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Super Bowl City Guide: What You Need To Know As Atlanta Hosts

Mercedes-Benz Stadium  will be the site of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, but it won't be the only place where Super Bowl-related things will go down in Atlanta.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the site of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, but it won't be the only place where Super Bowl-related things will go down in Atlanta.
Credit Danny Karnik
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Updated Jan. 24 at 2:47 p.m.

We’re a little less than three weeks from Super Bowl LIII — which you probably know by now will be hosted in Atlanta — and the city is gearing up for not just the big game, but all the fanfare that surrounds it.

You know that that means: Good, old fashioned road closures to further snarl Atlanta’s infamous traffic situation.

On the upside, it also means plenty of parties, concerts and fan fests — at all price ranges. Plus the city will be offering free Wi-Fi at various locations over the course of the week.

Here’s more information on all that, and other things you might need to know to navigate the upcoming activities blitz.

Party Like It’s 1999

The Super Bowl comes will all sorts of opportunities to party, celebrity spot, and engage in merriment without necessarily having a stake in the big game.

Super Bowl Live will bring a week-long fan festival to Centennial Park, but you might want to show up early on your chosen day(s) because it’s free and sure to draw big crowds with music by hip-hop, country, rock and EDM performers.

Shaq is getting in on the action with “Shaq’s Fun House” on Feb. 1, but there’s a limited amount of tickets for this one, and they’re pricey.

There’s also Opening Night on Jan. 28 at State Farm Arena, which will feature mascots and cheerleaders and a chance for autographs.

See more events here.

Flee Like It’s Y2K

If you’re looking to get out of the city, plan way ahead. More than 100,000 out-of-towners are expected in the city, and that means stress to roads and the world’s busiest airport.

The Monday after the big game is expected to be the busiest day for flying — with the multitudes all making their way home. Road closures start as early as Jan. 21 going through Feb. 8, with most of those downtown.

Here’s the city’s road closure schedule:

Starting Monday, Jan. 21 through Friday, Feb. 8
Baker St. NW will be closed between Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW and Luckie St. NW.

Starting Monday, Jan. 21 through Thursday, Feb. 7
Mitchell St. SW will be closed between MLK Jr. Dr. SW (South) to Elliot St SW
Mangum St. will be closed between Markham St to Foundry St.
MLK Jr. Dr. SW (South) will be closed between Northside Dr. NW to Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 23 through Thursday, Feb. 7
Andrew Young International Blvd. NW will be closed between Marietta St. NW and Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW.

Starting at 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 through 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3
Peachtree St. between Ponce De Leon Avenue and 3rd Street
There will be a full closure of Ponce De Leon Avenue and 3rd Street between West Peachtree and Peachtree

Starting the Evening of Saturday, Feb. 2 through morning of Monday, Feb. 4
Northside Dr. NW will be closed between Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd NW and MLK Jr. Dr. SW (South)

Don’t Drive Yourself

There will be plenty of options for transportation that don’t entail being behind the wheel in gridlock. Uber and Lyft are options — but rides will be more expensive during the big week with surge pricing.

The Street Car has been made ready with a Super Bowl logo, and will run about every nine minutes on Game Day, according to MARTA.

MARTA is also expanding rail and bus service:

Janu. 29 – 31:
Bus 5 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Rail  4 a.m. – 1 a.m. 

Feb. 1 – 4:
Bus Routes 15, 39, 83 and 196 will run continuous, 24 hour service from 4:00 AM on Feb. 1 – 2:00 AM on Feb. 5
Rail will run continuous, 24-hour service from 4:00 AM on Feb. 1 – 2:00 AM Feb. 5

Don’t Tax Your Data

Atlanta announced it will offer free public Wi-Fi starting Jan. 27 at various locations for residents and visitors alike.

“It’s important that we welcome fans with a first-class customer experience – including free public Wi-Fi at some of the city’s busiest venues,” Comcast Regional SVP Doug Guthrie said in a press release.

The hotspots provided by Comcast will at the following locations:

Jan. 31 – Feb. 3
State Farm Arena

Jan. 26 – Feb. 2
Downtown Entertainment District

Feb. 1
Coca-Cola Roxy

Feb 1 – 3
SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta

Jan. 26 – Feb. 2
Eight MARTA stations: Five Points, Garnett, North Avenue, Dome, Arts Center, Civic Center, Midtown, Peachtree Center

The hotspots will stick around after Super Bowl week for Comcast customers, “and on a limited basis to non-customers, as a complimentary service,” according to the press release.

Seize The Cash

A Super Bowl hosting gig presents lots of opportunities for the ambitious city, and — thanks to the new sharing economy — city dwellers. Renting out your place on Airbnb could be one such opportunity.

Beware, there are a ton of rules around this in any give municipality, but given how much Minneapolis hosts earned last year — $3.7 million — it might be worth looking into.