What to Expect on Game Day in Tuscaloosa This Weekend [Audio]
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After opening the season with a convincing 24-7 win over Florida State, Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide returns to Tuscaloosa to face Fresno State for the home opener.
The Crimson Tide will play seven home games inside Bryant Denny Stadium with opponents such as Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas still awaiting on the schedule.
Besides the game, over 100,000 spectators will enjoy the sights and sounds of the game day atmosphere in and around Tuscaloosa.
Prior to this weekend’s home opener, Jim Page, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, appeared on Southern Fried Sports to detail what fans should expect on game day in Tuscaloosa this weekend.
In recent years, some of Tuscaloosa’s primary thoroughfares including Interstate 20/59, McFarland Boulevard and University Boulevard have undergone major construction projects. During his conversation with host Travis Reier, Page touched on the status of the recently completed road work on Interstate 20/59.
“As you’re coming into town, one big change, one big improvement is the Interstate (20/59) work finally being finished at 20/59. That’s going to help a lot.” Page stated. “That’s a bottleneck already on game day just because of the sheer volume of traffic coming in but when it was under construction, it made it 10 times worse. So that’s behind us, and so fans should be excited about that.”
When fans enter Tuscaloosa, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce president and CEO highlighted the parking options available downtown.
“I would encourage people to park downtown.” Page said. “There’s free parking at the Intermodal Center (the parking deck) and obviously places to park all around there and it’s a $1.00 ride on the local trolley system.”
Page reminded game day travelers into town about the close distance between Bryant-Denny Stadium and downtown.
“What people don’t realize is downtown, say City Hall, downtown Tuscaloosa or the parking deck, is actually a shorter walk to the stadium than the soccer fields are.” Page stated. “It plays tricks on your mind because you can’t see the stadium from downtown so therefore you think it’s a lot further, but it’s actually closer.”
Later in the conversation, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce president and CEO discussed the city of Tuscaloosa’s policy on ticket scalpers, the impact that an Alabama football game day has on the local economy and his advice for fans coming into town.
“Come early, stay late.” Page said. “Beat the traffic by coming in early and then avoid some of the rush after the game is over. You won’t be in any hurry, enjoy dinner and let some of the traffic get out of town.”
Southern Fried Sports airs every weekday from 11 AM-noon on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.