Arrive early, buy your parking in advance, use Uber and Waze and have patience as opening day approaches April 14 and a sell-out crowd arrives as SunTrust Park, officials advise.
The third phase of the Cobb County Transportation Management was unveiled just prior to the soft opener preseason game March 30. A portion of the plan calls for uniformed officers to be placed at approximately 30 intersections around the new ballpark to support the flow of traffic to and from the 14 primary points of access to the new stadium and The Battery Atlanta.
The traffic plan includes new technology from Uber, the team’s official ridesharing partner. Also, an updated MLB.com Ballpark app is available, and for offsite parking the Cumberland Circulator is available.
“By working hand in hand with our partners, we have been able to develop a detailed, comprehensive approach to getting to SunTrust Park,” said Mike Plant, president, development for the Braves. “Many elements of this approach are fundamentally different than the fan’s experience at Turner Field. From our partnerships with Uber and Waze to our request that all fans buy their parking in advance, these new tactics deliver a greater suite of choices for our fans. With our exhibition game against the New York Yankees on March 31, it’s important for us to let our fans know how they can access and best utilize these new transportation and parking strategies to provide them with the best experience possible.”
The Braves and their partners – Cobb County Department of Transportation, Cobb County Police Department and Kimley-Horn – are working on a collaborative approach to transportation management. A traffic control center at the stadium is staffed with representatives from each agency and can make adjustments to traffic flow and signage and in real time.
The Braves will offer more than 14,000 parking spaces owned or leased by the organization for game day. This is already 5,000 more spaces than were available at Turner Field, all serving a ballpark that features roughly 8,000 fewer seats. Additionally, Cobb County and the City of Smyrna have issued independent parking permits for several operators in the area, bringing more than 1,200 additional parking spots into play.
Greg Mize, director of digital, urged to use the new MLB app on their phones for getting to, in and around SunTrust Park.
“We have partnered with Waze to get people directly to the park,” he said. Tickets and parking can be linked to the phone app. An artificial intelligence bot on the app can also answer questions about travel, parking and the stadium itself.
Uber is piloting a new technology that makes the pick-up experience faster and more efficient at SunTrust Park.
Riders leaving SunTrust Park will be directed to the Uber Zone, which is located steps from the ballpark along Windy Ridge Parkway, through in-app messaging and physical signage. At the Uber Zone, fans will open their Uber app, set their destination and request a car as usual. Instead of having to navigate to find a specific car and driver, riders will see a personalized PIN code in their app and can simply give it to the next available driver in the Uber Zone.
“Braves fans across metro Atlanta can count on Uber for a reliable ride to and from SunTrust Park,” said Uber Atlanta General Manager Luke Marklin. “As part of our effort to help fans get home as quickly as possible, we are piloting a technology that makes it easier to find your ride when so many people are leaving a game at the same time.”
Braves officials also spoke to the evolution of the game day travel experience at SunTrust Park, one which encourages fans to make a plan in advance of their trip to the ballpark. That plan can be summarized through three key steps, all of which can be achieved through the updated MLB.com Ballpark app:
- Buy your ticket in advance: The Braves are the first Major League Baseball team to transition completely to a system of paperless tickets. Whether they are eyeing a game a few months down the road or a few hours beforehand, fans will be able to easily use the MLB.com Ballpark app to buy their tickets. They’ll also be able to secure tickets by visiting Braves.com or calling the Braves ticket office at 404-577-9100.
- Buy your parking in advance: With more than 14,000 spaces dispersed around the ballpark, fans are strongly encouraged to purchase their parking in advance. Doing so will enable them to save money through a discounted advance purchase, as well as receive customized directions directly to their parking lot. The majority of game day lots will require pre-payment, though some will accept credit card payment on site.
- Trust Waze to get you to the ballpark: An official partner of the Braves, Waze will be receiving real-time information from Cobb County that will better inform fans traveling to the game than other smartphone map apps. Integrated into the MLB.com Ballpark app, Waze will provide detailed directions to individual parking lots to help spread traffic out across a broader area, while also receiving official updates on traffic conditions around the ballpark.
The Cobb County Transportation Management Plan outlines Cobb County’s strategic approach to managing vehicular and pedestrian access to SunTrust Park. Lt. J.D. Lorens of the Cobb County Police Department focused on how the Operations Center will put that plan into action, coordinating multiple agencies and resources to monitor traffic conditions and using real-time data to respond to any situations that might arise.
“All of the key decision-makers will be working in concert, monitoring what the travel conditions are for fans and commuters,” Lorens said. “This enables us to move quickly, using the most up-to-date data to respond to changing conditions in real-time.”
The Cumberland Circulator, a CObbLink bus service, launched three initial routes on March 31 with a fare of $2.50 and drop-off in front of the park. The Circulator will provide high-frequency service along convenient accessible routes in the Cumberland area, helping to reduce congestion, enhance existing transit service, increase mobility and promote economic activity.
For more information, please visit www.Braves.com/Transportation.