Roll Tide: It’s Game Day in Tuscaloosa — Daytripper University (2024)

By Daytripper Ambassador, Madeleine Moody

Welcome to the University of Alabama! On game days, our campus displays tremendous school spirit and showcases all of our time-honored traditions. I'm lucky enough to be a student at UA and happy to share with you a rundown of what to expect on a fall Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

Stay: If you are coming from out of town, there are a few logistics that are helpful to know. For starters, you must book a hotel room at least a month in advance if you are visiting for a big SEC game such as Tennessee or LSU. I recommend the Hotel Capstone because it is on campus, so you won't have to worry about parking or getting to the stadium on a Saturday. Another good option is the Hotel Indigo. It is off Jack Warner parkway and has a view of the Black Warrior River. The Indigo is a five-minute walk to the heart of downtown and a five-minute drive to the strip. (The Strip is an area of bars, restaurants, and shops along University Boulevard, about one mile from the heart of campus.)While both of these hotels are on the pricier side, I believe it is worth it for easy access. On game days, Tuscaloosa is packed with tons of enthusiastic football fans.

Park: I recommend parking off-campus. You can find places close by the campus that will be free and within walking distance. There is also a Joy Ride service that can bring you to and from school at any time, this is a golf cart service that costs only $3 per person, so it is substantially cheaper than paying 30-50 dollars for parking lots on campus. If you plan on setting up a tailgate, I recommend setting it up on Friday before the game on Saturday. The reason for this is because the quad on Saturdays becomes overly crowded, and truly, the only way to get a good spot is to claim your place on Friday.

FYI: Just as any on other college campuses, there is a clear bag policy for entering the stadium. For the safety of everyone attending the game, only clear small purses are allowed. However, fans are permitted to bring in an empty water bottle of any kind. This is especially important on very hot days at the beginning of the season to ensure one's safety and hydration. There are water stations set up inside the stadium so you can fill a water bottle at any time during the game, a much better alternative to buying the $4 Dasani bottles at concessions.

Best Bites: Depending on kickoff time, here are some of my local food favorites, other than grilling at a tailgate on the quad, which is always the best move. For an October game, a nice walk with the family on the Black Warrior River Walk is a wonderful start to any morning. On your walk, stop for breakfast or lunch at Another Broken Egg. It's a fantastic brunch spot that serves everything from omelets to pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, and wraps. (If you're over 21 add some spice to the morning with a yummy mimosa) A little further down, at the end of the river walk is my favorite coffee shop in town, Heritage House. Heritage House is the perfect place to enjoy good coffee and a delicious scone or muffin for breakfast. Thanks to its warm, homey environment, I thoroughly enjoy spending my mornings or afternoons here. For an after the game dinner, if you're in a burger mood, I recommend Mugshots Bar and Grill, right on the strip. If you're more of a Mexican food person, like me, I highly recommend Taco Mama, also on the Strip. Both are UA student's favorites thanks to the delicious food and reasonable prices; nothing is too expensive here.

On the Quad: The best part of game day, other than the game itself, is the quad activities leading up to kickoff. No matter what time kickoff is, I can guarantee there will be a quad full of people; tailgating starts from the very early morning. It is so much fun to walk through the quad and go from tailgate to tailgate. The one thing I love most about Alabama football, other than winning, of course, is the family atmosphere. Whether we know you or not, you are more than welcome to come to the tailgate. Two hours and ten minutes before kickoff, the university holds the walk of champions. Fans line the front of Bryant Denny Stadium while the head coach, Nick Saban, and the entire football team walk into the stadium in their suits, it's an iconic sight. One hour before kickoff, the million-dollar marching band performs the elephant stomp in front of Gorgas library located on the quad. The elephant stomp serves as a time for the band to get fans excited for the game and play their music before the game starts.

Game time Traditions: Being a part of the student section at the University of Alabama is genuinely an incredible experience. There is nothing quite like being inside of Bryant Denny Stadium watching our football team win. There are many traditions associated with being in the stadium during the game. Here is a play by play of what to prepare for when watching the game. The most important song to know is the 'Yea Alabama' fight song because we sing it after every touchdown, and as we all know, that happens a lot. Every time we get a 1st down, we yell ROLL TIDE and shake our shakers in the air. Usually, in the 4th quarter, we sing two songs that get the student section excited--Sweet Caroline and Dixie Land Delight. The best part about Dixie is the ad-libs that make it unique to Alabama. At the end of each game that we win, we sing Rammar Jammer to the opposing team. It goes: "Hey (name of the losing team), we just beat the hell out of you. Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer, Give 'em hell, Alabama!"

We repeat this verse about three times as we all exit the stadium.

So there you have it-- all you need to know about a game day at the University of Alabama, I hope you enjoy your experience here when you visit, as much as I do every day!

Roll Tide: It’s Game Day in Tuscaloosa — Daytripper University (2024)
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