Anticipation builds as events preface National Championship game

ATLANTA — With the increasing frenzy around the College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta, fans of the University of Georgia and University of Alabama did not wait until Monday to get the party started.

Several events are catering to visitors to the city this weekend, including free concerts at Centennial Olympic Park.

Jason Derulo and Charlie Puth took the stage Saturday night.

Despite the cold weather, many fans turned out.

“It’s free, so why not?” Georgia fan Racheal Black said.


Some people took the party inside, where they danced at the silent disco. Everyone wore headphones while the DJ played.

Through all the fun, fans are keeping their eyes on the prize.

“It’s a big deal. We are excited. We are hoping for that win,” Georgia fan Leann Alcamirano said.

The free concert series continues today with performances by the Chainsmokers and Darius Rucker. Gates open at 4 p.m.

Kendrick Lamar will perform at Centennial Olympic Park Monday during halftime of the game, which begins at 8 p.m.

Fans of both teams can deal with their pre-game jitters, by enjoying "playoff fan central."    
It is located at the world congress center.

There are games and exhibits.

One of the top attractions for Dawgs fans is UGA’s Rose Bowl trophy from the win over Oklahoma.

The event opened at 10 a.m. And lasts until 6 p.m. And will be open the same hours Monday for game day.

Tickets are $10. Children ages 12 and under get free admission.


Drivers should be prepared for heavier than normal traffic thanks to the thousands of fans who have arrived in Atlanta.

Parts of Marietta Street, Baker Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive will shut down.

President Donald Trump is attending the game and his presidential motorcade on Monday could add to the traffic backups.