ATLANTA - The Alabama Crimson Tide edged the Georgia Bulldogs in a back-and-forth grudge match to win the SEC Championship on Saturday. The win likely puts Alabama in the national championship against Notre Dame
Several Channel 2 crews were at the Georgia Dome where Georgia and Alabama faced off.
Georgia took an early lead with a touchdown pass by quarterback Aaron Murray, but Alabama scored 10 points in the second quarter to take the lead at halftime.
Georgia responded early in the third quarter with a Todd Gurley rushing touchdown to reclaim a four point lead and the teams continued to go back and forth, exchanging leads. A late touchdown pass by Alabama with less than four minutes to play sealed the deal. Murray could not rally his teammates as time expired.
Georgia will now play Nebraska at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Police said the day went fairly smoothly with plenty of extra police presence around the Georgia Dome. Police did investigate a suspicious package, which turned out to be a cooler someone had stuffed in the bushes.
The Crimson Tide are expected to play in the BCS championship game, but the city of Atlanta may be the big winner with an expected $30 million pumped into the local economy.
"Everybody's spending a lot of money. You've got people staying in hotels. Nobody's going to drive up just to see the game," Georgia fan Jeremy Counihan said.
Alabama fans Ken Vinyard and Brent Mangold weren’t afraid to sport their spirit or spend their money as well. They said so far, they’ve spent $400 on dinner and $400 on their hotel.
"We don't really care," Vinyard said.
The money spent by fans at restaurants means big tips for servers who turn around and spend. Police officers working overtime have more money to spend too. It's that ripple effect that economists predict will turn $16 million in fan spending into more than $30 million total from hosting the game.