University removes four stadium concessions stands’ mesh wiring


CW/ Grant Nicholls

Jackson Fuentes, Contributing Writer

The University removed the mesh wiring from four concessions stands at Bryant-Denny Stadium in an effort to decrease line wait times. The initiative first took place during the University’s home game against the University of Missouri on Oct. 13 in a coordinated effort with both the county and state health departments.

For Bass Riggins, a sophomore majoring in computer science, the news of removing mesh wiring from some concessions stands is exciting and welcomed with open arms.

“I think removing the mesh wiring will help decrease wait times, make it look better and more welcoming,” Riggins said. “Removal of the mesh wiring will definitely help my experience at the game, making it feel more welcoming and easier to talk to the workers serving us.”

The University’s Athletic Communications Office declined to comment on the specific number of additional stands where the mesh wiring could be taken down in the future, but SGA President Price McGiffert confirmed that the University does hope to target additional stands.

SGA Vice President for External Affairs Harrison Adams, a junior majoring in economics and finance, said the move was made purely out of convenience for the fans and the student body, not as a response to any actual health code violations.

“This is definitely proactive,” Adams said. “Everything is 100 percent up to code and everybody is doing exactly what they’re supposed to.”

McGiffert, a senior majoring in civil engineering, said the SGA helped set up meetings with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Tuscaloosa County Health Department before the University targeted four concessions stands to remove the mesh wiring for the University’s football game against Missouri.

“The goal is hopefully in the future to be able to add more places to check out and add more room on that counter than just having to go through that little hole,” McGiffert said. “We were kind of the middleman, we helped set up the meetings, and then they took it from there.”

The news came in a tweet by University Athletics Director Greg Byrne, which said removing the screens would be a big improvement for the stadium.

“We were given the okay to remove the screens from four concession stands by the health department at BDS on a trial basis,” Byrne said in the tweet.

The tweet also included a picture of one of the concessions stands where the wiring had been taken down, opening up one side of the concessions stand completely to fans so that more lines could be formed.

Adams said the University was able to remove the mesh wiring on some of the front sides of the concessions stands that had four sides.

“Basically what the state law is right now is three sides of a concession stand have to be covered due to rodents,” Adams said. “They don’t want anything to get in the food when they bring it before the game.”

The screens will remain up in place during the weekdays and during the offseason in order to maintain code. They will only be removed for games, McGiffert said.

While Athletic Communications declined to comment past Byrne’s tweet, the SGA said it felt good about the proactive initiative.

The SGA hopes to see concessions stands without mesh wiring eventually move into the student section so that students can get their food and drinks during commercial breaks, Adams said.

“When we’re at the game, we’re there to watch the game, but sometimes you get thirsty and sometimes you get hungry,” Adams said. “With the removal of those, hopefully we’re gonna see some improvement in times that you’re going to be at the concession stand.”