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Post What’s changed on campus since last season

Friday September 11, 2009

For many of us, the home opener is about getting back to Athens and reconnecting with the town, campus, and friends that make the whole experience much more than just a sporting event. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the campus and town continue to change between our visits, and there has definitely been some work done since the end of last season. As always, we recommend visiting the Gameday Gameplan site for specifics about enjoying Saturday in Athens, but here are a few of the highlights of some of the changes:

Tate Center Expansion

We mentioned this over the summer, but the opening of the Tate Center expansion will be a big change for the fans who like to gather and shop around the central campus in the shadow of the west side of Sanford Stadium. It will also make for a slightly different Dawg Walk, but more on that in a second.

In addition to being a boon for current students, the space added by the expansion will provide a lot more indoor space for fans on game days. The best part of the addition, at least from a fan’s point of view, might be the 24-foot projection TV screen in the third-floor lobby. Hang out there and watch other games or even the Georgia game if you don’t have a ticket. There’s also a parking deck underneath the structure, but that’s not an entirely new feature.

The new buildings and the loss of the open parking lot means that the corridor for the Dawg Walk will be a bit narrower than it’s been in recent years. One big plus of the new buildings is multiple levels from which to line the walkway and get a good look at the Dawg Walk. The expansion might even serve to shift the focus of the Walk from the original Tate Center back closer towards the Lumpkin Street end.

Tate 2 map

East Campus Construction

If you haven’t been on East Campus since last season, it’s quite a dramatic change. A new Greek Park has been opened along River Road not far from its terminus at East Campus Road around where the ATO house used to be. It currently houses four fraternities. Unfortunately the complex took out a lot of the older landscape of that part of campus to go along with the older house, so it’s a pretty stark place for now.

More construction is taking place further down River Rd. Buildings in the new Performing Arts Center have taken most of the open surface parking in that part of East Campus, and work is underway for a new parking deck to be located back behind the Performing Arts building. That deck is expected to be completed in November. There is still some surface parking available in the area, but it might not be as available or as accessible as you remember it.

Gameday Experience

Not much has changed this year with regards to campus tailgating regulations. It’s still the same 7 a.m. start time. One thing that caught my eye was a specific prohibition on “low country boils.” I remember deep fryers being prohibited, but the low country boil regulation is a new one I think. Apparently the boiling of water is something best left to the professionals. (Thank goodness we tailgate off-campus.)

One small change I noticed on the parking maps: the small North Campus lot behind Baldwin Hall was a hidden gem for several of my friends – a free lot close to the stadium. That lot is now controlled by the Athletic Association and will require a permit.

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