Atlanta Prepares For Crazy Traffic Ahead Of College Football Championship

Police are expecting more than 100,000 people in Atlanta for the College Football National Championship game Monday night between Georgia and Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If you are going to the game or just going to be downtown Monday, be ready to deal with a lot of traffic.
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Atlanta’s government is asking you to stay out of downtown Monday, unless you’re there for the College Football National Championship.

But, if you are heading to the game, be ready for a lot of traffic.

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Police are expecting more than 100,000 people in town for the game Monday night between Georgia and Alabama, which kicks off at 8 p.m.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields says don’t expect normal travel times on most routes.

“If you’re planning to calculate travel time based on the distance, what you think you’ll need to get to the game on time, you’ll probably arrive in time for the halftime show,” Shields said.

She said if you want to make the 8 p.m. kickoff, you should try to get downtown by 4 p.m.

To make traffic matters more complicated, President Donald Trump also plans to attend the game. Shields said whatever route he takes to Mercedes-Benz Stadium will factor into downtown traffic, too.

“We know with his arrival there will be street closures,” she said. “And when you compound the event with rush-hour traffic, you have the recipe for gridlock.”

Police will start closing lanes and streets downtown as early as Friday because of events leading up to the game.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said downtown employers should think about the role they could play in traffic.

“If you are an employer, maybe you should consider allowing your employees to [work from home] on Monday just to help with some of the traffic we are likely to experience,” Bottoms said.

Four concerts are scheduled to take place at Centennial Olympic Park throughout the weekend and game day.

Shields said police are relying on the public to make sure people can enjoy the festivities safely.

She said people shouldn’t hesitate to call 911 even if the matter seems trivial.