College Football Championship: What's on tap tonight? – Atlanta Journal Constitution


8:16 p.m.  Brrrrr. It’s cold in Centennial Park! Fans are awaiting Charlie Puth, Jason Derulo and Lizzo.

5:51 p.m. Check out the latest pictures from today, including team practices by UGA and Alabama:

4:37 p.m. The gates have opened for tonight’s AT&T playoff playlist concert, which caps off a full day of fan activities downtown. Our music writer, Melissa Ruggieri, has some information to help you plan

Meanwhile, the UGA players checked in at the Downtown Hyatt, but also bused back to Athens after fan day activities to practice within their own facilities at the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall football complex.

3:25 p.m. If you are heading to tonight’s championship game concert bundle up! WSB-TV forecasters say tonight should be clear and downright cold. A low of 21 is expected, and there’s no rain in sight. Gates open for the show at 4 p.m.  Jason Derulo and Charlie Puth will kick off the show in Centennial Park night, along with special guest Lizzo.


Jason Derulo

2 p.m. A slew of Georgia and Alabama fans were flocking to Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center for Fan Playoff Central events Saturday afternoon. But, so far, traffic gridlock hasn’t happened. 

“Currently, traffic is moderate with minimal to no congestion,” Atlanta police spokesman Donald Hannah said about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. 

He said no serious crashes were reported.

1:30 p.m. We gleaned some important intelligence during media day: what’s on the playlists of the Georgia Bulldogs. Quarterback Jake Fromm said he was partial to country — he listed Eric Church and and Thomas Rhett as favorites — with a little rap and gospel music thrown in for good measure. Listen to what some gets some other players pumped before the big game.

1:15 p.m. Downtown Atlanta is jammed with college football fans for all the festivities. But a reminder that a clear bag policy is in place even for the pre-game events

12:10 p.m.: Media Day attracted more UGA fans than Alabama backers, which is understandable, considering the game is in Georgia and it’s been 37 years since the Bulldogs last won a national championship. 

But is it possible than Alabama fans, who’ve watched their team win four national titles since 2009, have become a bit complacent? 

“We expect greatness every year,” said Anthony Lee, 39, who lives in Atlanta but roots for the Crimson Tide. 

And Lee disputes the notion of a home-field advantage for the Bulldogs. 

“We played so many times in the Georgia Dome this feels like a home game,” he said, noting that Alabama opened the season with a win over Florida State at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

For the record, Alabama was the home team in that game.

11:22 a.m. update: They ran out of headphones Saturday for fans attending Media Day at Philips Arena. But for giddy Bulldog supporters, it was no big deal. 

“They’re going to give a bunch of scripted answers anyway,” Daniel Bailey, 24, said of the players and coaches being interviewed 20 rows below.

Just being here is good enough. 

“My parents hadn’t even met” in 1981, the last time Georgia won a national title, said Bailey’s friend, Andrew Smith.

“We just wanted to be part of the championship experience,” Smith said.

ORIGINAL STORY: Fans are crowding this weekend into the “Championship Campus,” a compact area in downtown Atlanta where days of fanfare will precede Monday night’s national title game. Today’s highlight is the open-to-the-public “media day” in Philips Arena.

Other weekend events in advance of the game will include a three-day interactive fan festival inside the Georgia World Congress Center and a concert series in Centennial Olympic Park.

All of those venues and others are within walking distance of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide will meet for the national championship. 


Georgia fans cheer as players arrive during Georgia Media Day at Philips Arena on Saturday, January 6, 2017, ahead of College Football Playoff Championship.
HYOSUB SHIN / AJC


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