SEC Plans for Enhanced Security at Football Championship Weekend
Fans attending the 2016 SEC Football Championship Game in Atlanta on Saturday, December 3, are required to enter the Georgia Dome with clear bags, are recommended to arrive early and should expect to see enhanced law enforcement presence in and around the Georgia Dome, the SEC Office has announced.
Enhanced security measures will also be in place at the Dr. Pepper SEC FanFare event in the Georgia World Congress Center on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3.
The SEC strongly encourages fans not to bring any type of bags to the championship weekend events. However, if they must bring a bag, it must be clear or otherwise a small clutch bag to be allowed into either the championship game or SEC FanFare. Bags will be monitored at a secondary security perimeter set up around the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center and increased law enforcement presence and K-9 patrols will be prevalent throughout the area.
For the second year in a row, SEC Championship Game events will utilize a clear bag policy, similar to that used in the National Football League (NFL). The clear bag policy will be in effect for both the SEC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome and SEC FanFare in the Georgia World Congress Center. Bags will be inspected before entry at both locations.
Gates of the Georgia Dome will open at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, the day of the championship game, to accommodate early arriving fans.
All bags entering the Georgia Dome or the World Congress Center must satisfy the guidelines listed below in order to be taken into SEC FanFare and the SEC Football Championship Game:
- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”;
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar);
- Small clutch bags, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, with or without a handle or strap;
- An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a small clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size (12” x 6” x 12”).
Items that are typically carried in diaper bags or baby bags must be carried in a clear bag that meets the standards of the bag policy.
For those fans that arrive at the SEC Football Championship Game or SEC FanFare with impermissible bags, Bag Exchange Stations will be located outside the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center where fans can leave impermissible bags and, in exchange, receive a permissible clear bag to use in SEC FanFare and/or the SEC Football Championship Game. Fans may retrieve their impermissible bags from the Bag Exchange Station upon departure.
Bag Exchange Stations will be found in the following locations:
- International Plaza on East end of the Georgia Dome;
- Outside South entrance of Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center;
- Lobby inside Building B of the Georgia World Congress Center.
Fans may still bring items such as binoculars and cameras, provided they are not in cases, as well as smart phones into SEC FanFare and the Georgia Dome.
Working personnel, including media, will continue to enter the Georgia Dome through designated gates where they will be subject to screening and bag inspections already in effect for the SEC Football Championship Game.
Any fan who witnesses suspicious activity at the Georgia Dome or Georgia World Congress Center should notify uniformed security personnel, or call 404-223-4911. Also, in the Georgia Dome fans may text “DOME” and a description of the suspicious activity to 69050.
The SEC is encouraging fans to arrive early and leave any unnecessary items at home or in their cars. Fans who bring any bag into the SEC Football Championship Game at the Georgia Dome or SEC FanFare should anticipate being delayed for search and bag exchange. Fans not in the gate queue by 3:15 p.m. on game day should not expect to see kickoff of the game.