Champion Stadium, home of the Atlanta Braves, could easily be the top Spring Training Grapefruit League venue for one reason: FREE PARKING! However, that is not enough as it comes in at #7 in our countdown.
Located at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, Champion Stadium has been used by the Braves since the late 1990’s. It plays host to multiple amateur tournaments and events after Spring Training and throughout the year. This is one of the more favorable destinations, as it lies in the heart of Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida.
Parking is free at Champion Stadium, the only Grapefruit League site to offer such a deal. The difference is probably made up with ticket prices, which range from $15-$57. Atlanta uses different prices based on the opponent as other teams do, and home plate seats are among the most expensive Spring Training tickets.
As would be expected at Disney locations, the staff is exceptional. There is no shortage of employees to give you directions on where to go and how to get there. It can be hard to tell who is working the Braves’ game or Wide World of Sports in general, as there are typically other events going on as well. Either way, the stadium is not hard to find and very fan friendly once you are inside.
One of the best parts about Champion Stadium is that you can walk around the concourse and not miss a pitch. There is an open view as you migrate from foul pole to foul pole. Fans can leave their seat to grab food and still see all the action. Private cabanas are located in the left field area and can be rented out for private parties. Grass seating is also at a premium lining the left field line and wrapping beyond the outfield fence.
The downside to the stadium this season could be the talent taking the field. The Braves have been in a rebuilding mode the past season and do not have the star power fans grew accustomed to. Freddie Freeman is the face of the franchise, but the rest of the team consists mainly of young prospects acquired in trades. The fan base may have to wait a few years to see future All-Stars taking the field for the Braves.
Atlanta has one of the northernmost stadiums in the Grapefruit League, which makes for a few chilly games early in Spring Training. Do not let that derail you from stopping to see a game at Champion Stadium, as it is a great overall experience, not to mention all the theme parks and other attractions a few minutes away.