Alabama Set to Further Expand Bryant-Denny Stadium

Mike DockeryCorrespondent INovember 12, 2008

In the wake of the unexpected success of the Crimson Tide this season, the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System is expected to formally approve expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium later this week.

According to the Mobile Press-Register, the Physical Properties Committee board will vote Friday on a "resolution authorizing execution of architect agreement and approving preliminary project budget for Bryant-Denny Stadium south end zone expansion."

Bryant-Denny Stadium South End Zone Expansion

A preliminary sketch of Bryant-Denny Stadium following the planned expansion of the South End Zone.*

According to the Birmingham News, the expanded stadium’s capacity will eclipse 101,000.*

This would make Bryant-Denny Stadium the fifth-largest football stadium in the country, and the second-largest in the SEC.

1. Beaver Stadium—Penn State Nittany Lions: 107,282

2. Michigan Stadium—Michigan Wolverines: 106,201

3. Ohio Stadium—Ohio State Buckeyes: 102,329

4. Neyland Stadium—Tennessee Volunteers: 102,037

5. Bryant-Denny Stadium—Alabama Crimson Tide: 101,000+ (estimate)**

6. Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium—Texas Longhorns: 94,113

The Birmingham News reports that the expansion will include a new 8,500-seat upper deck, an upper concourse with concessions stands, 34 skyboxes, two expanded skyboxes, a 1,700-seat capacity South Zone club, a 1,500-seat capacity Stadium club, and other amenities.

One interesting aspect of the preliminary sketches that have emerged is the architectural style used in the expansion, which incorporates white columns and a dual, curved staircase. These elements are reminiscent of the neo-classical style used in many of the University’s academic buildings.

The previous expansion used a more angled, modern style, following the lead of buildings such as the student center or the campus dormitories.

Several questions remain in fans’ minds concerning the expansion. Foremost may be whether the expansion will include two smaller video screen scoreboards, as was included in the north end zone expansion, or whether the stadium would be better served by a larger “JumboTron” to replace the current scoreboard, which will have to be removed in the expansion.

Regardless of the scoreboard situation, the stadium will become an even louder environment for opposing schools.

With additional seats, combined with the “focusing” effect that will occur following the closing of the sole gap in the stadium’s upper deck, Bryant-Denny Stadium should become an even more imposing place for visiting teams to play.

**Updated Nov. 13, 2008: A previous version of this article reported, based on the previous north end zone expansion, that the stadium’s total capacity would increase to 100,458.

*Photo courtesy of the University of Alabama/Davis Architects, Inc.

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