Tuscaloosa Mayor hopes football fans will still come to town

Game day changes at Bryant-Denny Stadium

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Seating capacity at Bryant Denny Stadium will be limited to just over 20,000 people; but Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox believes many Alabama football fans will still come to the city.

He’s hopeful they will watch the game in a local business. “Find one of those restaurants that not only you can have a great time, watch the Crimson Tide roll, but you can also do it in a safe and protected environment. It’s good for that restaurant that’s fighting to stay alive during COVID-19 and it’s good for the community," Maddox said.

The city will not have any official activities for Bama fans to attend in town. Maddox allowed businesses to expand their dining areas ahead of Saturday’s home opener. Police will make sure those bars and restaurants aren’t overcrowded to maintain social distancing.

“Our efforts are going to be focused in two places. One is safety and security and our Homeland Security obligations to the event on campus. Number two is a continuing to monitor bars and restaurants especially in the student driven areas to ensure compliance,” Maddox continued. Alabama at-home football opener comes less than a week after the Alabama Department of Public Health moved Tuscaloosa County to the low risk category for coronavirus spread.

“This community has done a tremendous job getting these numbers low. We’re coming to a point where we’re really going to be in good shape,” Mayor Maddox added.

The city of Tuscaloosa sent a group of people to Auburn to see how that city handled a home football game under coronavirus restrictions. Maddox said the big takeaway was very little tailgating was taking place.

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