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Experience the Park Sanford Stadium Fan Guide
The Dawg Walk
Taking in a game at Sanford Stadium is a chance to experience all that is grand about college football. The color, the pageantry, the tradition and the passion that embodies the sport can be found on a half-dozen autumn afternoons in Athens, Ga.
Located in the middle of campus – adjacent to the railroad tracks that long ago brought fans to the game – Sanford Stadium is the epicenter of Georgia Bulldogs football. Before the game, there is plenty of buzz and excitement outside the stadium as fans tailgate and party, counting down the hours and minutes before kickoff.
But when the team arrives for the game, that’s when the electricity really amps up. UGA coach Mark Richt came up with the concept of having the players and coaches march through a gauntlet of fans and cheerleaders as they enter the stadium. Christened “The Dawg Walk,” the team’s entry into the stadium is a must-see.
Walking into the stadium – built in 1929 and expanded through the years to its current capacity of 92,746 – it’s impossible not to be swept up in the excitement. Most of the seats in Sanford Stadium are bleacher seats, giving the stadium an old-school feel that meshes well with the modern amenities present.
As kickoff nears, fans turn their attention to the video screen overlooking the field. A montage of great moments in Georgia history plays, interspliced with the legendary calls of Georgia play-by-play announcer Larry Munson. Fans then stand as a lone bugular stands in the south corner of the stadium, in the front row of the upper deck. He plays “Glory, Glory to Old Georgia,” to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and even a casual Bulldog supporter gets goose-bumps when hearing the bulge echo through the stadium.
Then the team races onto the field as the Redcoat Marching Band plays “Glory, Glory.” Cheerleaders race ahead of the team carrying large flags with the signature “G.” Red and black are everywhere, as fans decked out in the school’s colors stand and roar as the Bulldogs take the field. Helping to lead the charge is Uga, an English Bulldog who is part of a lineage of dogs that have served as the school’s mascot since 1956. Tucked on field level near the main entrance to the field in the southwest part of Sanford Stadium is a mausoleum where deceased Uga mascots are buried. Uga spends the game patrolling the sidelines.
As the ball is teed up for kickoff, fans stand and author one of the signature chants of Georgia football. “Goooooooooooo Dawgs!” When the ball is kicked into the air, the chant changes to, “Sic ‘em! Woof! Woof! Woof!” Throughout the game, fans on one side of the stadium chant “GEOR-GIA!,” while the other side responds with “BULL-DOGS!” One of the more unique features of being at a Georgia game is the walkway between the front row of the lower level and the famous English privet hedges that line the sidelines. Fans can walk along the hedges while watching the game.
On those occasions where the Dogs win – and Georgia has won 38 of its 45 home games since 2001 – the video screen depicts the ringing of the chapel bell, an on-campus tradition. As the fans file out of Sanford Stadium for the trip home, it’s the ringing of the bell that echoes in their ears, a fitting end to a great day inside one of the South’s – and the nation’s – great sporting venues.