From baseball to soccer and more, Atlanta’s July - August lineup is red hot. Here are some of the must-see happenings taking place across the city.
The Atlanta Braves offer a summer full of exciting promotions at SunTrust Park. Weekly favorites include Friday Night Fireworks, Kids Run the Bases and Alumni Sundays. Expect plenty of giveaways, with one scheduled for every Friday home game this season -- including a Chipper Jones plaque Aug. 10 and “Crazy Train” bobblehead Aug. 18. In addition, every Saturday home game is a theme night in the ballpark, giving fans the chance to enjoy pregame and in-game activities, limited edition concession and merchandise items, and the option to purchase a ticket package that comes with a themed giveaway or experience. Coming up is Christmas in July (July 28), with a navy blue winter Atlanta Braves Onesie, as well as a Chipper Jones Hall of Fame ticket package (July 29), featuring a souvenir Jones mug made from a hollowed bat. Also on the lineup: post-game concerts by The Avett Brothers July 26 and Lauren Daigle Aug. 19. Looking for an even more exclusive trip to the ballpark? Check out the team’s VIP and Ultimate VIP Experiences, including VIP credentials and gift bags, behind-the-scenes tours and more.
Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC continues its season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a loaded roster that includes midfielder Miguel Almirón, forward Josef Martinez and off-season signee Ezequiel Barco. Among the game highlights -- a July 15 match-up featuring the Seattle Sounders airing on national television on FOX directly after the World Cup Final; and an Aug. 4 clash against Toronto FC, winner of last season’s MLS Cup.
The 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Aug. 1 will also be hosted at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with the MLS All-Stars (coached by Atlanta head coach Tata Martino) versus legendary Italian team Juventus.
The WNBA’s Atlanta Dream brings plenty of full-court action to fans this summer at McCamish Pavilion on the Georgia Tech campus. A total of 11 home games are set for July and August, with notable match-ups against Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart July 6 and July 22, and Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics July 15 and July 31. The Dream then hosts Stefanie Dolson and the Chicago Sky Aug. 3 -- complete with pink uniforms for the annual Dream Pink game benefiting Grady Health Foundation -- before closing out the regular season at home with a Fan Appreciation game against the Dallas Wings Aug. 11. The squad is under the helm of new coach Nicki Collen, who welcomes back two-time Gold Medalist Angel McCoughtry, as well as a roster that includes free-agent acquisitions in two-time WNBA Champ Renee Montgomery and WNBA All-Star Jessica Breland.
The Atlanta Blaze -- the professional outdoor Major League Lacrosse team -- plays its final two home games of the 2018 season at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw July 26 vs. the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Aug. 4 against the Denver Outlaws in the season finale. First-year head coach Liam Banks leads a fast-paced offense that is stocked with world-class talent, including captain Kevin Rice; attackers Matt Gibson and Tommy Palasek; midfielders Deemer Class and Matt Mackrides; and former Walton High School (Marietta) standout Scott Ratliff. On the defensive end of the field, the Blaze is led by Liam Byrnes, Callum Robinson, Graeme Hossack, and goaltenders Chris Madalon and Adam Ghitelman.
BB&T Atlanta Open
The BB&T Atlanta Open -- one of the seven summer tournaments in the U.S. Open Series -- returns to Midtown’s Atlantic Station for the ninth annual tournament, set for July 21 -- 29. The ATP World Tour 250 event is serving up a huge treat this year, with 2017 U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens and finalist Madison Keys playing a special women’s exhibition match July 22. Other world-class players also will be on hand to compete in singles and doubles play, including defending champion John Isner (No. 9 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings), top 20 player Jack Sock, and California twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the most decorated doubles team in the history of tennis and defending doubles champions. The 28 singles players and 16 doubles teams are competing for more than $600,000 in prize money.
Peachtree Road Race
The Peachtree Road Race -- one of Atlanta’s most anticipated events -- returns for its 49th year on July 4, this year once again hosting the USA Track & Field 10 km Championships. One of the most decorated middle distance runners in history, Bernard Lagat, will join other top U.S. athletes alongside the 60,000 participants in the world’s largest 10K. Organized by the Atlanta Track Club, the 6.2-mile race starts in Buckhead at Lenox Square -- with a wheelchair race at 6:25 a.m., women’s elite start at 6:50 a.m. and the main footrace at 7 a.m. -- then winds down Peachtree Street before ending at Midtown’s Piedmont Park.
If you’re a huge fan of the gridiron, then one of the definite stops on your visit to Atlanta should be the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in the heart of the city’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. From July 15-19, SEC Media Days offers fans the chance to see their favorite SEC players and coaches up close and personal at a free red carpet-style event in the quad area, while activities planned for August include Football Fest and Chick-fil-A Free Day. In other pigskin news, the Atlanta Falcons kick off the preseason at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with games Aug. 17 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs and Aug. 30 against the Miami Dolphins.
The Battery Atlanta
Heading to SunTrust Park to see the Atlanta Braves has proven to be an entertaining experience for fans. The lineup at The Battery Atlanta dining and entertainment district just outside the ballpark offers even more reasons to check out a game. In addition to the newly opened The Omni Hotel -- anchored by Hugh Acheson’s Southern-inspired Achie’s restaurant -- The Battery recently welcomed Garden & Gun Magazine’s new all-day restaurant and cocktail bar: the Garden & Gun Club. Expect a menu of modern Southern favorites from chef/owners Mike Lata and Adam Nemirow, all served by a wait staff donning uniforms designed by Atlanta’s own Sid and Ann Mashburn. Among the must-have dishes: boiled peanuts, ham hock rillettes with kohlrabi and crispy fish with pencil cob grits, accompanied by classic and original cocktails. A curated, on-site retail shop also features a selection of Southern artisans and small-batch makers from Garden & Gun’s e-commerce site, Mercantile + Co.
Highlights of sporting events in Atlanta during July and August.
Fifth Third Bank Stadium
vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks, July 26
vs. Denver Outlaws, Aug. 4
vs. Toronto Blue Jays, July 10-11
vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, July 13-15
vs. L.A. Dodgers, July 26-19
vs. Miami Marlins, July 30-31, Aug. 1
vs. Milwaukee Brewers, Aug. 10-12
vs. Miami Marlins, Aug. 13-15
vs. Colorado Rockies, Aug. 16-19
vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Aug. 28-29
vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, Aug. 31, Sept. 1-2
vs. Seattle Storm, July 6
vs. Phoenix Mercury, July 8
vs. Indiana Fever, July 13
vs. Washington Mystics, July 15
vs. New York Liberty, July 19
vs. Seattle Storm, July 22
vs. Washington Mystics, July 31
vs. Arizona Cardinals, Aug. 26 (preseason)
ATLANTA UNITED FC
vs. Seattle Sounders, July 15
vs. D.C. United, July 21
vs. Toronto FC, Aug. 4
vs. Columbus Crew FC, Aug. 9
BB&T ATLANTA OPEN
PEACHTREE ROAD RACE
Wendy Bowman writes for Atlanta Now magazine, the official tourism guide of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.