Food vendors come to student section


CW/ Price McGiffert

Jackson Fuentes, Contributing Writer

For Alyssa Hochstetler, waiting in line for food or drinks at concession stands during University of Alabama football games last year took forever. At this year’s first home game, she saw a change.

Hochstetler, a sophomore majoring in fine arts and art history, said the congestion at concession stands was considerably less after long lines were split up due to the addition of new stadium vendors in the student section of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Now students can purchase food and drinks from their seats during the games.

“I think this is a great way to grab a snack without having to stand in the long lines of concession stands,” Hochstetler said. “I like being able to buy a water without having to leave the stands and miss out on the game.”

Hochstetler said the new vendors also make the buying process easier during games.

SGA President Price McGiffert, a senior majoring in civil engineering, said he worked predominantly with stadium vendors to ensure they could serve the student body in addition to the rest of the fans in the stadium. The effort resulted in stadium vendors throughout the student section, something the University has never had before.

“People don’t want to lose their seat,” McGiffert said. “They got there early so they could be exactly where they are, and they don’t want to go wait in line.”

The stadium vendors, which have operated throughout the rest of the stadium for years past, were unable to work in the student section before because of their inability to refill their items, McGiffert said.

“The main problem was they just didn’t have a refill location in the south end zone,” he said. “We actually got one added, and that’s going to make it to where we can have vendors there and they can go and refill and then come back out to the student section.”

In addition to having stadium vendors for the game, McGiffert said Associate Athletics Director Brad Ledford worked with other UA administrators to bring in concessions such as Chick-fil-A and Dippin’ Dots.

In cooperation with the SGA, the University has also introduced other features such as frozen lemonade, grab-and-go markets and vendors available throughout the first and second levels due to the new refill station.

While Ledford did not return a call for comment, the addition of more food and drink items was well received by some students such as Bailey Bowling, a junior majoring in political science.

Bowling said Chick-Fil-A’s expansion into the stadium is really exciting because the food tastes good and is well liked by many.

“I think that Chick-Fil-A is great,” Bowling said. “Chick-Fil-A currently has availability in the Ferguson Center and Lloyd Hall, and I think it’s great that they are expanding their availability to students into Bryant-Denny Stadium where it’s very important to have very good game day fuel.”

Isaiah Peter, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, said the new food options will help make games more enjoyable.

“I’m really excited about the Chick-Fil-A being in Bryant-Denny Stadium as well as the Dippin’ Dots,” Peter said. “I think it’s a great addition to the student experience.”

Additions such as the grab-and-go markets give students more food options than before, so students who do and do not have limitations on certain food items will have more necessary options for eating at the game, said Rachel Bennett, a junior majoring in mathematics.

“I think providing a variety of food options is important,” Bennett said. “A lot of people have allergies, are eating gluten-free, vegan or have other food limitations, so a variety gives them plenty of choices when it comes to snacking at the games.”

Students with food limitations may now have a chance to grab something they know they can eat at a grab-and-go market, or they can order something they know they can eat at Chick-Fil-A as opposed to having to pass by a concession stand because they aren’t sure about the contents of the food, Bennett said.

“I think it’s really cool that they are giving those options,” she said. “Students might not know what they can eat off a concession menu, but know exactly what is OK to order from Chick-Fil-A.”

Additionally, McGiffert said the initiative aims to push students toward staying for the entire game.

“This is also a way that we can hopefully encourage students to stay for four,” McGiffert said.