by: Richard Elliot Updated:
ATLANTA - Thousands of fans are expected to attend the Atlanta Braves home opener against the New York Mets at Turner Field.
The team will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record breaking 715th home run, and the Braves are asking fans to arrive early to the ball park to help celebrate.
This is the first opening day since the Braves stunned fans and some Atlanta city leaders when they announced they would leave Turner Field in 2017 and move to Cobb County.
The Braves will pay for most of the estimated $672 million price tag for the stadium and surrounding retail complex to be located right off Interstate 75. Cobb taxpayers will pick up the rest of the tab.
Ned Barbre attended the April 8, 1974 game where Aaron hit number 715. He thinks the Braves moving to Marietta is a good idea.
"I'm all in favor of it," said Barbre as he showed his ticket stub from the 1974 game. "I like it. It's a great idea. Too bad they can't take Turner Field and plop it down in Cobb County. That's a good stadium."
Ryan Sullivan lives in Newnan, south of Atlanta. He said he might not attend a lot of games after the team moves because of the traffic concerns.
"I don't know if we'll get to as many games as we do with it being in the city of Atlanta," said Sullivan.
Derek Alphran said he's friends with Aaron's family, so he's concerned what will happen to the Hank Aaron statues in front of Turner Field.
"I don't know what's going to happen to this statue out here," said Alphran. "I hope it doesn't go to Cobb County."
Game time at Turner Field is 7:10 p.m. but the team is encouraging fans to arrive around 6:15 p.m. to help celebrate Aaron's anniversary.