City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Know before you go: 2009 SEC Championship weekend


Concerts, autographs and games, like this one from the 2005, fill the SEC Fanfare events that run before the 4 p.m. game on Saturday. AJC file photo

This will be a busy Saturday downtown, between the annual Children’s Christmas Parade and the SEC Championship game.

If you don’t have a ticket to the showdown between the No. 1 Florida Gators and No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide, you’re not alone. But there are other attractions and fan events that’ll cost you a lot less than a seat inside the Georgia Dome.

For those who haven’t spent much time around downtown Atlanta, here’s a basic guide with suggestions for attractions, restaurants and shopping. You can find even more stuff to do around the area in our Weekend To Do List or in the searchable calendar.

Meanwhile, if you’re trying to find your way around here this weekend, here’s what you need to know before you go:

When and where:

Tailgating: You can tailgate in the Georgia World Congress Center lots only on the grassy areas behind parking spaces. Drivers are allowed only one space per vehicle, and can’t use other spaces for tents, tables, chairs etc. Barbecue grills are allowed, open flames are not. (There will be coal barrels for charcoal.) For more rules and regulations, check out the Georgia Dome’s SEC football page.

How to get there: As this story explains, traffic in downtown Atlanta will be messy this weekend. Still, here’s how to be a part of all the action.

  • By car: Parking is available in the Georgia World Congress Center Yellow Lot and Green Lot for $8. There’s accessible parking for people with disabilities available in the Silver Lot and Red Deck for $10. Here’s a GWCC parking map. There’s also parking available at other pay lots around downtown. You can see some of them at the Central Atlanta Progress Parking Map.
  • By transit: Given the number of people attending the game and fan events on Saturday, MARTA is the better option. You’ll want to get off the the Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center stop on the East/West Line, also known as the Blue Line. (The Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center are also within walking distance of the Vine City and Five Points stations, if necessary.) Remember, MARTA fare prices recently went up. A single one-way fare now costs $2.

Road closings: If you are traveling around downtown this weekend, the Christmas Parade will cause some streets to be closed between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Closures start at Peachtree and Baker Street south to Peachtree and Marietta Street, then Marietta Stree to Centennial Olympic Park Drive.

On TV: Want to watch, but not with a crowd? The SEC Championship game will be on CBS from 4-7:30 p.m. There’s also live game video from CBS.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

15 comments Add your comment

SEC aficionado

December 4th, 2009
3:29 pm

Thanks, Jamie, for collecting what information that you could about event specifics for the SEC Fanfare. They really dropped the ball on this. Last year they posted a detailed schedule in thirty minute increments. I went in 2008 solely because of some of the events that they posted in advance. But no such good marketing this year.

Jamie Gumbrecht

December 4th, 2009
3:12 pm

SEC aficionado and Ryan — I just got a call back from SEC folks with rough schedules for the Fanfare events. Info about the Chuck Wicks concert, pep rallies and Legends events are posted above!


December 4th, 2009
1:28 pm

I have also been looking for a schedule of events for SEC Fanfare, as there is no link on the website. It appears that this is poorly planned this year, which is surprising given the magnitude of the game. Would have liked to go if there were some former Vols in the house, but have no interest otherwise as a Tennessee fan. Will just stay home out of the chilly weather, I guess.

Jamie Gumbrecht

December 4th, 2009
11:32 am

Hey everybody, there are plenty other places you can go online to trash talk each other’s teams. Keep it positive and stay on topic.


December 4th, 2009
11:26 am

Hey Gator fans, we win you lose. This is OUR year. ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE ROLL