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Missouri fans to trek to Georgia for SEC Championship

Monday, December 2, 2013 | 9:26 p.m. CST; updated 4:51 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The Missouri Tigers are headed to the Southeastern Conference Championship game Saturday in Atlanta. Two choices of travel for most MU fans are plane and car, with a wide range of traveling cost depending on where you’re starting and how you’re getting to Atlanta.

COLUMBIA — Missouri Tiger fans were in a hurry to buy tickets to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta after Saturday night's victory against Texas A&M.

The win advanced the Tigers to play Auburn at 3 p.m. Saturday in Atlanta for the title of SEC Champion.

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If you are one of the many fans making the trek to Atlanta this weekend, there are a few things you should know.

Remaining tickets available

MU had 16,000 tickets available to students and Tiger fans but ran out quickly after Saturday's 28-21 win.

"Those were snatched up pretty quickly by 8 a.m. on Sunday," said MU athletics spokesman Chad Moller.

If you are still looking for tickets and didn't get a chance to buy one before the Sunday morning sellout, Moller suggests looking into secondary markets such as VividSeats.com.

The most expensive seat at the game being sold on the site is a luxury suite priced at $34,437. The cheapest, located in one of the 300 sections of the upper most level, is $235.

Transportation to Atlanta

When traveling to Atlanta, your choices are between car and plane. Here's the average one-way travel times and costs to make the drive from different starting points:

  • Columbia: 11 hour drive, $81
  • St. Louis: 9 hour drive, $66
  • Kansas City: 13 hour drive, $96
  • Chicago: about 12 hour drive, $85

These figures are based on an average fuel economy of 24.6 miles per gallon and an average price of gas of $2.94, according to GasPriceWatch.com.

If you choose to forgo driving and fly instead, it will be more expensive. According to Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia and CheapTickets.com, here are the cheapest ticket prices for a round trip available from each Missouri airport:

  • Columbia: $763
  • St. Louis: $486
  • Kansas City: $548

Staying in Atlanta

Once you arrive in the city, navigating Atlanta is its own feat.

"I would say take a cab if you don't have a car because traffic can be a little horrendous here," recent MU alumna and current Emory student Kate Bohnert said.

She suggested taking the MARTA, a public transportation monorail line that drops passengers off outside the Georgia Dome from the airport.

"It is great to avoid traffic," MU alumnus and longtime Atlanta resident Asif Lakhani said. "MARTA is not the most efficient, but it will get you to the stadium."

Atlanta offers a wide range of hotels. "The closer to the Dome, the more expensive they are," Bohnert said.

That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of them in the area. Bonhert said there is "one on every street."

According to Expedia, hotels within two miles of the stadium range in price from $49 to $499 for a room per night. The average price is around $239.

Fans might find better prices at AirBnB.com, a service that homeowners and apartment renters use to lease rooms to visitors. The cheapest listing for a downtown Atlanta rental is $25 per night.

Things to do in Atlanta

When you are not cheering on the Tigers in the Georgia Dome, there is plenty to do outside of the stadium.

Nightlife Columbia is sponsoring the Buckhead Championship Block Party & Pub Crawl, which will give any person purchasing a ticket five complimentary shots and admission to 10 bars including Lost Dog Tavern, Buckhead Saloon and East Andrews.

The crawl takes place in Buckhead, an area near the stadium known for its nightlife. Atlanta has many different neighborhoods, each with its own culture.

"It is almost like New York with different boroughs and neighborhoods," Lakhani said. "You have Midtown and Buckhead, which are more into nightlife, and you have Five Points which is a very artsy part of town, and you have Old Fourth Ward which is very classic. There is something for all types of fans here."

Surrounding the stadium is Centennial Park, an area with many attractions for fans looking for activities outside of nightlife following the game.

Near or inside the park is World of Coca-Cola, a museum about the soda brand; CNN Headquarters; and the Fountain of Rings, a landmark commemorating the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Bohnert said she expects Tiger fans to be in full presence for the game.

"It should be quite a good turnout; plus, there are quite a few Mizzou alums in the area," Bohnert said. "We'll take Atlanta by storm."

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.


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