In chatting with Hooks last night over twitter, and him mentioning that he and his sister are going to be in town for the Pens/Thrashers game tomorrow night, I got to thinking - I'm sure a few of you guys might either be coming in to see the game, or coming out of your own igloos (see what I did there?) to drive down to Phiips to catch it.
Me being the overly nice Thrashers fan that I am (and, I admit, I've had a thing for the Pens since I was a kid), I figured that I would direct those of you who are out of towners (or those of you who live in ATL and just don't know) to the cheap and actual safe parking.
The $10 lots are way away from Philips, and with the Atlanta PD being a little strained right now, I'm afraid I wouldn't trust the walk. CNN and Centennial decks are right across the street, but they're $15. The very *bottom* most level of the CNN deck, where the media, arena staff, and ice girls park, though, is $8. It's just tricky to get to.
If you're coming from north of the city, get off at the Howell Mill/Northside Drive exit, and hop onto Northside (not the first part of the exit, but the 2nd). Drive down Northside (stay in the right most lane, because the left one turns into a turn lane), and take a left onto Marietta Street. When you get to Park Avenue West, take a right (if you hit Centennial Olympic Park Drive, you've gone too far). Follow the road down over the train tracks and keep following it. The media entrance to the arena is on the right - go straight a little ways and you will see 2 lots. They're both $8, but I prefer the covered one. It's easier to hop the elevator or go up the steps to the street level, and after the game if you leave out of the CNN Deck exit, you can walk right to the deck over a walkway and straight down - it's pretty safe. The uncovered lot requires you to walk around the corner right under the arena, find the back gate to the MARTA station, and head up through that way, putting you on the whole other side of the arena away from the CNN Center. If you're wanting $6 32oz beers before the game, you probably want to wind up on the street level closest to the center.
If you're coming from the south of the city, or in the city itself, take Centennial Olympic Park Drive until you hit Marietta Street, turn right, and then at the 2nd light, turn left and just follow the instructions above.
Hopefully this saves you guys a few bucks - I always enjoy the games against the Pens, because it's pleasant to have a nice fanbase invade en masse. I've never had a Pens fan heckle us or the team. Thank you for being classier than Sabres and Flyers fans... not like that takes a bunch of effort, but it's appreciated.
Good luck tomorrow night!