BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thousands of fans will travel to Atlanta this weekend to see Alabama and Georgia square off in the SEC Championship game. But if you don’t want to deal with the headaches that can bring, one bus company can help you out.
Southern Sports Tours is taking fans to the game Saturday. Their ‘Tide Express’ buses will pick them up at several locations around Birmingham. When the game is over they’ll bring them back home. It’s a way to make game day easier for fans.
“We try to take the stress and the problems out of it,” Souther Sports Tours owner Tom Boyette said. “And like we say: let Southern Sports do the driving and the parking, and you come and have a good time.”
Fans also can have a good time along the ride. The luxury buses seat 56 people. They have WiFi and TVs for fans to enjoy, and they can also bring food..
“We allow them to bring like a small six-pack cooler if they want to bring some food or drinks or whatever to enjoy themselves on on the way over, because it’s two-and-a-half-hour drive,” Boyette said.
The buses also have space underneath for bigger coolers and tailgating gear. So fans can take everything they need to have fun before the game.
“And once they get there, we’re parked in the same place all day, so they don’t have to worry about finding us,” Boyette said. “We have convenient parking, and we’re sitting there waiting on them when they get out of the game and ready to go back to Birmingham.”
Boyette’s inspiration for the company came after a trip to New Orleans to attend the Super Bowl. He had to stay in Biloxi, Miss. and took a shuttle from there to the game. He loved the experience and saw it as a business opportunity.
“You don’t have to worry about the parking, the driving,” he said. “If you have a couple of drinks, you don’t have to worry about that. Everything’s taken care of. It just takes all the stress out of it, and just makes it a fun, relaxing day.”
That was 18 years ago, and he’s been taking fans to games ever since. He started with tours to Talladega races, and added other events over time, including Alabama home games seven years ago.
For fans who have reserved spots, the buses will pick up at three locations around the Birmingham area. For more information and to reserve spots, click here.