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Bryant-Denny Stadium completes new south end zone

Jordan Eichenblatt

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Two unfamiliar shadows towered over the Crimson Tide football team at Bryant-Denny Stadium during its championship season in 2009.

On July 25, the cranes that soared over the stadium were removed and an addition that Athletic Director Mal Moore said he had never foreseen was complete.

“After the north end zone was complete, we did not think we would expand any more in the coming years,” Moore said, “but Coach Saban came into our program and the demand of tickets was very high, so we decided we should expand.”

The expansion increased the capacity of the stadium to 101,821, making it the fifth largest college football stadium in the country. The only universities with bigger stadium capacities are Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee and Ohio State.

“You’re not going to get any negatives out of me relative to the great venue that I think Bryant-Denny Stadium has been to play in,” Alabama football head coach Nick Saban said. “I’m sure now it will be even better – maybe one of the best in the country.”

Coincidentally, the sum of each individual number in the total capacity of the stadium adds up to 13, which is also the number of national championships Alabama has won over the years. Director of Athletic Facilities Thad Turnipseed said he would happily add one more seat if the Crimson Tide were to win another championship.

Mal Moore said he didn’t want to add just one more but keep building and making it bigger.

“Well, I don’t want to add just one seat,” Moore said. “It would be too hard to squeeze that in. I do want to keep building and expanding on the stadium.”

While the inside of the stadium expansion looks exactly the same as the north end zone, there will be new rules implemented specifically for students. Those sitting in the back row will no longer be allowed to stand on the bleachers because it will block the view of the first five rows in the Zone Club seating. The back row will be monitored throughout the entire game.

The south end zone also adds a new feature to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Stadium Club, which opens three hours prior to kickoff each week, has no view of the field. However, it includes multiple flat screen televisions and a beautiful view of Bryant Drive through four three-story tall arched windows.

With the feel of an exclusive sports grill, the 16,5000-square-foot Stadium Club allows you to mix your own drinks in the pouring room.

Bryant Drive, which runs along the side of the south end zone, has been closed for more than a year due to construction. It will now house an 11,000-square-foot outdoor marketplace and will also be the new destination for the University’s admissions offices.

The marketplace will hold Yogurt Lab, a weigh and pay shop and Zoe’s Deli. It will also feature 10 flat screen televisions on the columns. In the middle of the market place is a colored Alabama Crimson Tide logo.

Two party suites and 34 skyboxes and have been added to the south end zone. Each suite has a kitchenette with an island, a buffet, a drink rail, four lounge chairs and a coffee table. On the wall in the right hand corner is a mounted television, which is set to the channel the game will air but can be changed as the skybox guests need. The skybox features eight stadium chairs behind an automatic window system.

“I think this stadium expansion adds a lot to the University as well as the total program,” Saban said. “The stadium club is great. The Zone is great. The boxes are great. The little mini mall they have downstairs will be great for the students.”

The last feature to the south end zone expansion is the Donor Hall of Fame, which is on the first level. It includes a 27-seat movie theater called the Denny Parlor, named for former Alabama president George H. Denny. Donors will also sign their pledge card in this office.

“[It’s great] to have a place where they can honor the people who have made significant contributions to the athletics department,” Saban said. “[They] are a big part of building a tradition in a different way than players do, but in a way that’s necessary to provide the kind of facilities and resources that we have here to have a first-class program.”

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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
Bryant-Denny Stadium completes new south end zone