Braves gear up for Opening Day, welcoming back fans amid ballpark changes
ATLANTA - When the gates open to Atlanta Braves fans on April 9, it will actually be the first time fans will watch a live baseball game at Truist Park. The last time the ballpark hosted fans for live games was in 2019, when it was still SunTrust Park.
And there are plenty of other changes fans will see at the gate on Opening Day, starting with mobile ticket entry, a new bag policy and mandatory face masks.
No bags are allowed, outside of small, single-compartment handheld clutch purses, medical bags or diaper bags accompanied with infants. Bags like totes, drawstrings, messenger-style, purses, backpacks, and/or soft-sided coolers (clear or otherwise) are prohibited. A mobile locker bag storage unit outside the Third Base Gate is available for guests who arrive with oversized bags for $10 on a first come, first served basis.
"We’ve worked hard to ensure a contactless experience wherever possible," Hannah Basinger, the Braves VP of Guest Operations & Strategy, told FOX 5 Sports. "We want to reduce the amount of touchpoints with staff and fans."
Fans are required to wear a mask at Truist Park, except when actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat.
Another way they’ll do that is by going cashless at retail and concessions stands. Payments accepted at retail and concessions locations include all major credit cards, debit cards, mobile barcodes, Braves gift cards and contactless payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Fans without a credit card or mobile pay can exchange cash for giftcards at reverse ATM kiosks through the stadium.
Truist Park’s parking operations will also be cash-free.
Fans can also now order food and drinks on their phones from their seats and pick them up in an express mobile order line.
Plexiglass and sneeze guards have also been added at concessions stands and communal condiment stands have been eliminated. Buffets will have attendants to serve food, and touchless utensil dispensers have been installed around the ballpark.
When the gates open to Atlanta Braves fans on April 9, it will actually be the first time fans will watch a live baseball game at Truist Park. The last time the ballpark hosted fans for live games was in 2019, when it was still SunTrust Park.
And Braves fans can do all that mobile ordering and paying on the upgraded WiFi throughout the ballpark and the Battery.
"We’re trying to help you enjoy watching live Braves baseball for the first time in over a year, so we’re really looking forward to you being able to enjoy the game safely from your seats, have a contactless experience and be really efficient as you go through the different food and beverage options," Basinger said.
The biggest change will be the 33 percent capacity limit the Braves have set for their opening series, with all tickets being sold in pods to maximize social distancing. That cap is going to be re-evaluated each homestand.
There are some changes to the Truist Park suites, too: adding Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos Back Porch, INFINITI Club, and Sugarlands Distilling Company at Chipper Jones’ Hot Corner. Plexiglass has been added to separate suites as well.
Plexiglass has been added to separate suites at Truist Park.
Advanced air filtration systems have been installed there and in all indoor spaces; and the entire stadium will be disinfected before and after each game.
"We actually have pretty extensive cleaning protocols in any season but obviously in the time that we’re in now, we have enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, so we do a hospital-grade cleaning post-event," Basinger said. "So after every game, we will do that cleaning. And during, we’ll focus on high-touch surface areas that will be cleaned regularly and obviously replenishing the close to 200 hand sanitizer stations we have around the ballpark."
The stadium will be disinfected before after each game using a clinical-grade cleaning procedure featuring electromagnetic disinfectant, which utilizes an electric charging technology to more evenly and completely apply disinfectant.
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 08: Atlanta Braves fans watch Game Three of the National League Division Series between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on October 8, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
The Braves host the the Phillies at 7:20 p.m. on April 9 for Opening Day 2021 at Truist Park.