This spectacular 50,000-seat ballpark started life as an 80,000-seat stadium built to host the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996. After housing the opening and closing ceremonies and numerous track and field events during the Olympics, the north end of the stadium (with approximately 35,000 seats) was demolished, and the rest of the structure was modified to accommodate baseball.
Turner Field is built in the style of old-time ballparks, but also includes a number of attractions besides the baseball game itself. The folks who run the stadium like to call it a baseball theme park, and it's not a bad idea to come to the game early and take in the various attractions, especially if you have children along. The Braves Museum and Hall of Fame features memorabilia commemorating legendary stars and key moments in Braves history (take a gander at the bat Hank Aaron used to hit his 715th home run). The museum is open to ticket holders on game days 3 hours before game time and 1 hour after the completion of the game. Scouts Alley is designed to teach fans about the fine art of scouting. Fans can test their hitting and throwing skills, call up scouting reports on former and current Braves, play a trivia game, call a play-by-play inning of a game, learn about Hank Aaron's "hot" spot, and much more. At the Cartoon Network's Tooner Field, kids can hang out with Cartoon Network characters or play interactive games in the Digital Dugout. At the East Pavilion, fans can have their images inserted into either a baseball card or a photo of a great moment in Braves history. The Braves Clubhouse Store is full of Braves-themed merchandise, some of which is available only at the stadium.
Finally, it's possible -- and fun -- to tour Turner Field. Tours depart every half-hour Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to 4pm and Sunday from 1 to 4pm on nongame days, and Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to noon on game days. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for military and children 3 to 12, and free for children 2 and under. Tours include the museum, the dugout, the press box and broadcast booth, the clubhouse, Scouts Alley, and more. On nongame days, there's ample free parking in the north lot. Call tel. 404/614-2311 for more information.
If all this activity makes you hungry, head to the West Pavilion -- where you can snack on famous food items from other ballparks -- or to the Braves Chop House, a casual restaurant that overlooks the Braves' bullpen.
Museum-only tickets are $5 on nongame days, $2 on game days; the museum hours vary according to the game schedule.