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(Associated Press)
SEC Championship Game patrons can expect rain outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, much like was experienced before last year's National Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama. However, the long lines to get in reportedly have been remedied.

Meteorologist: If you’re planning to tailgate before SEC Championship Game, better bring a poncho

ATLANTA — Based on weather forecasts, it’s a good thing Georgia and Alabama are playing indoors on Saturday. But that shouldn’t prevent the hardier tailgaters from enjoying their pregame traditions.

According to WSB meteorologist Brad Nitz, the worst of the weather will be coming during and after Saturday’s 4 p.m. contest, which is slated for a 4 p.m. kickoff. But it’s not supposed to be as bad in the hours leading up to the SEC Championship, which will draw a crowd of more than 73,000 to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Nitz

“Through the morning and early afternoon, there’s going to be some rain,” said Brad Nitz, a certified meteorologist at WSB-TV. “It’s going to be wet at times, but it’s not going to rain continuously all day. There will be showers off and on, but mainly light to moderate through early afternoon. … With a little preparation, (fans) should be fine for tailgating.”

The retractable roof at The Benz will be closed during the game, per SEC request. It’s a good thing since there’s a chance of severe thunderstorms during in the three-hour window the teams will be playing.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof leaked some during wet weather before last January’s National Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama. So it will be interesting to see if that has been fixed.

With a little luck, the worst weather might clear out in time for postgame celebrations — or mournings.

“The heaviest storms are going to be late-afternoon and early evening,” Nitz said. “It might be a close call but it might move out after the game.”

The biggest complaint the last time these two teams met in The Benz was the long lines and extended waits to get through security and into the building. That reportedly has been remedied for Saturday’s game. And as far as anybody knows, President Donald Trump is not expected to attend.