April 8 when two college teams will take over SunTrust Park for a game to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The University of Georgia baseball team will play the University of Missouri at 1:30 p.m. in what will be the first public game at the Braves’ new field in Cobb County.
Although SunTrust Park officially opened March 31 with a Braves exhibition game against the New York Yankees, only season ticket holders could attend.
There will still be more to learn about traffic even after this first public game, as it takes place on a Saturday and will not compete with weekday rush hour traffic.
The Braves staff will continue to learn from these “trial runs,” Beth Marshall, the senior director for public relations said.
Everyone involved with the team and operations was surprised by how well traffic went during the exhibition game, she said. The collapse of I-85 likely played a role in lessening traffic, Marshall said, as many people decided to work from home or leave work early.
The main lessons learned from the exhibition were internal field problems. Nothing happened during the exhibition game that is not fixable and that won’t be fixed before the upcoming games, Marshall said.
A rain tarp blocked view for the first two rows of seats, but the tarp has been moved down so it is no longer an obstruction, she said. Long waits at concession stands and a malfunction with the video board were also reported.
“With any pre-event you know things won’t go perfectly,” Marshall said.
The Georgia Bulldogs baseball team has played a game at Turner Field for the past 14 years to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The average attendance for the past 14 games is 19,413, but estimations for this 15th anniversary game are hard to make due to the new stadium and the fallout of the I-85 collapse, a representative from UGA’s athletic program said. The tickets are general admission and sold for $15 and all proceeds will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The Waze and Uber partnerships are in place and people coming to see UGA take on Missouri will be able to take advantage of them. For drivers, Waze will bring them directly to their parking lot. For commuters, Uber will have a stand set up outside the stadium.
The first regular season game the Braves will play in their new stadium is scheduled for April 14 against the San Diego Padres. This sold out game will bring thousands of cars that will compete with Friday rush hour traffic and truly test the extensive traffic plan.