National Championship: Guide to parking, tailgating at Atlanta stadium

The 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game will take place Monday at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The matchup will feature two SEC teams, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide. To get there, Georgia topped Oklahoma in a thrilling overtime Rose Bowl victory, while Alabama edged out Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

If you’re planning to attend the massive event, here are a few things you should know about parking and tailgating.


Parking lots surrounding the stadium will open at 10:30 a.m. Monday. 

In order to avoid frustratedly driving around the stadium looking for parking on gameday, drivers should purchase a spot in advance through Parkmobile. Prices for available spots during the championship ranged from $23 to $67 on Jan. 2.

Stadium officials stress that drivers should use its partner Waze as a navigation service because it will give directions to a specific parking garage entrance, instead of just to the lot’s address. According to the stadium’s website: “Waze is the only GPS program with event day traffic plans and street closures incorporated, providing you with accurate directions and real-time traffic alerts. Please do not use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or any other mapping software.”

Using Waze, drivers only need to type in the lot name — not the address. 

READ | 7 things to know about Mercedes-Benz Stadium

READ | Georgia-Alabama game: Your guide to tailgating recipes, food


Tailgating is allowed in designated parking lots, such as the notorious and poised-for-development Gulch area that sits below Philips Arena and stretches to Five Points. Tailgating is prohibited in multi-level garages.

The following parking lots allow tailgating: 17 Baker; 305 Ted Turner; AJC Lot; Blue Lot; City Plaza; Dome 2; Lots 6, 17, 18, 36, 37, 43, 44 and 57; Lots A (The Gulch), B, C, D, F, G, H, K, L, M, P, R and U; Marshalling Yard and Marshalling Yard 4 - Cars; Phillips Drive and Yellow Lot.

If you don’t drive but still want to tailgate, there are some alternative options — in addition to the affordable food and beer that can be found inside the gates.

Fans can go to the parcel of land known as Georgia International Plaza, which will be open the Saturday and Sunday prior to the game and at 10 a.m. on Monday. It’s where fans will be able to zip line and participate in free-fall stunt jumps. 

There’s also the Front Porch, a 61,000-square foot plaza on the stadium’s grounds inside security. It will be open before, during and after the game; gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 8. 

READ | Lyft is the stadium’s official rideshare partner

READ | How to get to the new Mercedes-Benz stadium using MARTA

Unfortunately the planned Home Depot Backyard, a13-acre park that will double as a tailgate-friendly parking area for about 800 cars during large events, won’t be ready in time for the game. Instead, the area that will replace a portion of the Dome is expected to open for the Falcons’ 2018 season. Plans for the site also include a new parking deck, and an 800-to-1,000-room hotel.

Finally, here are a few tailgating rules to keep in mind:

· Vehicles may take up only one parking space, and tailgating equipment may not extend beyond the parking space, or impede vehicles driving through the lot.

· Grills, chairs, coolers and other equipment may not take up a parking space. Tailgating is confined to the area directly behind the vehicle.

· Adjacent landscaped areas are common areas and may not be claimed exclusively.

· Trash should be thrown away in appropriate receptacles, and coals should be disposed of in coal containers provided in the lots. 

Where can you park? Is tailgating allowed? How and when should we arrive? You've got questions and we've got answers.

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