As COVID-19 cases are declining rapidly across the country, Alabama and athletic director Greg Byrne are planning to get the Crimson Tide back to normal by football season.
Byrne announced on Twitter on Monday that Alabama is planning to allow fans to pack Bryant-Denny Stadium completely full for football games this fall. The announcement came as part of a larger re-opening plan for the university.
Bryant-Denny Stadium, when it’s completely full, can hold more than 101,000 people. Alabama reduced capacity to 20% last season due to the coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases have declined consistently throughout the country since early January, when numbers were at their worst of the pandemic. The United States, as of Monday night, was averaging nearly 68,000 new cases each day and just more than 2,000 deaths, according to The New York Times.
Alabama has recorded nearly 500,000 total cases, though is averaging less than 1,000 new cases each day. The state, however, is among the slowest so far to administer the coronavirus vaccine. Only about 13% of residents have received one dose so far, per The New York Times — which is better than just four states and Washington D.C. The country is administering 1.82 million doses each day on average.
Alabama, after opening its season against Miami at a neutral site in Atlanta, will host Mercer for its home opener on Sept. 11. The Crimson Tide will host seven total home games next season.
The Tide's decision to aim for full stadiums in 2021 comes after fellow SEC school Texas A&M said it would be shooting for the same thing. Texas has also said that it would like to allow fans at full capacity in 2021.
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