Gameday in Tuscaloosa is a big deal. In terms of traffic, spirit and victories, we’ve got a lot of it.
Whether you plan to be right in the middle of the football madness or aim to avoid it at all costs, The Alice Maxwell Team has the inside scoop to help you out!
Route is Everything
No matter your Saturday game plan, we’d be willing to bet that you would rather not be stuck in heavy traffic. While some hold ups are inevitable, the worst of gameday traffic can be avoided by keeping away from main roads. McFarland Boulevard, 15th Street, Hackberry Lane, and University Boulevard are guaranteed to be jammed throughout most of the day. If possible, finding ways to circumnavigate these roads will allow your Saturday to be much smoother and less stressful. That way you can save your energy to cheer on the Tide or tend to your other Saturday tasks.
Plan It Out
While you want to leave room for any fun opportunities you might run into on the Quad or The Strip, a schedule for the day will be a game changer for your crew. Are you planning to head over to the Walk of Champions or go see Elephant Stomp? Make sure you give yourself enough time to find a good spot to see all the action. Fans gather quickly for these Bama traditions. Trust us when we say that no space will be left unfilled, so beat the crowd and claim your spot early! Your ticket means that you have a reserved seat, but you will want to arrive early enough for the pre-game festivities! Planning to head into Bryant-Denny Stadium early will you get to enjoy all the pre-game videos and performances, too! (Pro Tip: The Tradition video is something you don’t want to miss!)
Even for those not planning on attending or tailgating for the game, a schedule is a must. Knowing when the game is set to kickoff lets you know when traffic or local spots will be busiest. Walmart and Target might be safe during the Tide’s rolling, but likely not before or after. This tip is essential for anyone looking to skip the gameday hubbub, plan any outings for after the game starts!
Know Where to Go
In the vein of preparation, make sure you’re familiar with your tailgating spot and what’s available once you get there (electricity, WiFi, etc.). As for the Walk of Champions, the Elephant Stomp or just grabbing a Yellowhammer to pregame, know whether you’re supposed to be on The Strip, at Gorgas Library or outside the stadium and when. Make sure you and the people you are meeting are very specific about the location. Tuscaloosa will be crawling with fans, mostly wearing the same colors, so you may need to specify exactly where you will meet.
Don’t have tickets but still want to watch? Know the best spots to catch the game with a big Crimson Tide atmosphere. The Houndstooth and Buffalo Phil’s on The Strip are gameday staples. Baumhower’s and Dreamland keep the hype (and good food!) while putting some space between you and campus.
See the Sights
Again, gameday is a huge deal in Tuscaloosa. Fans from all over come to set up camp and support the Tide, but it isn’t just the fans that celebrate gameday. Business owners are always sure to join in on the fun. Make sure you take the time to stroll around and check out the gameday deals. Whether it’s a local pop-up shop or Bama Express and its many neighbors, you’re sure to find the perfect goods and gear for your next gameday experience.
For our non-football friends, use this time to soak up all Tuscaloosa has to offer aside from Alabama football. Take a walk around the beautiful flora and greenery of the University’s Arboretum, located about ten miles east of campus. If you want to stay a little further from campus, head over to Moundville and explore UA’s Archaeological Park. Or, get back to nature and take advantage of Alabama’s warm fall temperatures at one of Tuscaloosa’s beautiful lakes.