Best Places to Watch the National College Football Championship
You’re not the only person in Atlanta who is hype about seeing Alabama and Georgia playing each other here for the national championship trophy. You also aren’t alone in the fact that you don’t have thousands of dollars to pay to see the game from inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Fortunately, there are more than enough places where you’ll find good watch party events and specials to make you feel like a winner no matter how badly your preferred team loses. Here are the best bets for where to watch tonight.
Who knows how much longer we’ll have the big, beautiful hole in the city to use for tailgating. Better pay the $50 and walk in from Gates 2, 3, or 4, to watch the game on a 12-foot screen or any of the numerous TVs, while you stand around fire pits and heaters getting all-you-can-eat burgers, hot dogs, pulled chicken and pork sandwiches, with all-you-can-drink beer, wine, and liquor.
There’s a $10 cover for single admission or you can still try to reserve a table for eight, 10 or 15 folks for $750 to $1,500. Don’t worry -- it comes with a pre-arranged minimum amount of food and drinks, and you’ll be able to walk around screaming at all 70 TVs while knowing you still have a seat when you return.
Entry is free with RSVP, and you’ll get $5 drink specials and $15 hookahs until 9pm, plus $6 wing orders all night. You can also watch outdoors on the heated patio if you choose, and they even allow smoking indoors, in case you’re a little stressed because your team also got smoked.
Boasting “the biggest screen in Buckhead” at 35 feet wide, there’ll be the big game at 8pm, and smaller ones like cornhole that you can play from 4pm until kickoff, while accompanied by sounds from a live DJ. RSVP online then pay $20 at the door for your table seats and a wing platter.
Regardless of which of the three locations you choose, the fancy sports restaurant is offering $15 Miller Lite buckets, $3 Jager shots, and $3 Three Olives martinis all day.
Because all three of the Moe’s founders are Alabama natives and Alabama alumni, this is a great option if you’re a Tide fan. It’s also a good option because of their barbecue -- and lots of drink specials, from $2.50 PBR to $5 margaritas.
They’ve got 40 screens (we know; you’ve never counted), and there’ll be “food and drink specials” that they’re not announcing, but the major deal is that there’s no cover if you RSVP. Do that now.
The BBQ restaurant is collaborating with Alabama restaurant SALT at San Roc Cay, as well as Alabama Gulf Seafood to host “The Flavors of Georgia and Alabama”: a pop-up dinner in which four courses of food from both states will be devoured, such as Alabama shrimp & grits. Reservations are required, FYI: Call 404-228-6377 while ya can.
Get out on the freshly renovated covered patio (don’t worry -- they’ve got stone fire pits) and watch the game on a 20-by-10-foot big screen. There’s no charge, they’ll be open from 4:30pm until midnight. And if your team wins, you can hit the Aquafina skate rink for $20 and slide on them haters.
Get there early if you’re not staying; you can get your beer in a super-limited Alabama- or Georgia-themed 32-ounce crowler for $9 (I recommend the new, hazy Hatchery Series New England IPA, especially if you liked Fresh Sticky Nugs Dank Tank). Come back at 3pm to start pre-gaming on all the SweetWater beers, and stay until 8pm and hit the upstairs Reel room level to watch it on the big screen.
Starting at 4pm you should head upstairs (it’s free) to get in on the special bar menu; you’ll get $5 deviled eggs, $9 truffle Parmesan fries, $8 spicy sorghum wings and other specials, including an $18 bucket of fire-roasted oysters, $12 dry-aged burgers from Marcel, and $10 homemade sausages.
The Highland Avenue smokehouse has TVs all around the bar area and dining room, plus a great local beer selection and solid wings. Put them together by dining in and you’ll get the wings half-priced and select beers for $4 a pint.
Be so close to the game that you trick yourself into thinking you were there, or just lie and enjoy being with thousands of people in 40,000 square feet of covered and heated space, which you’ll appreciate greatly if the meteorologists are right. Get there at 2pm for the open bar, since it’ll become a cash bar at kickoff. Your $75 ticket also includes Williamson Brothers' BBQ, three ridiculously big viewing screens, four TVs, and a bunch of games and live music.
The mobishly named sports bar is a good pick whether you actually have game tickets or not, since it’s near the King Memorial MARTA station (an easy ride on the Blue/Green line to the stadium). Let’s be real; you don’t have tickets, so just get there at 5pm and start drinking $2 beers and $3.50 well drinks, and eat $2 tacos like you’re an actual bulldog or elephant.
It’s a little strange to be at a baseball field watching college football, but you’ll be fine with it since they have a 30-foot TV to show the game (and promise to watch “awesome YouTube videos instead of commercials”). You’ll get four hours of free parking, and they’ll have a long toss contest for $1,000, just so you can prove why your throwing arm should be nowhere near a real football team.
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