By: Eric SanInocencio
SEC Digital Network
Atlanta, Ga. -- We report to you once again from the Georgia Dome, now just 24 hours before the start of Saturday's game between Georgia and LSU. Friday is a day mainly for the media, as the coaches speak to reporters prior to the start of the day's activities.
As you will see in the photos below, there are a few other happenings taking place here as well. One of those is SEC Fanfare, which got a new look this year and is an impressive setup for the fans that attend. The entire layout was redone, giving a crisp feel to a staple of SEC Championship weekend.
Enough of me talking. On to Friday's photos!
The Regions Coaches Luncheon
When it comes to actual SEC events, the Regions Coaches Luncheon unofficially serves as a kick off for the weekend. The luncheon is a laid back event, where the two coaches talk about the game and interact with fans. I got in the room before the event itself started, and here's a shot that sets the scene for what it was like to be there.
Helmets On Display
As you can kind of see in the photo above, the background of the stage is littered with SEC helmets and other memorabilia. On display near the front were the helmets for this weekend's game. Here's a close up of the Georgia and LSU lids, along with the SEC hat.
SEC Merchandising On Sale
Even at the Hyatt hotel, you can find SEC gear for sale. Here's the booth set up near the check in area where you can purchase conference gear.
A Trip To Fanfare
After I left the hotel, I headed over to the Georgia World Congress Center. This is the site of this year's SEC Fanfare, an interactive fan expo showcasing the league's sponsors. Just in case you didn't know where to find it, this massive welcome sign lets you know.
The LSU "Wall"
Once you entered the exhibit hall, you were welcomed by two walls dedicated to the participating teams. On these "walls", you got a recap of each team's seasons, and the road they took to get to the Georgia Dome. Here's a look at LSU's wall.
The Georgia "Wall"
Not to be out done, here's a glimpse at the Bulldogs wall. These two walls are located right across from each other in the main hall area of Fanfare.
Anybody Want To Shoot?
As I mentioned earlier, SEC Fanfare is interactive. There are several areas set up for fans to play the sports themselves. This exhibit, located on the West wall of the floor plan, is dedicated to the league's basketball teams. It features logos and a full sized basketball court. Anyone want to take a shot?
I'd Rather Hit
If you know anything about me, you know how much I love baseball. In this segment of the Fanfare grounds, there was a replica SEC baseball stadium, setup for wiffle balls and bats. I could nearly contain myself. As you can probably imagine, I took a few swings while no one was looking, and yes, I still have it.
A Spot For The Newcomers
As any SEC fan can tell you, we will have two new universities joining the league next season. Texas A&M and Missouri were both welcomed to the conference this fall, and are on display at SEC Fanfare. As part of the ESPN theater, there is a wall setup dedicated to the SEC's newest additions.
After I finished my tour of Fanfare, I made my way back to the dome for the press conferences. As is customary, each coach speaks with the media on Friday, and does so in a special area roped off on the bottom floor of the facility. In between, each coach posed with the trophy, a photo opportunity for the media there. Here's a shot of Georgia's Mark Richt and Les Miles shaking hands, a friendly gesture before their teams battle against each other on Saturday.