ATLANTA -- The Georgia Bulldogs are Championship bound, but fans hoping to pick up last-minute tickets should be wary.

According to the SEC, tickets for the Dec. 2 game are already sold out. That's pushing folks to secondary sources to purchase tickets, but the SEC is urging fans to beware accidentally purchasing counterfeit or stolen tickets – anyone caught with one will be denied access to the game on the spot.

They're also warning against buying tickets outside authorized marketplaces to ensure you aren't turned away on game day. Don't think it could happen to you? It happened to UGA fans already this year.

Hundreds of Georgia supporters came up empty handed after they thought they'd secured coveted tickets to the big Georgia-Notre Dame game back in September. Several had purchased the tickets through a broker named Jeff Cook, who ran a ticket site called AllSports. However, Cook had allegedly oversold his allotment, and several football fans who had traveled to South Bend for the game had no way to get in.

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Cook was later arrested and charged with selling sports tickets without a license and advertising sports tickets for sale without posting a license number and his advertisements. He was released after posting a $2,000 bond.

Instead of seeking out third-party vendors, the SEC encouraged fans to purchase verified tickets on the authorized Fan-to-Fan Ticket Marketplace.

If you already purchased tickets another way, here are the key distinguishing features to look for to make sure they're valid:

  • Valid tickets will have an authentic SEC holographic foil strip located on the back of the ticket.
  • Within the foil, SEC circle logos and letters of the words “Southeastern Conference” should appear and disappear when slowly rotating the ticket back and forth.
  • White lettering and the blue triangular panels on the front of the ticket are embossed and can be felt by rubbing a finger over those areas.

A Ticket Validation Window will be open at the main box office of Mercedes-Benz Stadium beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of the game. The Ticket Validation Window is the only way to completely and accurately ensure the authenticity of a ticket.

The SEC Football Championship Game kicks off at 4 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday Dec. 2.