The Atlanta Falcons have some amazing fans who love to have a good time. What better way to have a GREAT time before an Atlanta Falcons football game than with a little tailgating?
Tailgating before games is allowed in all Georgia Dome operated parking lots, but not parking decks. Lots open 5 hours prior to kickoff and close 2 hours after each game, which is very accommodating compared to some other professional sports venues.
While much of the area around the stadium is closed due to construction, fans may be confused as to which lots are still open. The orange, purple, brown and silver lots are all closed for example. This has resulted in about 1,300 fewer parking spots around the Dome.
However, the Yellow Lot and Lot A, known as “The Gulch” are both still open for tailgating purposes. These lots have been the most popular in past years for those who wish to tailgate.
Tailgating at a Falcons Game
What is tailgating at an Atlanta Falcons game like, you ask? There are a few things you may be surprised to see:
- Trucks and cars decked out in Falcons emblems, red and black: Many hardcore fans have custom paint jobs on their vehicles. What better way to show that you’re a fan?
- Flat screen TVs, live game feeds, and folks playing Madden on Xbox: Some tailgaters have a crazy setup, complete with live coverage of games and access to their favorite game console. Some like to have all the comforts of their own living room right at their tailgate.
- Music and Dancing: Many of the larger tailgates have large sound systems, complete with amps, and microphones. Falcons rally chants can be heard throughout the parking lot along with some mood enhancing music and dancing.
- Golf carts: If you come on certain games, there will be golf carts cruising around the parking lots… handing out free stuff!
There are some rules set by The Dome officials for tailgating:
- One vehicle per space! And your tailgating equipment cannot extend beyond the parking space, or block vehicles driving through the lot.
- Tailgating is confined to the area directly behind your vehicle.
- Adjacent landscaped areas are common areas and may not be claimed exclusively, share and don’t be stingy!
- Your music cannot affect public saftey: If it’s too loud, you will be asked to turn it down or off completely.
- Tents cannot be larger than 8×10.
- Be civil with one another, fighting is not permitted, and security does patrol the grounds to keep the crowd in check.
- You MUST purchase a parking permit! Permits are available online before the games, or at the kiosk as you drive into the lot. If the lots are full, there are many other “gypsy” lots around the stadium, though they are not sponsored by The Dome.
There are some things you definitely can’t forget if you are going to tailgate for a Falcons game:
- Your red and black swag: You don’t want to be confused as an opposing team’s fan. Make sure you’re dressed in your Falcon’s gear.
- Sustenance: The lots do allow grilling. Or, if you don’t want to deal with the mess, grab some wings or burgers from your favorite nearby restaurant.
- Drinks: The lots allow for alcoholic beverages to be consumed on property. Just don’t take your beverage off the lot, or risk an open-container ticket!
- Tent: The weather in Atlanta changes dramatically from the first home game to the last. While in the beginning of the season, the weather may be hot and humid, at the end you may see flurries! A tent will help protect you from whatever weather this southern city may decide to have on any given game-day.
- Entertainment: Driving through the lot, you’ll see many fans playing cornhole, tossing a football, or listening to music or other football games. If you’re planning on showing up early, bring something to keep you occupied.
The most important thing to remember is to be safe, and have fun! The Georgia Dome opens its gates 2 hours before gametime, for those who want a jump start. The next Atlanta Falcons home game is on November 23rd vs. The Cleveland Browns. Don’t forget your parking pass!