Atlanta

Fans gearing up for UGA, Alabama battle for SEC championship title in Atlanta

ATLANTA — Fans are flocking to downtown Atlanta ahead of Saturday’s SEC Championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Channel 2′s Bryan Mims was outside the stadium on Friday where tailgaters were already gathering.

The Dawgs’ 29-game win streak has fans feeling confident, but there’s something about the location that has them nervous.

Georgia fans say there’s a metaphorical cloud over Mercedes-Benz Stadium that they say is part of the “Atlanta Curse.”

The Bulldogs have never managed to beat the Crimson Tide under the Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof.

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“I mean, I’m nervous about it because it’s Bama,” fan Christie Grimsley said.

Heena Patel of Marietta shared the optimism.

“There’s always a first, and it’s gonna be tomorrow,” she said. “Because if you know Kirby (UGA Coach Smart), he’s not gonna let that happen again. So I can’t wait, I can’t wait to see this.”

In the 2021 SEC Championship game, Alabama beat Georgia 41-24.

“Well, there’s a first time for everything. But we’re gonna do it this year. We’ve got the right people and we’re ready for them this year,” Grimsley said.

The SEC Championship game has been held in Atlanta every year since 1994. It will continue to be held here through at least 2031.

[PHOTOS: List of teams that have won the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta]

For Alabama fan Linda Wright, the “Atlanta Curse” is more of a charm.

“I hope they keep up the tradition. We don’t want to spoil it. We want to keep it going,” Wright said.

Georgia is ranked No. 1 and Alabama is ranked No. 8, which is giving Bulldog fans a shot of confidence.

“Just having fun with everybody and always having good food to eat,” said Garland Woodward, who drove his RV from his home on Lake Hartwell.

His wife, Emily, was born and raised in Athens, making her a lifelong Georgia fan. She and her husband and their French bulldog, Bubba, follow the Bulldogs wherever they play. She’s counting on a big Georgia win on Saturday.

“I think these guys really, really want to keep up the winning streak we have,” she said.

The SEC Championship kicks off in Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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