ATLANTA — The Georgia Bulldogs meet the LSU Tigers this week in the SEC Championship, a game that might be as big as any outside the National Championship itself - and it's all going down in Atlanta.
The city can expect to flood with fans of both teams (although, certainly, you'll probably see a fair bit more black and red around), bringing a major impact on traffic, infrastructure and hotels, restaurants and the like.
Here's everything you need to know to prepare:
- Who: UGA vs. LSU
- What: The 2019 SEC Championship Game
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
- When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
- Tickets: Officially, the game is sold out, but the secondary market does have tickets available on sites like StubHub for around $200 at the lowest end.
- TV: CBS
Some other handy tips
- Plan ahead for traffic, and not just on gameday: Students, alumni and fans generally will probably start arriving in town as early as Thursday. I-85 North gets you here from Louisiana and either I-20 West or I-85 South can get you here from Athens (though, of course, Dawgs fans will be coming from basically everywhere). Traffic to and from the airport should be busy, too. Wherever you're going, just count on congestion for the next few days.
- If you're headed to the game, maybe try MARTA: There's a wonderfully convenient stop right at the stadium - outside the CNN Center - that you'll probably prefer using. Traffic snarls throughout downtown during big events, parking is scarce, and getting right up to the stadium even in a rideshare is basically impossible.
- If you're going somewhere else, get there early: Not to overstate things, but there are a lot of UGA fans in Atlanta, and even more fanned out around the metro. If you're headed to a bar and want a seat, even an hour early probably won't cut it.
Where to watch
- UGA Alumni Watch Party: The official alumni watch party is happening at Sports & Social at The Battery. There's a $5 cover at the door, but it's free if you get a ticket in advance using the code "UGAALUMNI." More information here.
- The Gulch All Inclusive Tailgate: This is happening at Lot A and starts at noon and goes to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include food, drinks and a spot to watch the game at the tailgate within sight the stadium, if you want to be close but can't get in.
- Yellow Lot Tailgate: This lot is across from the Georgia World Congress Center on Gray Street. It starts at 1 p.m., and $40 gets you in all-you-can-drink/eat.
- Opium Watch Party: Entrance is free and the event, happening at one of Midtown's largest clubs, will start at 2 p.m.
- Restaurant 10 Watch Party: This one is near the stadium on Northside Drive and starts at noon. It's $30 for open bar, $30 for buffet and $50 all-inclusive.
- Switz Watch Party: Billed as an "indoor tailgate," this sports bar at MLK Jr. Drive near the stadium has free entry before 1 p.m. Doors open at noon.
- Other sports bars: Plenty of other options if you don't want an official watch party - there's Stats downtown, Hampton + Hudson in Inman Park, McCray's Tavern in Midtown, or chains like Taco Mac and Hudson Grille that dot the city and wider metro area. Here's at least one helpful list from Foursquare that touches most of the bases.