Once again I had the pleasure of being the guest of the Red Bull company at an event. Over the years I have had the chance to be the guest of many a company, at many an event and nobody quite blows it out like Red Bull. First off if you are ever their guest, get a room, find someone to drive and bring your drinking shoes. First win of the weekend was scored on the room. Last time they handled it but I had to provide my own this trip. No problem, got on priceline and for the grand total of $63 was able to book a room for Saturday at the Atlanta Hilton downtown. We had stayed there once before when we went and saw Springsteen and were happy to score again. It is right downtown and a short cab ride to the Georgia Dome or Phillips Arena. Checked in and received a nice room on the fifteenth floor. Is Paris Hilton really going to own this joint some day?
We had enough time to cool our heels and enjoy a couple of nice adult beverages before we headed out to the dome. Grabbed a cab in front of hotel and headed over around 4:30, ride cost $10, tipped $3 each way. Pretty cheap especially when I found out they charged $30 to park for this event. Second win of weekend. On ride over we drove through Centennial Park, it was my first time there. Seemed a little strange to see people playing in the fountains in the rain. I don't believe it would be the draw it is to people without the bombing that happened there. Red Bull had a hospitality set up in the convention center next door to dome, along with many others. Kind of a strange deal as all the hospitality was set up in the middle of what also served as the pits for the race. They let the general public in from four until six, for gawking and autograph hawking. Due to this the bar would not open unfortunately until 6 O'clock. I guess I never realized the popularity of motocross as a sport. There were long lines for autographs for many riders, but especially for James Stewart. I had never heard of him until a few years ago but he is huge in the sport and with the endorsements. Also he's a Red Bull sponsored athlete so naturally they brought him over for a little interview. Also was introduced to a guy as here is one of our athletes. In talking to him found out he was a mountain boarder, huh? Basically a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard is used to come down mountains over any terrain. Pretty nuts but this guy had been all over the world doing it. They had a nice buffet of fajitas laid out so we enjoyed that and then checked out the rest of the pit area, not really into the dirt bike thing but it was interesting to see how many people were. Finally the bar opened and the party started. A Red Bull bash is something to behold. Always music blaring with a DJ doing his thing. Many of the guests are bar owners and employees so it tends to be heavy on the sauce and loud, the only thing I can compare it to is a frat party. We ran into Andy from Moondogs, a local Atlanta Bar, who we had met in Nashville for an IRL race. Very nice guy, he introduced us to his roommate whose name is in a brain cell long since killed and Hugh. Hugh was one of the funnier people I had met in a long time. He recently graduated from GTech where he played center on the football team. The Red Bull was being served a couple of ways. Red Bull and Vodka or Red Bull and Jagermeister. Had to go for the Vodka as Jager Bombs seemed like a bad idea at the time. My preference is Red Bull, Rum and a splash of Grenadine but that wasn't offered here. Shame really. Also serving beers of which I enjoyed at least one but I can't recall what it was other than it wasn't domestic. Race started at 7 but they didn't kick us out of pit area until 8, so we just hung out and enjoyed the hospitality to its fullest. When we left I think we were supposed to go out the way we came in but it seemed like a better idea at the time to just follow the motorcycles from the pit area to the dome. Shortly we found ourselves in the bowels of the dome and despite our worries of coming out at the start finish line we made our way to the seats. Nice view, 14th row and a good view of the track. Unbelievable crowd of over 70,000 people. Dangerous as hell sport, seems like someone was always landing on someone else every race. Took tons of pictures but that only served to remind me that I have to get a better camera if I want to seriously pursue photography as a hobby. If you read this far you are a glutton for punishment or a relative.