If Atlanta is dumb enough to be a part of building an open air stadium without a retractable roof, then the champagne corks will start popping in Birmingham. Because you can bet that they’ll figure out a way to build a ball park to get the SEC championship football game to come back (the first two games were played in Birmingham in 1992 and 1993). And you can bet that New Orleans would be putting together a bid and sprucing up the Superdome. A big part of what has made the SEC championship game one of the great success stories in sport is that weather is not a factor. Weather has been a factor for the Big 12 and the ACC and the results on those championship games has been mixed at best. The SEC, in my opinion, will not play this game in an open air stadium.
— I have all the respect in the world for Tony Barnhart, and he makes several good points in this article
. (Hat tip: Team Speed Kills
That said, I don't buy the argument about the weather. Except for the
nine years I spent being educated in Athens, I have lived in the metropolitan Atlanta area for all of my 41 years. It doesn't snow in Georgia in December, and it's not like we're in Seattle or Tampa as far as rainfall is concerned.
Yes, it gets plenty cold around here, but I've been to any number of games in Sanford Stadium when it was freezing (the 1992 Georgia Tech game and the 1995 and 1997 Auburn games spring immediately to mind), and we're dedicated enough football fans to brave the cold.
It's Atlanta in early December. We can tough it out. Barnhart's basic premise about how dumb it would be to dynamite the Dome may well be right, but weather is a factor in football---remember all those rainy Georgia-Florida and Texas-Texas A&M games, or, better yet, all those Nebraska-Oklahoma games played in the sleet and snow?---and the failure of the ACC championship game has nothing whatsoever to do with climatic conditions in the Sunshine State.
It's football. It's played in the cold and rain. Cope; it ain't major league baseball, for crying out loud.