SEC Championship: Where fans can watch, party in Atlanta this weekend

SEC championship weekend is upon us, and you know what that means:

Time for either Alabama or Florida to start making their College Football Playoff travel plans.

But even before that … Time to party all over Atlanta!

That doesn’t just go for Crimson Tide or Gator fans either — although of course it helps to have your team playing for the title for the second consecutive year at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome. SEC football is hands-down the best in the college realm (and maybe some parts of the NFL realm, too …yeah, we’re looking at you, 0-12 Cleveland Browns, ahem!). That’s something everyone can celebrate.

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It all starts with some serious pre-game chest-pumping Friday night:

In Midtown, it’s “Bama in Atlanta” time at Smith’s Olde Bar from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. The Atlanta chapter of the University of Alabama National Alumni Association’s SEC Championship Celebration includes complimentary appetizers, food and drink specials, automatrc entry to win a Greg McElroy-signed football, a raffle for SEC tickets and other Alabama-related items and more. Tickets must be purchased in advance at $6 for chapter members, $10 for others. 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-875-1522, www.smithsoldebar. com.

SEC Champion banners are shown outside the Georgia Dome as fans arrive for the 2015 SEC Championship between Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators on Saturday Dec. 5, 2015. (Hyosub Shin/

Meanwhile, the Florida faithful will be whooping it up from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant in Buckhead. The Atlanta Gator Club’s SEC Championship HAPPY HOUR Kick-off Event will feature food and drink specials and other game-related activities. 273 Buckhead Ave. NE, Atlanta.404- 841-0066,

Next from 8 p.m. to midnight, the UFAA SEC Championship Party takes place downtown a short spiral throw away from the game site at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. Hosted by the UF Alumni Association, there’ll be performances by Bobby & the Aristocats, appearances by the UF Spirit Teams, and a cash bar. Tickets are $10 in advance at or $15 at the door (cash only). A limited number of reserved tables are also available for $200. 100 CNN Center, NW Atlanta. 404-659-0000,

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Don’t have game tickets, but still want to watch along on CBS with hordes of your fellow crazies … er, fans? Here’s where viewing parties are taking place Saturday:

Alabama territory: Smith’s Olde Bar; Hudson Grille Midtown ( 942 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, 404-892-0892); Hudson Grille Sandy Springs (6317 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-554-8282); Crestwood Tavern (1090 Windy Hill Rd., Smyrna 470- 308-0824).

Florida territory: Sidebar (79 Poplar St. Atlanta, 404-588-1850).

Neutral (?) territory: College Football Hall of Fame SEC Championship Viewing Party .From 9 a.m. until the game ends next door at the Georgia Dome, there’ll be tailgate games, music, raffles from Dos Equis, the game on a big screen and much more. $30 ticket (available at also includes food, your first drink free, and access to tour the Hall. 250 Marietta St., N.W Atlanta, GA 30313 404-880-4800,

Mascot Big Al of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries a flag across the field during the 2015 SEC Championship game against the Florida Gators at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

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