The Longhorns Have Arrived
The tension and excitement surrounding tomorrow night's nationally spotlighted Texas at Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is sky high. The arrival of the Longhorn's equipment truck (pictured) at mid-day today just tweaked it up a notch on campus. Their team's arrival for a walkthrough at the stadium is adding to the building anticipation. And thousands of visiting fans wearing burnt orange and white will make the frenzy complete.
The stature of tomorrow night's game is reflected in the sold-out hotel/motel rooms, already crowded bars and restaurants, hard to get game ticket, and already bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Game will be big for Tuscaloosa's bottom line.
All home games are big for Tuscaloosa, bringing in about $20 million a game but this may be the biggest home weekend ever. According to Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, " It's an extraordinary weekend in Tuscaloosa that will strengthen our businesses and overall economy.
"Beside our responsibility to keep Tuscaloosa safe, as we double our population, we expect Tuscaloosa National Airport to be at full capacity."
Tuscaloosa National to be one of the busiest airports in the southeast.
The mayor is correct, if you still need proof that this is one of the biggest games ever in T-Town just mosey out to Tuscaloosa National Airport. Dozens of corporate and private aircraft are already on the ground with Flight Tracker showing dozens more airborne this afternoon, en route from Austin to Tuscaloosa. They have been landing one after another all day.
Thanks to the arrival of the well healed Texas Longhorn and Alabama fans, Tuscaloosa National Airport will be one of the busiest airports in the southeast for a while tomorrow.
Overflow aircraft parking will be utilized on runways 12/30, on the west ramp and at both of the airports Fixed Base Operators (FBOs).
This weekend's huge crowds will also be an extra test for Tuscaloosa and UA's added security precautions. Among them are a new permanent police prescient on the strip, new towing regulations, speed bumps, loitering restrictions and a prohibition of firearms.
You can go to uagameday.com for more information on the new security and other valuable game day information.
But what about the game itself?
At stake are the reputations of two of college football's blue blood programs. Alabama is seeking to prove that last year's two last second loses buy narrow margins was a fluke. Texas wants everyone to know the once vaunted program is back from a decade of wandering in the college football wilderness. That should make Saturday's game an instant classic like last year's last second one point Bama win in Austin.
The presence of ESPN's "Game Day" and SEC Network's "SEC Nation" broadcasts tomorrow morning is a dead giveaway that this battle is not your typical early season patsy game. All sorts of significance is attached to this one game, such as: establishing your team as a serious contender for the playoffs, leaving a calling card for UT and Oklahoma's entry into the SEC next year, quarterback comparisons and, of course, the Tide's Nick Saban taking on another pupil.
Don't have a ticket but think you would like to go? There are resale tickets available from $107.00 to $4,544. The cheaper seats are in the end zones and upper decks with the more expensive tickets in the lower bowl and premium seat areas.
Adding to the excite, Alabama's Taylor Hicks will perform on a stage at the "Walk of Champions" at 4:00pm.
Kickoff for the nationally televised contest in 6:00pm CDT. You can follow the action on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on 95.3 The Bear and Tide 100.9.