WUAL/23‘s Jaboree Prewitt reported on the preparation for the Crimson Tide‘s first home game of 2022. He quoted the General Manager Landon McCrary of the Booth as having said:
“We have seven game-day bars across seven different fraternities all across University Boulevard and we’ve been preparing for them all week.”
McCrary must have been referring to the game-day bars for which Brandon Hanks, owner of The Booth and an incorporator of Downtown Entertainment LLC., had secured special events retail licenses from the Tuscaloosa City Council for. At the August 23, 2022 Council meeting, Mayor Walt Maddox commented, after fourteen such licenses for Downtown Entertainment LLC had been approved, as reported by Mark Hughes Cobb in the Tuscaloosa News, “Now that we’ve taken care of the alcohol needs of Tuscaloosa for the month of September…’ “
Prewitt also wrote that “18-wheelers loaded with beer” had been arriving at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alcohol will be will be available for the first time at the majority of concessions stands and portable stations. McCrary, as reported by Prewitt, commented on the impact of alcohol sales in the stadium. He said, “I think the crowd might be a little bit rowdier when they come in here, but I don’t think it will be different than any other Saturday.”
The Tuscaloosa City Council voted on granting a license for Levy Premium Foodservice LP to sell beer and wine in the stadium at its August, 17, 2022, weekly council meeting.
During a City Council hearing in February, Levy Premium Foodservice representative Herbert Tesh had said that ‘hawking’ (the selling of alcohol by concession stand workers to seated fans) at football games might be a possibility.
The official athletics website for the University revealed that the “game day experience” wouldn’t include the sale of alcohol in the stands by hawkers. The report by RollTide.com said:
Guests must be 21 to purchase and show valid proof of identification. IDs will be checked at time of purchase, and there is a limit of two alcoholic beverages per transaction. Sales of beer and wine will conclude at the completion of the third quarter.
The use of hard to detect fake IDs may make the sale of alcohol to under-aged drinkers inevitable. The location of the concession stands away from the student sections in the stadium was designed to curtail such sales.
Of course traditionally students have brought booze into the stadium. The use of walk-through magnetometers and handheld metal detectors to scan students prior to entering the stadium will not detect the red plastic flasks that are sold at stores nearby the stadium.
Students have left football games early in the past, angering Alabama’s Coach Nick Saban, as reported by SI/CFB‘s Jenna West in 2019. As a consequence, in USA Today, Andrew Joseph wrote that a version of the app FanMaker would be used to track students. Those departing early would lose Loyalty Points.
Greek organizations at the University have filled the block seating in the student section. The Crimson White‘s Jackson Fuentes in 2018 wrote about the practice. Perhaps the lure of after game fraternity parties had too great for any students who crave another drink?
In T-Town, on game days, in the stadium now as well as in its streets, there’s a veritable sea of booze bought in by the Crimson Tide.
One thought on “T-Town Awash In Booze”
Jasmine Hollie in The Tuscaloosa News reported that “[University of Alabama’s associate director for Event Management and Transportation Services Nick] Frenz said one potential benefit of [alcohol sales in the stadium] is that the availability of alcohol at the game could discourage fans from overindulging before they enter the stadium, which in turn could decrease the number of alcohol-related illnesses and injuries on game days.” The idea that bars won’t be full prior to the night game and that fans will pace their drinking accordingly strains credulity.