How Alabama football home games will be different in 2020, new Bryant-Denny Stadium

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

University of Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne wanted to slightly decrease the capacity of Bryant-Denny Stadium in its most recent renovation, removing seats in the interest of amenities that entice the modern-day consumer.

He did not expect a pandemic to cut that new capacity by 80%.

The new capacity of Bryant-Denny Stadium won’t be tested for at least a year, as UA will keep its attendance to roughly 20% of capacity to enforce social distancing measures. It is a modified debut for a stadium that finished an offseason-long renovation just weeks before the season, including a new entrance to the stadium and locker rooms for the players. The players toured the new facilities earlier this week and UA led a media tour of the stadium Thursday.

Here’s a look at the slew of changes to Alabama home games this fall.

The University of Alabama showed off renovations to Bryant Denny Stadium Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. Director of Athletics Greg Byrne stands in the new locker room as he directs a tour. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Attendance

The 20% attendance restriction will keep Bryant-Denny Stadium to crowds of roughly 20,000, as the renovations cut attendance closer to 100,000, but not below it.

Student and band numbers were cut significantly; no single-game tickets were sold, leaving only season-ticket holders able to attend games, some doing so with fewer tickets than they typically buy and missing some games this year.

Gameday processes

Alabama is transitioning to a mobile-only ticketing model for game tickets and parking, which it said, “enables contactless entry into all venues beginning with the 2020 football season.”

UA also said it protects against fraudulent tickets.

Tickets and parking passes are now received via email, where they can be downloaded to Apple Wallet or Google Pay Wallet on a smartphone for entry. Print-at-home tickets are no longer accepted, but those without smartphones can call the UA ticket office for other options.

Ticket transfer is still possible, as is selling tickets through secondary markets. UA’s official fan-to-fan marketplace is Stubhub.

There will be no Crimson Tide shuttles or on-campus tailgating. The concession stands in Bryant-Denny Stadium will be open, but only every other register, and the open registers will be fitted with plexiglass. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at every gate in the stadium.

The University of Alabama showed off renovations to Bryant Denny Stadium Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. The stadium features four new high definition video screens that are 60 percent larger the the four they are replacing. Based upon the placement of the red seats, you can see how the social distancing plan will be implemented for Saturday's game. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

The stadium

UA will unveil the product of a $107 million renovation project on Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, one with new student amenities, new luxury boxes where the press box was previously, a new press box on the opposite side of the stadium, new locker room, Walk of Champions entrance and recruiting suite, among other changes.

The Walk of Champions has been renovated to end with a down ramp straight into the locker room, as opposed to curving left around the staircase as it did previously. It is directly below a new recruiting suite in the north end of the stadium.

"One of the things you want from a locker room standpoint, and you see with the tunnel, when recruits come in and when fans come in our tours, you want it to pop. I think everybody would agree this pops," Byrne said.

The west side of the stadium was expanded for the new luxury boxes and extending to the upper deck.

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or bhudson@tuscaloosanews.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson