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Fans agree G-Braves stadium is 'awesome'

LAWRENCEVILLE - The G-Braves may have lost their first-ever game at the Gwinnett Stadium, but you'd be hard pressed to find a fan who would say the Tides spoiled the evening.

More than 10,000 fans filed into the new, state-of-the art facility Friday to watch Gwinnett's newest sports team and partake of the American pastime that is baseball.

"This place is awesome," said Suwanee resident Mike Brock as he waited for his food inside Niekro's sports bar, which boasts three wall-mounted televisions, a full bar and pretty good food, too, according to some.

"Good food, good, courteous service," said Laurie Hinshaw of Buford.

Her friend, Duluth resident Robin Sulsona, agreed.

"This is the best meal I've ever had in a stadium," she said. "And this is an awesome stadium. It's small and you feel like you're right there in the game."

"It's a very intimate setting," Hinshaw added.

On this sunny, north Georgia day, Monroe residents Lester and Linda Davis relaxed on a blanket spread out on the berm in right centerfield. After spending last weekend at Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves home opener, the couple said they were happy to take in baseball a little closer to home.

"It's pretty nice," Lester said. "It's real nice having (the G-Braves) here."

Whether camping out on the berm, sitting behind the Braves' dugout or looking down from one of the stadium's 23 suites, most agree that there's not a bad seat in the house.

Wendall Veal of Suwanee watched the game from his wheelchair while his son-in-law and grandson took in the action from their dugout seats. He said he showed up to "support professional sports in the neighborhood." When asked if he is a Braves fan, he said, "getting to be."

"It's a real nice facility," Veal said. "I'm really, really pleased."

With a whole season of baseball left to be played and him holding weekend season tickets, he'll be doing the Tomahawk chop in no time.