BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A longtime Birmingham tradition is happening this weekend.
Alabama A & M takes on Alabama State in The Magic City Classic Saturday, but there will be plenty of changes because of COVID.
There will be fewer fans in the stands, no tailgating, no parade, and no bands this year.
But organizers of the 79th Annual Magic City Classic said that’s part of the progression of getting back to normal amid the pandemic.
But they promise this much anticipated game will still be a great time for everyone.
This is the first ever SWAC spring football season and organizers, coaches, players, and fans said they are excited and grateful that the biggest HBCU rivalry in Alabama will continue.
The Bulldogs come into this weekend’s rivalry with an advantage having won the last two meetings.
Right now, the buzz is that the Hornets are swarming and ready to get revenge, while the Bulldogs said they’re fully prepared to guard the house.
“We’ve been sharpening that stinger, Buddy. It was so tough yesterday, I mean…that stinger was so sharp yesterday…hell…we was trying to put it in and it stuck us. So, we’ll have it ready for you tomorrow,” said Head Coach Football Coach for Alabama State University, Donald Hill-Eley.
“We’re enemies until after the game. Okay? And then you can put my picture back up. How long is it? Two years now? You said it! You said you had my picture up. You’ve had to look at is every day for two years,” said Head Coach Football Coach for Alabama A&M University, Connell Maynor.
Saturday’s game takes place at Legion Field.
Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs and Hornets will be playing for the SWAC East Division Title.
And they’ll meet again this fall on October 30thfor the 80th Annual Magic City Classic.