Workers finish last-minute prep for Saturday's SEC Championship.
Photos by Shane Epping Published Dec. 6, 2013
Despite the ice and snow spreading across the country and hindering travel, Mizzou fans are making their presence known in Atlanta. And the city is working overtime to prepare for Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship. Take a look around town and behind the scenes at the Georgia Dome to see the Atlanta in action. The game will air at 3 p.m. Central Saturday on CBS.
Mizzou fans arrive to a warm welcome in Atlanta at the Hilton hotel.
Street vendors prepare to sell Mizzou gear near CNN headquarters.
High temperatures in the mid-70s and fall colors await Tigers who make it through the snow and ice between Columbia and Atlanta.
Kids cool down in fountains at Centennial Olympic Park, near the Georgia Dome.
The Georgia Dome, with a capacity of 71,228 fans, hosts the SEC Championship annually.
Teams from the SEC East and West divisions have competed for the SEC Championship trophy since 1992. The title game has been held in the Georgia Dome since 1994.
Mike Alden, director of MU Athletics, and coach Gary Pinkel walk outside the Missouri locker room in the Georgia Dome. Pinkel has led the Tigers to the SEC Championship in Mizzou's second year of membership in the conference. A win Saturday would be Pinkel's 102nd at Mizzou, an all-time school record.
Mizzou logos and wordmarks were painted on the Georgia Dome turf on Tuesday.
Nine of the 14 SEC teams have competed for the the SEC Championship.
The SEC Eastern division currently holds an 11-10 advantage in the championship game. Mizzou represents the division this season.
Bowl Championship Series No. 3 Auburn plays No. 5 Mizzou at 3 p.m. Central on Saturday.
The Georgia Dome, which opened Sept. 6, 1992, annually hosts the SEC Championship and the Chick-fil-A Bowl (formerly the Peach Bowl). It is also home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, who have former Mizzou stars Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore and Chase Coffman on the roster.
Corporate sponsors placed gift bags on the Georgia Dome seats.
After being picked to finish fifth in the SEC East, the Tigers won the division outright last weekend.
Workers prepare for Saturday's game at the Georgia Dome.
At the top of the dome, Mizzou and Auburn coaches will watch the action unfold.
Dave Baker, sideline reporter for the SEC Radio Network, looks over notes in preparation for the game. He estimates that he has covered 20 championships.
Steve Morrow, left, and Randy Ramroush check stadium audio. Morrow has worked audio for three years and Ramroush has done so for five.
April Antoine controls the stadium's many video boards.
Juria Herring, a native of New York City, washes the windows of a private suite. Herring has worked at the Georgia Dome for nine years.
Angela Lester, a 22-year employee at the Georgia Dome, supervises suite preparation.
Members of the CBS crew ready themselves for Saturday's broadcast. The network will air the Mizzou basketball game against UCLA at 11:30 a.m. Central and the SEC Championship at 3 p.m. Central.
Joy Clemons, a nine-year employee of the Georgia Dome, rings her cowbell while taking a break from work.
A falcon statue greets visitors to Falcons owner Arthur Blank's suite.
Levi Grostefon has worked in Falcons owner Arthur Blank's suite since 2010. Grostefon has been an employee of the Georgia Dome since 2005.
Many celebrities have been entertained in the Georgia Dome owner's suite. Most recently, Samuel L. Jackson visited for the Falcons game against the Saints last weekend.
Five-year Georgia Dome employee Randy Henderson makes the rounds with a mop and bucket to keep the floors clean.
Employees stuff thousands of bags of popcorn for hungry fans at tomorrow's game.
Hundreds of pounds of popcorn are consumed every game.
Melissa Dones puts away clean dishes, which will be used in the suites during the game.
Trays are piled high in the main kitchen on the lower level of the Georgia Dome.
Mizzou, Auburn and SEC Championship shirts will be sold throughout the stadium. Selection will vary based on location.
Pallets of Coca-Cola products, less than two miles from world headquarters, await consumption.
Larry Ventura, supervisor of the liquor warehouse, locks up the Georgia Dome's supply of alcohol.
Auburn players take the field for their 30-minute walkthrough. Due to weather conditions, Mizzou players were unable to do the same.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn meets with CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist. Malzahn and Mizzou's Gary Pinkel were both national Coach of the Year finalists.
Atlanta lights up black and gold at night on the eve of the SEC Championship.