The fledgling Benz has seen big games already, but this weekend will bring a whole new animal.
Or, rather, animals.
On Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs will get a shot at redemption against the Auburn Tigers—hot off a 12-point trouncing of the formerly No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide—in the SEC Championship Game.
The hugely consequential matchup will be the first such game for Mercedes-Benz Stadium as it settles into its role as successor of the recently imploded Georgia Dome. More than 70,000 fans are expected at the game, with tickets still available starting at more than $500 a pop.
For those who plan to come and party, here are some helpful hints:
The game will be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium at the western edge of downtown Atlanta. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m., with pep rallies and other events slated to start at the adjacent Georgia World Congress Center at 9 a.m.
With more than 30 hotels in downtown Atlanta, comprising tens-of-thousands of rooms, there’s no shortage of places to stay. A quick search reveals that plenty of rooms are available to meet almost any budget. Here’s a few of our favorites, mapped.
Traffic downtown on gamedays can be a nightmare. Plain and simple.
To make it to the game on time, with minimal effort, catch a westbound MARTA train (Blue or Green lines) to Dome / GWCC / Philips Arena / CNN Center Station. A ride will cost $2.50, and those staying in Midtown or other areas to the north or south of downtown will need to take a Red or Gold Line train to Five Points and transfer to a westbound train.
Those staying in downtown hotels can also make a 15 to 20 minute walk across Centennial Olympic Park to access the stadium.
THINGS TO DO:
For those making a weekend of the game, the ATL has no shortage of attractions to occupy visitors.
No trip to the SEC Championship would be complete without a few hours at the College Football Hall of Fame, located just a few blocks from the stadium. Other attractions in the Centennial Park district include The Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca-Cola, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the SkyView Ferris Wheel, and the Atlanta Children’s Museum.
For a more comprehensive list of Atlanta-area attractions, check out our autumn pocket guide.
Of course, for those who don’t want to shell out serious dough or fight traffic, the game can be seen on CBS.