TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Saturday marked the University of Alabama’s first home game of the 2020 season, and to ensure everyone’s safety amid the ongoing pandemic school officials made some major changes at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Despite the many safety changes, fans say it didn’t take away from their experience.
“Even though because of COVID-19, I feel like I still feel the spirit of UA,” Jack Mangold, a game attendee, said.
“You can still have a good time it’s all in the spirit and it’s not in the crowd,” Darryl Miller, a game attendee, said.
“I feel like everybody was high energy still,” Audrey Barefield, a UA student, said.
Game attendees say they know they are fortunate they could attend today’s game with seating in the stadium reduced to 20% capacity, but they are disappointed with some of the changes made.
“It’s a great sport and I think everybody should enjoy it and I know a lot of people are disappointed they didn’t get to come,” Miller said.
In addition to wearing facial coverings, everyone in the stadium was required to fill out a Covid-19 Health Assessment before they were allowed to enter.
“You have seats of two and four everywhere and as soon as you walk in you have hand sanitizing stations,” Barefield said.
Tailgate season is also prohibited throughout the entire season.
“People have the opportunity to show off their trucks as well as tailgates. They are missing out on the pregame experience and I think that takes away from it,” Miller said.
Despite all the changes, there was a consensus among everyone that their safety was taken into high account by the University of Alabama and the surrounding entertainment district as well.
“I felt very safe that’s one thing for sure there is ample security,” Miller said.
“I see the police officers outside they are making sure people wear masks,” Jack Mangold, a game attendee, said.
Officers were also heavily patrolling all day throughout downtown Tuscaloosa to ensure everyone followed safety protocols off campus as well.