Opening night finally arrived for the Atlanta Braves on Friday and they successfully began the SunTrust Park era with a 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres. Among those in attendance Friday night was MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred who came away impressed with the stadium.
"Hats off to [Braves CEO and president] Terry McGuirk and his team for the fantastic job they've done here," Manfred said. "The most exciting thing for me is seeing the number of fans here really early and enjoying the place for a full day. Off to a great start.
"When I was here for the groundbreaking, what I walked away with was the realization of how massive this project was going to be. When you see it done, it's even bigger than all that wide open space. It's really impressive."
Manfred told MLB.com’s Richard Justice that SunTrust Park is a model that for other organizations and checks off all of the boxes in terms of fan enjoyment.
"I do think it's a model for other organizations," Manfred said. "We ask our fans to do a lot. They come 81 times a year. You've got to make sure you have a venue that is attractive, provides entertainment alternatives, food alternatives. The Braves have just done an unbelievable job with those concepts.
When we toured the stadium a couple of weeks ago one thing was clear. The Braves considered their former home Turner Field to be a stadium that was converted into a baseball stadium. SunTrust Park is a stadium that has been designed from the ground up with a single purpose. It can’t be denied that they now have a beautiful home.