Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Slow entry to Bryant-Denny frustrates students

Slow entry to Bryant-Denny frustrates students

UA students planning to spend last Friday night in front of Bryant-Denny’s student gates were prohibited from doing so by a University email sent Friday afternoon.


“UAPD and the entire campus are excited about the LSU game tomorrow,” the email read. “However, students are prohibited from camping out at the student gates of the stadium.  Please remember not to show up until you are allowed to enter the stadium on Saturday.”


Sophomore Lee Drago said he originally planned to camp out but had to change his plans after receiving the email.


“We decided that every two hours we would go to the stadium and check if anybody was there,” Drago said. “When 4 a.m. rolled around on Saturday morning, [friends] called me saying they were going to stay put and hold spots.”


Drago said he and a few other friends went to the gates around 6 a.m. and remained there until they opened at 4:30 p.m.


The group of 14 was prepared for the long haul, bringing sleeping bags to keep warm and cards to occupy their time.


“Most of us were pretty delirious and cold, but we held strong and hung in there,” Drago said.


He said his group of friends usually arrives early for games and is used to a crowd accumulating, but they had never experienced anything like Saturday.


“We were used to crowds, but nothing this big,” he said. “It was amazing to just peer over the crowd and have it be shoulder-to-shoulder people. The sense of unity before the game was amazing and got all of us even more excited for the game.”


“Because of colder temperatures at night and the large number of people on campus, students were encouraged to wait until Saturday morning to wait at the gates,” said UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen.


Christa Hart arrived at the gates later, around 3 p.m. She said that she received a call earlier in the afternoon that the crowd was already large, and it was almost to the road when she arrived.


Hart’s experience was not as pleasant as Drago’s.


“It was so packed you could not move,” she said. “People were pushing and shoving. One girl threw up everywhere. People around me said that their wallets were stolen and someone attempted to steal my boyfriend’s wallet. When the gates were opened, there was a mad rush. It took 30 minutes after the gates opened for me to get in.”


Hart said that while she did get a good seat in the lower deck, stadium officials should have opened the gates earlier for the large crowd.


“I believe that the gates should be opened early when the line is that long because it will cut down on the pushing and shoving,” she said. “People will still get seated in the same order; they just won’t have to wait in a huge crowd.”


For Drago, even a half a day of waiting didn’t yield the desired results.


“We really wanted front row,” Drago said. “There were a select number of people let in the gates early in order to put pompoms on the seats. They claimed the first couple of rows. We were extremely disappointed due to the fact that getting there over 12 hours before kickoff didn’t get us front row.”





More to Discover