ATHENS — There was a lot of newness on display at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. To start with, the Georgia Bulldogs were operating their pregame from their new West End digs. From a logistics standpoint, that provided a very different look and feel to the proceedings down on the field.
It’s a pretty narrow passageway from which the Bulldogs emerge from their fancy new locker room. So it takes them a while to get out, especially when there are 105 of them dressed out as they were today against Austin Peay.
Georgia was entering the field from the west side of the stadium for the first time in at least 60 years, according to UGA sports communication. The Bulldogs traditionally dressed and entered from the East End. In the 1940s, they got dressed in Memorial Hall and then walked down to the stadium. But Georgia’s Claude Felton said it’s believed they ran onto the field from the East End then as well.
Also, the East End suites were making their debut. Georgia officials said the 11 premium-seating areas where recruits used to sit are sold out. They provide seats for 20 people apiece. More importantly, they provide access to the new Locker Room Lounge. It’s a full-service bar and eating area in the space where the Bulldogs gathered before games for decades.
The lounge stayed a pretty packed as there were numerous TVs in the air-conditioned space. And, of course, drinks. But they couldn’t bring alcohol into the seating areas.