Sanford Stadium. Photo by ikwildrpepper

Add it to your itinerary: University of Georgia Football

If you’re a tourist coming to the USA, seeing the University of Georgia football team play might not be on your radar just yet. Most people start planning their trip around the biggest cities in the country and their respective underperforming iconic major league teams. But the type of experience that you can get at an NCAA game is what being a sports fan (and a traveler) is all about. For the following reasons, we feel like you can (and should) make an effort to add Georgia football to the itinerary for your next USA trip.

It’s easier to work into your trip than you think

If you’re doing much travel around the eastern states of the USA, you’re likely to pass through Atlanta. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the largest hub for Delta Air Lines and the world’s busiest airport, with over a hundred million passengers passing through it in the last year alone. The chance that your internal flight will stop over in Atlanta is pretty high.

The University of Georgia is in Athens, which is just over an hour’s drive from Atlanta. As well as the other sports you could see in Atlanta, it’s very possible for you to turn a transit stopover into a few of the very best days of your trip.

Sanford Stadium is a world class venue: “Between the Hedges”

The University of Georgia Bulldogs play at Sanford Stadium, a venue that seats 92,746 people, which is only a few thousand less than the consensus best stadium in Australia, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Similar to the MCG, Sanford Stadium has a mix of modern developments to enhance the gameday experience whilst also having ‘tradition’ as a major selling point. For example, at Sanford Stadium the field is surrounded by privet Hedges that are about shoulder-height. Little things like this make for a unique fan experience.

The whole town stops on game day

Pretty much every NCAA team “stops the whole town on game day”, so you don’t need me to convince you of that again here, but the figures don’t lie: In 2013, the population of Athens, GA was around 119,000. As mentioned above, Sanford Stadium’s capacity is 92,746. On UGA gamedays, Sanford Stadium is usually packed to (or near) capacity. Even if you account for a high number of ‘away’ fans, tourists, people who have made the trip from Atlanta, and you, we’re likely talking about a large amount of the local population that are attending, let alone those watching in bars, etc.

The team has a live bulldog mascot

The main costumed mascot at UGA is ‘Hairy Dawg’. Not long ago, Forbes listed Hairy Dawg the 3rd best mascot in the country. But the more interesting story is ‘Uga’, the English Bulldog who serves as Georgia’s official live mascot.

Uga and Hairy Dawg. Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Yep, the University of Georgia bring out Uga at their home games. The best part: Each dog given the title of ‘Uga’ is descended from the same bloodline as the original Uga.

Most people who travel are looking for things like this: unique, interesting & exciting. In our mind, UGA football achieves all of these things.

Email us if we can help you with your USA trip planning at all.

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