Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said that the university is planning for full-capacity both in the stadium and in surrounding tailgate areas.
“We are planning on full capacity, we’re planning on having tailgating and all those different things,” Byrne said in a radio interview. “And at the same time, we still hope that people will do what they can to make it as safe as possible.”
Byrne credits the athletic department, and the football team in general, for doing their part and getting vaccinated. Like company men all across the country, Byrne has essentially decided that vaccination optics are the clearest path forward to a return to normalcy. To his credit, though, it doesn’t seem as if vaccination paperwork will be required to enter Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“We’re really proud as an athletic department,” Byrne said. “We’re at 91.85 percent vaccinated as of a couple of days ago — all told, all our teams.
“For football, Coach Saban’s been very vocal about it. We’re at 99.5 percent. And what we’ve tried to do is say, ‘Hey, we’re doing it. We’re setting an example, we’re trying to lead and encourage.’ Have people had any side effects? Sure, from time to time there’s been some. But I go right back at them and say, ‘Man, I had COVID, and it kicked my tail for two and a half months and was like nothing I’ve ever dealt with before. I don’t wanna deal with that again.’
“So as soon as I was eligible, I went and got vaccinated, and I’m very glad that I did. We’ve tried to do all we can to encourage that and say that it’s safe. We’ve got great scientists and doctors, and our entire medical team said that’s the right thing to do and we’ve been following their guidance.”
It’s bravery like this that will eradicate COVID once and for all.