Tailgating at SEC Championship: Don’t get flagged on picnic play

If you were hoping to find a place to park that recreational vehicle at the Georgia Dome for a Georgia-Alabama tailgate party Saturday, you are way too late.

The Georgia Dome’s RV spots were sold out by last Monday and pre-paid spots for its 5,000 parking spaces for cars were nearly gone, said public relations specialist Jason Kirksey.

There are dozens of private parking lots in downtown Atlanta where football revelers often park, set up a couple of lawn chairs, pull out a cooler full of fried chicken and beverages and have at it. But rules are subject to the lot owners. Tailgaters driving into town and hoping for the best may end up out of luck.

“They will be open and I’m sure they will be charging a premium,” Kirksey said.

Georgia Dome parkers can grill, eat and drink in and near their parking spaces and landscaped areas in the surface parking lots, but not in the Red or Gold decks. And fans may not set up tents, tables or seats in other parking spaces, Kirksey said.

Here are a few other tailgating rules at the Georgia Dome for the uninitiated:

  • Saving spaces for others is not allowed.
  • Tents cannot exceed 8-by-10 feet.
  • A 14-foot drive aisle must be maintained between rows of vehicles.
  • Tailgating is permitted until two hours following the conclusion of the game.
  • No open fires and charcoal must be disposed of in designated containers in the lots.
  • No deep fryers.
  • Propane tanks cannot exceed a cylinder size of 20 pounds.
  • All guests must follow the directions and instructions provided by stadium personnel or risk being ejected.

For those who not parking in the Georgia Dome lots, here is an interactive list of parking lots in downtown Atlanta:

http://www.atlantadowntown.com/guide/getting-around. Click on the lot to see what restaurants are located nearby.

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