Should Bryant-Denny Stadium Require Proof of Vaccination For Entry This Fall?
The Alabama Crimson Tide football program is expected to lead the nation once again on the field as the Tide was named No. 1 in the initial USA Today Coaches Poll. The Crimson Tide is expecting to host a full capacity Bryant-Denny Stadium this fall after limiting capacity last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should the University of Alabama consider reducing capacity in Bryant-Denny Stadium again in the 2021 season with Governor Ivey issuing a State of Emergency due to rising COVID-19 cases in Alabama?
Could the Tide opt to follow the lead of nearby NFL franchise New Orleans Saints and require a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to enter Bryant-Denny Stadium?
"Number one, the logistics of that are impossible so let's put that aside. Number two, the legality of that, on so many levels, whether it's federal protection laws - regarding people's health. Whether it's state law, whether- there's so many complications so you put that into the mix," said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on the Steve Shannon Morning Show on Thursday. "Third, I don't think that helps the argument to those who are genuinely concerned and have not been vaccinated. I've asked a lot of our team members at the city, we still don't have 50% of our team members that are vaccinated, why? You want to understand why somebody believes something. Shaming and criticizing is not going to get this job done."
The Crimson Tide will not have to play in the New Orleans Superdome this season unless it is selected to play in the Sugar Bowl. The two sites for the 2022 College Football Playoff Games are in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl and in Miami for the Orange Bowl.
The Crimson Tide has seven home games this season, most notably against Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU. Would entry into Bryant-Denny for these contests convince you to get your COVID-19 vaccination?
Alabama's "Hangout Festival" has already made the decision to require proof of vaccination in order to attend to event as did Chicago's recent Lollapalooza.
The Alabama football program has led the college football world in standard of play for the last 14 seasons. The Crimson Tide has even embraced the vaccine along with the rest of the SEC, Alabama's football program was 90% vaccinated as of SEC Media Days 2021 and is closer to 100% vaccinated as the season approaches. Should the Tide lead the state and the SEC by requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to get into the games?
According to the latest reports the state of Alabama is 44% vaccinated, the lowest percentage vaccinated in all 50 states. Although in recent weeks the state has seen a significant increase in vaccinations. Seven of the bottom-10 states in vaccination rate contain 10 of the 14 member schools in the SEC.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been a part of a number of COVID-19 PSAs throughout the duration of the pandemic. Most recently, in May he urged fans to get vaccinated in order to have a full stadium this fall.
“College football fans and players both want full stadiums this fall," Saban said. "Let's make sure we can safely make this happen by getting vaccinated. Please get your COVID-19 vaccine. We want Bryant-Denny Stadium loud again this season. Roll Tide.”