Rome Braves see 3 percent fewer fans in 2018: With the final regular season game set for tonight at State Mutual Stadium (7 p.m. vs. Greenville), the Rome Braves will see the annual average attendance in the 2,287 tickets sold per game range, down 3.1 percent from 2,374 in the 2017 season and 2,405 in 2016. (Source) That’s a surprise as the Braves won the first half of the southern division title between April and mid-June, earning one of four spots in the South Atlantic League Playoffs beginning next week. Rome saw several home games rained out this year and will finished with 64 of 70 home dates. The Braves likewise will finish 10th out of 13 teams in the SAL — but also remember Rome is the smallest market in the league. On the plus side: Rome, a “low A” team in baseball’s march to the major leagues, will finish the year better than AA-level Mississippi Braves (average 2,259 tickets sold per game this year in Pearl, Miss.; the regular season schedule has concluded). Triple AAA Braves’ affiliate the Gwinnett Stripers are averaging 3,045 tickets sold per game. Gwinnett has four home games left. We hear the big club is doing pretty well this season, too. Atlanta will top 2 million guests within a day or two with a full month of September to go.
Dining: So everybody’s open; what’s next? Once Don Neo’s corn and tacos moves into the former Partridge on Broad Street, our recent surge in restaurant openings will close. Techincally, Truett’s Chick-fil-A (the former Dwarf House) remains under construction but that basically is a new home for a much-loved favorite. We’ll not counting the new Lumina coffee shop as a restaurant per se as work continues near State Mutual Stadium. There are plenty of spots available, from the brick oven-pizza ready Cotton Block location to the former Sonny’s on Shorter Avenue and a few other spots around town.
The next name we hear the most is Chicken Salad Chick; the rumored location actually is about to be vacated as well. Here’s the updated response we received from the company on Thursday morning:
“Thanks for reaching out. We don’t have any official information we can share at this time, but we hope to announce more info soon.”
A couple of national chains also could be in play on Turner McCall when — not if — redevelopment plans for the Kmart site go public. Heck, we’d settle for Panda Express. Other announced restaurant updates: Popeye’s in Rockmart — and West Rome again? — and Del Taco in Calhoun.