ATHENS, Ga. - College football is back and anyone rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs can expect some changes when they attend games in Sanford Stadium this year.
"Coach Smart has elevated the standard of this team and we want to keep matching that standard," said University of Georgia Deputy Athletic Director Josh Brooks.
One thing that is sure to catch your attention, is the new scoreboard. It's 100 feet by 52 feet and 33 percent larger.
You'll also notice new video boards in other areas around the newly improved west end zone. That's the new side where you'll now see the team taking the field.
Sanford Stadium also features more women’s restrooms and extra grab-and-go concessions stands. Brooks suggests those seated in the North or South lower 100 sections in rows 30 or below check out those options rather than walking all the way up the stands.
"Right there in the middle off the tunnel is where the prospective student-athletes and their families will be sitting right there in the heart of the student section," said Brooks. "So we think that will be a great experience to see the team come out and be close to the team and the logistics for recruiting. To be right there in the heart of the student section."
A new gate will allow students to enter right under the new scoreboard, a move likely to ease congestion at other gates.
"As you walk around Stanford you realize there's a lot of canvas, a lot of areas that we could celebrate that we just haven't done that in the past," said Brooks. "So this is an opportunity for us."
Fans will be able to take in new images on stadium walls, some on vinyl and others hand painted, to help them relive and remember the Bulldog's rich history. They feature Georgia sayings and images that every Dawg fan will surely recognize.
"As you walk around the 100 level concourse, we've done a lot of cosmetic upgrades, but in that we have celebrated a lot of the history," explained Brooks. "You'll see great quotes, Munson quotes, between the hedges, shots of Pollock and Herschel and others and we matched up the picture with a great months and quote."
New moms cheering on the Dawgs will have a place to go too, with two portable Mamava nursing stations installed on different levels. The school says they provide clean, comfortable spaces for moms to pump or breastfeed. The units come with mechanical smart locks that sync via Bluetooth with the Mamava app. They also come with power and seating. You can find one near Gate 2 and the other outside Section 222.
Retired numbers and previous championships are now proudly posted inside Stanford, and some fans will get to watch the action from the new, sold-out field suites in the East end zone. It comes with access to a new club area, renovated from the team's old locker room.
"I think as people get to experience it the demand for that is gonna go through the roof," predicted Brooks.
So Glory, Glory to ole Georgia and cheers to a new season of new experiences Between The Hedges.
UGA kicks off the 2018 football season in Athens, September 1, at 3:30 p.m. vs. Austin Peay.
UGA Game Day Highlights
- The Dawg Walk at 1:15 p.m.
- Gates Open at 1:30 p.m.
- Kickoff at 3:30 p.m.
For more information on Gameday, visit georgiadogs.com.