ATLANTA- When Alabama takes the field in Atlanta Saturday afternoon, it will be the last college football game played in the historic Georgia Dome.
The field has been a home away from home for the Crimson Tide, for the last 22 years. Alabama played in the very first SEC Championship game there in 1994. Since then, they’ve won six SEC Championships and four Chick-fil-a kickoff games, all under the signature dome.
“We’re just glad we’ve been able to have these opportunities,” says Alabama running back Damien Harris.
If the seats could talk, oh the stories they could tell! The Georgia Dome was built in 1992 and has been the unofficial capitol for SEC football ever since.
“This stadium has been great to us since I’ve been here. It’s been cool to experience things like this,” says Harris.
With a big game on the line, many of the players we spoke to weren’t fixated on nostalgia.
“I always tell myself a lot of things that have happened while I’m here, I won’t realize how big it was, I won’t comprehend how big of a deal it was until I look back on it,” says Cam Robinson, an offensive lineman for the Tide.
But many recognized this is the final act of a stage that has seen a lot of football. “A lot of confetti has been dropped on this field with us standing underneath it. So it’s going to be great,” says Robinson.
For defensive end Tim Williams, the dome hails memories from his childhood. “It’s crazy, I used to watch going home seeing Alabama play Georgia in this dome with Todd Gurley in the SEC Championship game,” says Williams.
The Tide’s record is 6-3 under the dome during the SEC Championship game, but it’s their first appearance in the Peach Bowl.
They hope to establish that record as permanently, 1-0.
“Just remember what the stadium is and all the memories that have been made in it, is pretty cool,” says Florence native, Keaton Anderson, who plays linebacker.
The dome has also played host to the 1996 Olympics, NCAA Basketball and special events, but most of the magic was framed between these pylons.
“That’s kind of awesome, being the last team to play in here. I’d like to play in the new one too though,” says Nigel Knott, an Alabama Cornerback.
When the lights turn off for the final time, the Georgia Dome will be demolished to make room for their next door neighbor, literally steps away.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with nearly 70,000 seats and a retractable roof, opens up next fall.