Georgia Dome turf gets transformation for SEC Championship game

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | 5:11 p.m. CST; updated 4:50 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 4, 2013

COLUMBIA — After 20 years of hosting the SEC Championship game, the Georgia Dome has the preparation for a big game down to a science, spokesman Jason Kirksey said.

The dome, normally home to the Atlanta Falcons, shed the red and white colors that dominate the field most of the year and is painting the field in SEC colors and the colors of the opposing teams.

On Tuesday, a paint crew of four men was putting finishing touches on the turf. The work began Sunday, with the crew adding the SEC Championship logo to midfield in  blue, yellow and white. Other changes include:

  • Two TIGERS labels were painted on the sidelines to flank the field under team benches —  in black and gold for the Missouri bench and in orange and blue for the Auburn bench.
  • The Missouri Tigers logo was stenciled on one 25-yard line and the AU Athletics logo on the other.
  • One 20-yard line was striped black and gold for Missouri, the other orange and blue for Auburn.
  • The end zones were stenciled "Auburn" and "Mizzou."

  • Team tunnels were wrapped in the appropriate colors.

The makeover requires 150 gallons of removable field-marking paint and at least 40 hours of labor, Kirksey said. The crew had a full week to finish the transformation, but he predicted the preparations would be completed in the next 24 hours.

"The dome will also represent all the SEC teams with banners wrapped around the field, each banner displaying a specific SEC team's logo," Kirksey said. 

Each past SEC champion also has a banner outside the stadium.

The week after the SEC Championship game, the paint crew has to get ready for the Georgia state high school football championships Dec. 13-14. The Falcons-Redskins game takes place Dec. 15 and the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31, requiring two more paint jobs.

The dome in downtown Atlanta hosted gymnastics and basketball during the 1996 Olympic Games, the NCAA Men's Final Four twice and the Women's Final Four once.

Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.

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