High Tide Club adds new incentives

William Evans

Registration for the High Tide Club, which offers incentives to students who sit in the upper deck of the student section during football games, is currently open.

Last football season, to compel students to pack the sky-high upper deck that came with the new stadium expansion to 101,000 plus seating, Student Government Association Senators Ryan Flamerich and Sophie Santos co-authored a bill creating the High Tide Club, a program designed to reserve seats in the upper deck for students who are compensated for their sacrifice of proximity from the gridiron.

“Last season was our first season with the new upper deck, and we didn’t want that section to be left empty,” Flamerich said.

The upper deck came with a use-it-or-lose-it policy, as Flamerich described it. If left barren during home football games, the upper deck perhaps would be zoned for general seating instead of reserved for student members of the High Tide Club.

“We didn’t want to lose that seating option for students,” he said.

Registration for the High Tide Club is available online through a student’s myBama account under the Student tab and located on the Ask SGA panel. Registration will be open until the game against Vanderbilt on Oct. 8.

The $15 dues fund $500 SGA scholarships awarded to student members and cover the prerequisites of membership, such as free concession coupons and T-shirts, said Peyton Falkenburg, the SGA director of programs advancement who is tasked with raising scholarship money.

“Last year, we gave away $7,500 worth of scholarships in the form of 15 $500 book scholarships,” he said.

High Tide Club membership does not equate to a ticket. Tickets must be acquired separately.

Members have an express entry gate to their reserved seating, a free coupon for concessions for the first 1,000 members who enter the stadium, a chance to enter into a drawing for $500 in book scholarships and a free exclusive tailgate along with a free T-shirt for this year’s game versus LSU on Nov. 5.

Members are not required to fill the upper deck for the entire season, however.

“Members do not have to sit in the High Tide section every game, but when they do sit in the upper deck, they receive all the benefits,” said Seth Morrow, SGA communications director, in an emailed statement.

The upper deck has its merits for student fans who want to avoid the long lines to the student section in the lower bowl or for students with children who would prefer to sit during the game.

“The upper deck is a great atmosphere,” Falkenburg said. “The lower bowl can get so chaotic with congestion that some students don’t want to deal with that. In the upper deck, you can sit. I went up there and didn’t stand for a second. I love that.”

The High Tide Club also helps to complete the gameday atmosphere inside the stadium.

“High Tide Club is an important program because it helps pack the stadium, which creates a hostile environment for our opponents,” said Nicole Bohannon, SGA chief of staff, in an emailed statement. “I hope all students consider joining the High Tide Club.”