There's More To It Than Football

As if a game featuring the two highest ranked teams in the nation on the opening weekend of college football isn't enough, the Chick-fil-A sponsor of Alabama vs. Virginia Tech has arranged for more sidelights than most bowl games.

Alabama, ranked fifth in the Associated Press pre-season college football poll, will meet Virginia Tech, ranked seventh in the nation at 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. central time) on Saturday, September 5 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. While that's the headline event, there is much more to the experience for fans.

For instance:

On Friday, 6-10 p.m., fans can visit the Georgia Aquarium for a special price of $17 per person (regular admission to the world's largest aquarium is $26). There will be a jazz band in the atrium and a cash bar and food court available until 9 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

\Although the football game will be televised by ABC, ESPN is getting in on the act with its GameDay crew of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard having its opening show in Atlanta.

On the East Plaza of the Georgia World Congress Center, noon-5 p.m. Saturday, there will be a tailgate competition with six executive chefs demonstrating how to grill burgers and steaks and other tailgate foods.

The FanZone will be operations from noon until 6 p.m. in Building A of the Georgia World Congress Center. That includes radio broadcasts, music, food, games, a merchandise store, and a pep rally with team bands, cheerleaders and mascots. Tickets are available in advance or at the door for $5

The "Bama Bash and Tech Tailgate" is $65 and includes live entertainment, cheerleaders, meal, and drink and a cash bar will be available from 4-7 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center.

This is the second year of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Last year Alabama defeated Clemson, 34-10, in the inaugural event.

For more information on the day's schedule including maps and directions and to purchase tickets for weekend events, visit . Advance purchase of tickets is required for Fan Night at the Aquarium and is encouraged for team tailgates as space is limited.

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