Atlanta summer sports are in full swing.
It's a Hit
The new home of the Atlanta Braves has demonstrated that it offers an over-the-top experience for fans, complete with plenty of big-league baseball action and a scrumptious food lineup, as well as adjacent The Battery Atlanta featuring the new Omni Hotel anchored by Hugh Acheson’s Southern-inspired Archie’s restaurant. Planning a trip to SunTrust Park to see the Braves soon? Prepare for a huge dose of special promotions, including an entire weekend devoted to the great Hank Aaron (June 22 and 23). Looking for a super-exclusive trip to the ballpark? Check out the team’s VIP and Ultimate VIP Experiences -- ranging from $150-$450 (and $100-$400 for children) and including VIP credentials, gift bags and behind-the-scenes tours.
The WNBA Atlanta Dream tips off the 2018 season at McCamish Pavilion on the Georgia Tech campus May 26 at 6 p.m. against Skylar Diggins and the Dallas Wings -- complete with a pregame tailgate at 3 p.m. with food, drink and family activities. Other notable games include a May 29 match-up at 7 p.m. against Maya Moore and the 2017 WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx for its only Atlanta-area regular season appearance; Kids Day June 14 at 11:30 a.m. against the Indiana Fever; and the team’s annual Pride Night June 22 at 7 p.m. versus the Connecticut Sun. The squad is under the guidance 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 former WNBA All-Star Jessica Breland.
Atlanta’s Major League Lacrosse team -- the Atlanta Blaze -- plays a trio of games in June at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, including a “Real Men Wear Pink” match-up June 2 at 7 p.m. that raises awareness and funds for cancer research. The Blaze is headed by Syracuse legend and Georgia lacrosse pioneer Liam Banks (also a partner and president of operations for Marietta’s Thunder LB3, one of the nation’s most elite lacrosse programs) and stocked with a strong roster featuring captain Kevin Rice, Adam Ghitelman and Walton High School standout Scott Ratliff, the first professional lacrosse player to come out of the state of Georgia.
The Five Stripes
On March 11, Atlanta United FC broke its own Major League Soccer attendance record with 72,035 fans. That means the team can now lay claim to the three highest-attended games in MLS history, all at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Planning on attending a match yourself? Expect a loaded roster that includes Miguel Almirón, Josef Martinez, Brad Guzan, Tito Villalba and Darlington Nagbe, as well as some game highlights including a June 24 match-up featuring Atlanta midfielder Nagbe facing his former Portland Timbers team and June 30 versus top rival Orlando City.
The city’s first and only internationally competitive women’s flat-track roller derby league is back for its 14th season, and the Atlanta Rollergirls are pulling out all the stops. Taking to the rink as part of doubleheader games at Midtown’s Yaarab Shrine Center are the Glamma Rays (June 23).
Wendy Bowman writes for Atlanta Now magazine, the official tourism guide of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.