Masks, distancing, and no tailgating, the 2020 norm at Bryant-Denny

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Tide makes Tuscaloosa season debut Saturday with COVID-19 precautions in place

There will be football at Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday afternoon, but the game day experience in Tuscaloosa will be quite different than in pre-coronavirus days. Alabama makes its 2020 home debut against Texas A&M.

The stadium holds about 100,000. University officials say about 20,000 fans will be in attendance. Only about 4,000 tickets are going to students.

Tailgating will not be allowed anywhere on campus, and Tuscaloosa Police could enforce distancing rules off campus. There will be no Walk of Champions and the area will be roped-off.

Masks will be required outside and inside the stadium, except if people are drinking or eating.

More entry gates will be available to discourage lines. Concessions will be limited for the same reason and only pre-prepared items will be available.

Inside, seats will be in season-ticket pods of no more than four. Those pods will be at least six feet away from the next pod.

“Provided fans comply with policies set by the university to attend games, I think things will be okay,” said Nick Frenz, Associate Director of Events at the University of Alabama.

But is it a good idea to have more than 15,000 fans from across the state, come into one of the highest COVID areas of Alabama, and then return to their communities?

“As long as fans wear masks, follow the guidelines, social distance, I think so,” said Frenz.

University officials are pleading with people who don’t have tickets to stay away from Tuscaloosa.

“The most important thing is the game happening and if there’s a chance of an outbreak because there’s a large population of people there outside of the stadium, then that puts all of it in jeopardy,” said Frenz.

The Million Dollar Band will be reduced in size and won’t march on the field, but will be playing in the stands.

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