Would You Attend a Competitive Soccer Match at Bryant-Denny Stadium?
Bryant-Denny Stadium has been the home of the Crimson Tide since 1929, but it has not hosted any other sport other than football on its sacred grass. However, will that be changing soon?
Professional soccer teams, especially those that aren't in Major League Soccer (MLS), have recently decided to play some cup matches, tournament matches, and even some friendly matches here in the states. In order to house all the fans that want to attend, many MLS stadiums aren't large enough, so they decide to play in larger venues, such as the Rose Bowl or The Big House.
For example: this year, English Premier League (EPL) teams Liverpool and Chelsea will play an International Champions Cup match (ICC) in the home of the UCLA Bruins on July 27. These two English teams haven't had the best of seasons thus far (although Chelsea are the reigning EPL champions), but you can expect a full house when these two teams meet in the Rose Bowl.
Another prestigious ICC match set in the United States will pit Bayern Munich against Barcelona at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on July 30, arguably the two best teams in the world. These teams will draw a massive crowd, and a massive crowd means some massive income.
With that being the case, would this be a good idea for top-tier international soccer teams to play a match from time to time in Bryant-Denny Stadium? The US Women's National Team is coming off a World Cup championship and the men's squad has gotten much better over the past few years, and this success has added an influx of interest in the sport of soccer in many Americans.
In short, yes it's a great idea. Bryant-Denny is one of the biggest stadiums in the country, anything that happens in that stadium has added relevance automatically, and not to mention that Bryant-Denny is the home of the greatest dynasty on the planet now. The local Tuscaloosa economy would benefit greatly from so many people coming in and buying hotel rooms, eating at restaurants, watching the game in local bars, and the added benefit of it being an internationally broadcasted event.
Does it have to be a marquee match-up in an important game? No. But it would be an unbelievable event inside one of the greatest sports venues in the world, no matter what was on the line for the teams involved.
And if the United States gets the chance to host another World Cup, Bryant-Denny would have to be one of the top stadiums for consideration to host a match or two, right?
What's not to like about this idea?