MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – SunTrust Park is not as close to Middle Georgia as Turner Field is, but forget about worrying if the extra 14 miles will dissuade you from going to see the Braves.
Now, let me preface this by saying that driving in Atlanta can always be an adventure. A trip to the middle of Atlanta may be easy one day, but a nightmare the next. It might only take you a little over an hour to get to Atlanta from Macon on a Tuesday, but on a Wednesday it might take two hours. But as far as getting into SunTrust Park, at least going on my three experiences so far, it’s not an issue. I’ve been three times, and each time it was so easy I’m embarrassed I even worried about it to begin with.
Here’s the key: At Turner Field, people coming from each direction had one main area to park – right out past the outfield area of the stadium, in one of the lots where the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium sat decades ago. At SunTrust Park, there are parking lots all around the stadium. And the Braves try to lead you to a park from the direction you are coming from. So if you are coming from the south, from Middle Georgia, there are lots you should pinpoint. They want you to buy your parking pass before you even leave home. You can’t even find a lot and pay for it when you get there with cash. Getting that process taken care of saves time. Plus, you must use the WAZE – that’s W-A-Z-E application on your smart phone. It will lead you right to your parking lot.
The last trip I made to SunTrust Park was this past Sunday. I actually left my house in north Bibb County at 11:37. There was no traffic on the way to Atlanta, no traffic in the middle of Atlanta and then when I got to the exit off I-75, I was to my parking lot within just a few minutes. I was in my seat in the press box at 1:10. That’s 93 minutes for a trip that was 94.8 miles. Now I know it won’t always be that easy. I’ll run into traffic at some point. Again, it’s Atlanta. It can become a mess within seconds if there is a wreck or if construction is going on.
The point is the Braves have configured the parking very well, and the assumption that even I had that the location of the stadium – near two major interstates – would make it a nightmare was just wrong. I’ve heard other stories from people who have gone, and they’ve all been positive. At Turner Field, I would have to race to my car after the last pitch to avoid being caught in traffic for at least 30 minutes before I would even get to I-75.
That just hasn’t happened yet at SunTrust Park. Here’s why this is important. If you love the Braves, you don’t need or want a reason to not go. You don’t want traffic or parking issues to make you not want to go back.
I hope if you go your experience is as positive as mine have been, and I hope you’ll also be pleasantly surprised. It’s a great ballpark, with a great environment in and outside of the stadium. And it’s good to know that the worries we all had about it being farther away from middle Georgia may not be a concern after all.