Bryant-Denny Stadium – Alabama Crimson Tide
Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.71
Bryant-Denny Stadium 920 Paul W Bryant Drive Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Year Opened: 1929
Yea Alabama, Roll Tide Roll
Bryant-Denny Stadium is located on the University of Alabama’s campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The outdoor stadium has been home to the university’s football team since 1929. When it first opened, the stadium was named Denny Stadium in honor of George H. Denny, the school’s president from 1912 to 1932. In 1975 the Alabama state legislature added hall of fame coach Paul “Bear” Bryant to the stadium’s name.
Bryant-Denny Stadium had 12,000 seats for the opening game on September 28, 1929. Now, because of the team’s popularity and many renovations, Bryant-Denny Stadium holds 101,821 fans, making it the eighth-largest stadium in the world – the facility has become a football mecca and the place to be on a Saturday afternoon for Crimson Tide fans.
Food & Beverage 4
The food and beverages available at Bryant-Denny Stadium are above average for a large stadium – there are plenty of concessions stands to accommodate the fan base.
The food at the concessions stands is named in the Alabama football themes of Roll Tide or Big Al. The concessions feature Big Al burger/fries or chicken tenders with fries for $10, hot dogs, jumbo pretzels and nachos for $5 each, and $4 for peanuts. There are also a few mobile stands offering items such as boiled peanuts. The Dreamland BBQ stand serves BBQ nachos, BBQ sandwiches, and BBQ sausage costing $9-$10.
The prices for the food at Bryant-Denny Stadium is typical stadium fare pricing, however, taking advantage of the wonderful restaurants around the stadium, or the food trucks on the campus green instead means you wouldn’t need to eat inside the stadium, and would thus lower your food cost.
Bryant-Denny Stadium sponsors Coca-Cola products with prices ranging being between $5 and $7. There are no alcoholic beverages sold inside the stadium, but with all the opportunity to drink before the game, there won’t be any disappointment.
The atmosphere around Bryant-Denny Stadium on Alabama football game day arguably could be one of best in college football. Alabama Crimson covers the area on game day – the only sights of non-crimson are fans from the opponent. The amazing part of this is that if you are not affiliated with either team, you just might yourself buying Roll Tide gear, to feel like you are part of the game.
There are plenty of activities outside the stadium – walking around Denny Chimes Tower to experience Alabama fans tailgating is fun, and the tower is also the meeting place for Alabama’s Million Dollar Band before heading to the stadium. In addition, the Paul W. Bryant Museum or the family fun tailgating area provide an opportunity for autographs from past Alabama players. Also, don’t miss the team’s arrival at the Walk of Champions, as the Crimson Tide faithful welcome the team to the stadium.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is a giant structure that holds over 100,000 people, although the field and layout are very tradition compared to other stadiums. The fans really make the atmosphere great, as every fan is engaged with the game via shaking pom-poms and making Bryant-Denny Stadium a sea of Crimson, as well as calling out the chants of “Roll Tide Roll.”
The pre-game entertainment begins with the marching of the Million Dollar Band, including the Alabama Crimsonettes, a group of twirlers, before a video presentation of Alabama football highlights. Then the music of AC-DC’s Thunderstruck plays as Alabama’s Coach Saban leads his ‘Bama team through the halls of the stadium – the team then enters the field behind the spirit squad, while the band plays the fight song, “Yea Alabama”. See the intro video and the team coming onto the field here:
Bryant-Denny Stadium is electric throughout the game even for lesser opponents. There isn’t a bad seat in the facility, so being involved in the game is an easy task. Also, the end of the game following an Alabama victory provides a joyous moment, with the Million Dollar Band and Alabama Crimsonettes leading the crowd in the tradition of singing Rammer Jammer:
The yellow hammer reference in the chant refers to the state bird of Alabama, but is also the nickname of Confederate soldiers from Alabama. Overall, the atmosphere at Bryant-Denny Stadium is one of the best in college football.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is located on the University of Alabama’s campus – UA is the oldest public university in the state of Alabama. Tuscaloosa is the fifth largest city in the state, and is located on the Black Warrior River, with an estimated population near 100,000 people. Tuscaloosa is a college town, with both Stillman College and Shelton State Community College located here, being the smaller cousins to the University of Alabama.
The main focal area supporting the college students’ social life is an area called The Strip. The Strip (University Blvd) is located near the University of Alabama’s campus, and the area features numerous restaurants and places to shop. The strip restaurants, such as Houndstooth, Rounders, and Steamers become filled with the Crimson Tide faithful. Houndstooth is my recommendation, as there are plenty of televisions to watch other games inside, or you can eat BBQ while drinking a cold beer. The others are also good choices; Steamers is a seafood restaurant and Rounders is a bar that features live music.
The hot spot closest to the stadium is Rama Jama on Paul Bryant Drive, although the biggest surprise might be the Evergreen Cemetery, across the street from the restaurant and Bryant-Denny Stadium. There are also numerous tailgating opportunities around the campus, especially with people renting or bringing motor homes.
If motorhomes, tailgating, or The Strip isn’t appealing to you, then visit the Bryant Museum. This museum honors Paul Bryant, who was a legendary head coach, but the museum is also an Alabama football mecca for history about Crimson Tide football and Nick Saban, who has won three national titles since 2007.
The lodging closest to Bryant-Denny Stadium is the Hotel Capstone, which is located next to the Bryant Museum. Since it isn’t far from the stadium, reservations are needed well in advance, because it’s always booked. Other lodging choices nearby include Home 2 Suites and Embassy Suites.
Alabama fans are loyal to their Crimson Tide – they are informed, intelligent, and support their team through both the good and bad years. The fact is Bryant-Denny Stadium seats 101,821 fans, and all those seats, no matter the opponent, seem to be occupied for every game. Large crowds can be loud no matter where, but Alabama Crimson Tide fan engagement is extraordinary compared to other college football fans – the fans of Alabama football are a great contributor to the amazing atmosphere at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Tuscaloosa is an hour west of Birmingham and three hours from Atlanta. The traffic on the interstate flows easily to the campus, and there are signs on the interstate directing vehicles to the parking lots.
The best way to get to Bryant-Denny Stadium is to plan ahead by going to the University of Alabama’s gameday website at https://uagameday.com/. On this website you can pay in advance for parking, although these passes can sell out, so choosing a game early in the season is vital. The key to any event, especially Alabama football, is to arrive early, plan to spend the whole day, and not just rush in for the game itself.
If you don’t pay in advance for parking, don’t worry, there are plenty of parking spaces. Most of the parking will cost $20, but there is free parking on the side streets near The Strip, but the spaces will be gone fast, so get there early and spend the day in Tuscaloosa. If you park far away from Bryant-Denny Stadium, there are shuttles that run 3 hours before kickoff and continue a couple hours afterward. The UA website provides the most up-to-date parking information, and is a source in finalizing your trip into Tuscaloosa.
Access at Bryant-Denny Stadium is quick and easy despite the large crowds, the concourses are wide, and getting to your seat is faster than places like Oklahoma or Texas. However, leaving the stadium will be a lot slower than arriving, especially in the parking areas. That said, leaving the game early for games that are already decided is a good decision, but for close games you’ll just have to be patient with the rest of the people leaving.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets to Alabama Crimson Tide games at Bryant-Denny Stadium begin as low as $45 or $50 for non-conference games. Once conference games begin, the pricing changes depending on the SEC opponent, with teams like Arkansas being the lowest at $85, and LSU-caliber teams topping out at $125. These prices are on par with other popular football programs. Although to some these prices may seem very high, faithful Crimson Tide fans pay these prices because of the high demand to see the team, not only in the region, but in the entire country.
Remember too that these prices are from the Alabama box office, which is often sold out, leaving most people to find tickets on a third-party site. The return on investment depends on your desires and your financial situation, however, the ROI is high, because going to an Alabama game on a Saturday in the fall is one of the best college game day atmospheres in the country.
A great way to begin the Alabama football experience is by visiting the Bryant Museum – the museum is an Alabama football mecca of history about the Crimson Tide. Afterwards, make a trip to the Campus Green, which is a great place for activities such as eating, drinking, and getting autographs from former Alabama players. You can also walk through the Walk of Champions, to see the men that have guided the Crimson Tide to their dominance in college football over the years.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is larger than life on a Saturday when hosting over 100,000 Alabama Crimson Tide fanatics – the stadium is a mecca for Alabama fans, and the place provides plenty of memories for all generations of Tide fans.
The tradition of Alabama football has been around for 125 years, and the program continues to be a powerhouse in the current FBS championship series. Bryant-Denny Stadium on game day is a magical experience for any fan – the atmosphere, pageantry, and loyal Crimson Tide fan base in Tuscaloosa is simply a “Yea Alabama, Roll Tide Roll” visit for any college football fan.