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|| News Item: Posted 2000-01-24

Georgia on My Mind
Working The Big Game? A Super Bowl Survival Guide

By Ben Gray, AJC staff photographer

Photo by
So you're going to Atlanta to cover the Super Bowl. In case you don't know the lay of the land, here is a quick primer that might help you out.

NFL Media Center will be at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta (265 Peachtree St. NE), about a 5-10 minute walk from the Georgia Dome. AFC team hotel is the Grand Hyatt Atlanta (in Buckhead), they will practice at Georgia Tech. NFC team hotel is the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, they will practice at the Atlanta Falcons Complex in Suwanee.

The sight of the game is the Georgia Dome, home to the Atlanta Falcons. The Dome is located in downtown Atlanta, about a 20-minute drive North of Hartsfield Airport, if there isn't any traffic.

Press entrance is normally at Gate E, which is at field level on the north side. I assume it will be the same for the Super Bowl. I have not yet heard where the press trailers will be located. Hopefully parking will be better than at this year's Peach Bowl, where press lots were about two blocks from the press gate.

I just ran across a Georgia Dome newsletter that talks, in part about preparations for the Super Bowl. It read, "To put these preparations in their best light, the Georgia Dome has replaced all its lights for an almost 50 percent increase in viewing illumination, according to assistant building superintendent Keith Barrett."

"The lights now put out 250-300 lumens compared to 79-180 lumens of the old lights. Conservatively, I'd say that's about a 50 percent increase in brightness," said Billy Smith, lead electrician (quoted from the newsletter).

Photo by
Needless to say this would change the usual exposure in the Georgia Dome (which used too be to 1/400 sec. @ f/2.8 shooting 800 ASA). The good news is that the light sounds much better, the bad news is we will have to test it again (remember that the dome is translucent, so it must be tested at night to be accurate for the Super Bowl).

Nikon Professional Services will be working out of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution photography department, which is on Marietta Street about two blocks from the Dome. You can reach them through us at (404) 526-5425.

If you left any gear behind, or need something new, Sarah Auman at Showcase Photographics (404 325-7676) stocks just about everything and has great prices to boot. She's about five miles from downtown by car. (If you don't talk to Sarah, or her assistant Stacia, you won't get the professional's price.)

For nightlife Buckhead is probably the best known area of town. There are plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants in this area about 15 minutes north of downtown. Expect big crowds and hard-to-find paid parking if it is the weekend. Crescent Avenue is very close to downtown and features a smaller but more diverse selection of clubs and restaurant. Virginia- Highlands and Little Five Points both are chock full of bars, live music, restaurants and shopping. Virginia-Highlands is a little trendier while Little Five Points draws more of the tattooed and pierced crowd.

For additional information we have a pretty good Super Bowl guide on line at:

If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop me a line at and I'll try to help you out.

See you soon, Ben Gray, AJC.

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