M 4133

Sanford Stadium

Home of the Georgia Bulldogs

100 Sanford Drive Athens, Georgia, 30602 View Map
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Experience the Park Sanford Stadium Fan Guide

Grill some Dawgs

Georgia football may be the main course, but for many fans making the autumn pilgrimage to Athens for gamedays, the scene outside Sanford Stadium is just as tasty.


A Georgia home game is a view into the unbridled passion and excitement that surrounds Bulldogs football. And the atmosphere outside Sanford Stadium is every bit as energizing as what you’ll find inside the 79-year-old stadium.


Early on gameday – and it doesn’t matter if kickoff is 12:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. – traffic swells and the population of Athens, a city of 100,000, more than doubles. Even for those who don’t have one of the coveted 92,746 tickets to get inside the stadium, just being here is reason enough to make the trek to the Classic City. Tucked along a winding two-lane road within shouting distance of Sanford Stadium, fraternity and sorority houses are abuzz as students lounge on the grounds, eating, throwing the football or socializing with fellow students and Georgia fans.


Two years ago, university officials cracked down on fans camping out in tailgating spots the night before the game. No tailgating spots can be set up before 7 a.m. on gameday. That means an early wake-up call to get close to the stadium, park and get the grill fired up, especially for an early- or mid-afternoon kickoff.


No matter. By mid-morning on gameday, the smell of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and pork chops on the grill floats across campus. Some fans begin planning their pregame menu days in advance, making sure to stock up on chips, dip and plenty of cold beverages for the outside party. Even in the parking decks scattered across campus – where grilling is prohibited – fans still gather to drink, chat about the game and soak up the feeling of being in the heart of Bulldawg Nation.


Everywhere you look, two colors stand out – Red and Black, the colors of Georgia football. Fans young and old, decked out in Red and Black, sit in lounge chairs, in the back of pickup trucks or on blankets spread on the ground, chant “Go Dawgs!” to passers-by, and harass anybody who dares wear the opposing school’s colors. Many fans crank up their radios to the “Fire Up the Dawgs!” pregame party show on a local Athens radio station. Others play CDs or tapes of great calls in Georgia history.


The “Dawg Walk” is a must-see for those outside the stadium. The Georgia football team marches into Sanford Stadium along a walkway lined by cheerleaders and adoring fans. The roar from the Dawg Walk resonates across campus, and signals that kickoff is drawing near. And while the lucky fans holding tickets begin packing up their grills and tables and start making their way toward the stadium, many more throw another burger on the grill, pour another drink and prepare to enjoy the game outside Sanford Stadium, listening to Larry Munson’s call on the radio. It’s a close second to being inside.