- Jamie Squire/Getty Images
- President Donald Trump was booed as his motorcade arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night ahead of the college football national championship game.
- Fans were waiting outside for an extended period as multiple entrances were shut down to accommodate Trump’s arrival, leaving many seats empty as the game came closer and closer to kickoff.
- Walking out for the national anthem, Trump received a slightly warmer reception.
President Donald Trump’s motorcade was booed as it came into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night ahead of the college football national championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.
— David Wharton (@LATimesWharton) January 9, 2018
Fans were waiting outside in the rain as Trump, dealing with longer wait times due to some of the stadium’s entrances being closed to accomodate Trump. As the presidential motorcade rolled past the awaiting fans, many of those hoping to making into the stadium before opening kickoff booed.
CNN’s Andy Scholes captured the moment, which you can watch below.
They locked down @MBStadiumfor @realDonaldTrumpan hour ago and myself and a thousand fans have been waiting in therain to get in. Letâ¬”s just say there were plenty of boos whenTrump arrived pic.twitter.com/6XIr8YO5gO
— Andy Scholes (@AndyScholesCNN) January 8, 2018
Even after more entrances were opened up once Trump was in the building, there were long lines of Georgia and Alabama fans waiting outside the venue as the game inched closer and closer to opening kickoff. Inside, the empty seats were apparent.
Less than 15 minutes to kickoff and there are many more empty $2000+ seats than full ones pic.twitter.com/BOcb4KZkmj
— Jerry Palm (@jppalmCBS) January 9, 2018
“Yes, there were delays as a result of the Secret Service protocol. Gate 1 was closed for a time. We regret that fans were inconvenienced,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement.
Fans, many of whom had spent upwards of $2,000 to get into the arena for the game, were understandably upset.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Lance McInnish, who came to Atlanta with his wife. McInnish and his wife got into the stadium in time for the national anthem, ending a three-hour wait outside in the chilly, rainy weather. “I’ve been to Arlington, I was at the Sugar Bowl last week, I’ve been here a couple times. It just seemed like nobody knew what they were doing,” McInnish said.
“It’s a madhouse,” said Lawanda Buggs, whose son Isaiah is a defensive lineman for Alabama. “I’m just getting in and I’m mad. I waited three hours. I’m a parent.”
Trump would later take the field during the national anthem, where he would receive a mix of boos and cheers in what sounded like a slightly warmer reception.