DINERS in the members-only 755 Club at Turner Field were recently digging into pulled chicken sandwiches and $6 desserts. Across the stadium, near right field, 20-somethings packed the Chop House bar and grill, one of this city's best places for a first date. In the plaza behind the center field scoreboard, parents watched their children run around Tooner Field, a free playground sponsored by the Cartoon Network.
The multimillionaires on the field — otherwise known as baseball players — were almost a distraction amid all of this activity, as fans preoccupied with prime rib, panini and pinot could barely spare a hand to clap. Competition and athleticism may occupy center stage in modern sports coliseums, but they no longer are necessarily the only magnets for fans. Owners and their minions are well aware — and are trying to make the most of this new reality.
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