First time visitor! Need help and advice.

BamaMoon

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So many great tips! I really appreciate it all and I’ve got lots of things I need to check out. So a couple of follow ups.
1. So I’ll be traveling with my 16 year old nephew from Hoover AL where his mom (my sister) relocated from Michigan. I found a shuttle service that departs Hoover 5 hours before game time and I like this option of not having to deal with traffic. Has anyone taken the shuttle and will that give me enough time to take everything in??

2. I love the Idea of showing people that I’m a visitor and did the same thing when I went to other SEC games. Personally I’m a Notre Dame fan, would I be good with wearing an ND hat and a Bama shirt or should I get a Sparty hat (I’m not wearing any Wolverine gear) instead?

3. Since I’m traveling with a minor I’m assuming most campus bars wont let him inside? So should we focus more on meeting people at tailgates? In my two SEC games I attended theres nothing like the tailgates anyways.
Wear your ND colors/jersey. It wouldn't hurt to have a Bama hat too. It'll be a conversation starter for sure.

FWIW, I went to the 2012 BCS NC at the Orange Bowl when we played y'all. I actually found the ND fans to be some of the most classy fans I've interacted with. This was true before, during and after the game...despite the outcome for y'all.
 

4Q Basket Case

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So many great tips! I really appreciate it all and I’ve got lots of things I need to check out. So a couple of follow ups.
1. So I’ll be traveling with my 16 year old nephew from Hoover AL where his mom (my sister) relocated from Michigan. I found a shuttle service that departs Hoover 5 hours before game time and I like this option of not having to deal with traffic. Has anyone taken the shuttle and will that give me enough time to take everything in??

2. I love the Idea of showing people that I’m a visitor and did the same thing when I went to other SEC games. Personally I’m a Notre Dame fan, would I be good with wearing an ND hat and a Bama shirt or should I get a Sparty hat (I’m not wearing any Wolverine gear) instead?

3. Since I’m traveling with a minor I’m assuming most campus bars wont let him inside? So should we focus more on meeting people at tailgates? In my two SEC games I attended theres nothing like the tailgates anyways.
I like the idea of a ND hat and a Bama shirt. Will definitely get some conversations going.

Most of the bad blood was on Alabama's side and was a function of getting jobbed out of two national championships in the 1966 and 1977 seasons. Admittedly an Alabama perspective. But that was 40+ and 50+ years ago, and most fans aren't old enough to remember.

Since you'll have your nephew with you, I'd recommend The Houndstooth as a good hangout. He won't be allowed inside the building, but there's a covered patio out front where he'd be welcome. Has a bunch of picnic-style tables and associated seating. You could make sorties in as you run dry, and he'll be fine out there for a few minutes.

Good people watching, and a lot of excellent Southern scenery walks by. He'll like that.

In previous years, there was a barbecue joint called Big Bad Wolves that set up an open-air kitchen, selling BBQ, burgers and dogs right adjacent to the Houndstooth patio. They weren't there for the Mercer game. Don't know if that was just because it was Mercer or if it's a permanent thing. Regardless, there are all sorts of food vendors at the Quad, and several college food joints on The Strip.
 
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Pmb11

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I like the idea of a ND hat and a Bama shirt. Will definitely get some conversations going.

Most of the bad blood was on Alabama's side and was a function of getting jobbed out of two national championships in the 1966 and 1977 seasons. Admittedly an Alabama perspective. But that was 40+ and 50+ years ago, and most fans aren't old enough to remember.

Since you'll have your nephew with you, I'd recommend The Houndstooth as a good hangout. He won't be allowed inside the building, but there's a covered patio out front where he'd be welcome. Has a bunch of picnic-style tables and associated seating. You could make sorties in as you run dry, and he'll be fine out there for a few minutes.

Good people watching, and a lot of excellent Southern scenery walks by. He'll like that.

In previous years, there was a barbecue joint called Big Bad Wolves that set up an open-air kitchen, selling BBQ, burgers and dogs right adjacent to the Houndstooth patio. They weren't there for the Mercer game. Don't know if that was just because it was Mercer or if it's a permanent thing. Regardless, there are all sorts of food vendors at the Quad, and several college food joints on The Strip.
Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve gotten so many tips and suggestions that I think I’ll need about 8 hours to take it all in!
Do you think we should focus on going to bars/restaurants or just walking around campus and hoping to join different tailgates? We’re taking a Tide Express shuttle service from Hoover that leaves 5 hours prior to game time so that should give us around 4 hours on campus prior to game time.
 
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Pmb11

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Wear your ND colors/jersey. It wouldn't hurt to have a Bama hat too. It'll be a conversation starter for sure.

FWIW, I went to the 2012 BCS NC at the Orange Bowl when we played y'all. I actually found the ND fans to be some of the most classy fans I've interacted with. This was true before, during and after the game...despite the outcome for y'all.
I’ll for sure be wearing Tide gear at the game with some ND flair to show I’m a visitor and I was at that game too! I knew the game was over 2 minutes into the first quarter lol. That game was JV vs. Varsity. Still just an incredible year though to go undefeated and beating Southern Cal in the last game to clinch a spot in the BCS after suffering through the Davie/Willingham/Weis years growing up. And yes, ND fans always have that reputation I remember seeing UGA fans saying the same thing a few years back after they won in South Bend.
 
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Tug Tide

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Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve gotten so many tips and suggestions that I think I’ll need about 8 hours to take it all in!
Do you think we should focus on going to bars/restaurants or just walking around campus and hoping to join different tailgates?
I guess it depends on you and your nephew…
Does he have an interest in attending UA? If so, I’d spend more time exploring campus with him.

Do try to get by the Bryant Museum, it’s slam full of history and lore.

Isn’t the LSU game the TF tailgate this year?
If so drop by and meet some of the knuckleheads that make this board so great
 

TIDE-HSV

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Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve gotten so many tips and suggestions that I think I’ll need about 8 hours to take it all in!
Do you think we should focus on going to bars/restaurants or just walking around campus and hoping to join different tailgates? We’re taking a Tide Express shuttle service from Hoover that leaves 5 hours prior to game time so that should give us around 4 hours on campus prior to game time.
Good idea on the shuttle. You may spend a little more time on the road, but I assume you really don't get to spend that much time with your nephew, anyway. I vote for more walking around, visiting tailgates, etc., over sampling bars...
 

4Q Basket Case

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Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve gotten so many tips and suggestions that I think I’ll need about 8 hours to take it all in!
Do you think we should focus on going to bars/restaurants or just walking around campus and hoping to join different tailgates? We’re taking a Tide Express shuttle service from Hoover that leaves 5 hours prior to game time so that should give us around 4 hours on campus prior to game time.
With it being your first game in Tuscaloosa, and you’re not realistically likely to come back anytime soon, and having four hours to tool around before game time, I’d suggest a balance.

You don’t want to miss the history, pretty campus and tailgating because you’re on The Strip drinking beer. But you also don’t want to miss The Strip.

BTW — the University allows tailgaters to bring their own alcohol to their setups. But there are no beer vendors on University property.

The suggested itinerary on the Gameday tab is linked below. Tailgating is definitely allowed this year — so far anyway. I’m not sure the fanbase has gotten fully back into the swing of tailgating, though last week was Mercer, so it’s hard to tell.

Acknowledging that COVID could change anything at any time, the only thing I’m not sure about at the moment is whether the various sections of the band still play mini-concerts on the Quad.


One last thing — you didn’t mention having any women in your group. But if you do, they can’t get into the stadium with a traditional purse. It MUST be clear and within the size limitations. I think it’s 12’ x 12” x 4”, but you need to verify.

She needs to carry a conforming clear bag, or not carry one at all. If she doesn’t have a clear bag, lock the traditional purse in the trunk and leave it there.

They’re not kidding on this. She flat-out won’t be allowed into the stadium with a traditional purse….no exceptions, not negotiable, and they’re not going to care that you’re from out of town, didn’t know, etc., etc.
 
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uafan4life

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...One last thing — you didn’t mention having any women in your group. But if you do, they can’t get into the stadium with a traditional purse. It MUST be clear and within the size limitations. I think it’s 12’ x 12” x 4”, but you need to verify.

They’re not kidding on this. She flat-out won’t be allowed into the stadium with a traditional purse….no exceptions, not negotiable, and they’re not going to care that you’re from out of town, didn’t know, etc., etc.
This also applies to men with purses. :-D

Seriously, it's worth having a clear bag for several reasons. For one, it can help keep your program (if you buy one) and/or other carryables mostly protected from spilled drinks. Also, you can bring in a clear, empty tumbler for filling with water. Plus it can allow you to make a larger food run and more easily get everything back to your seat without dropping things or making multiple trips and missing more of the action. Also, since you'll likely be using your phone a good bit, it's a great place to store/carry your backup charger.

ETA:
I love the Anker Fusion series, as it doubles as both a plug-in and backup charger, e.g. -
 
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BamaNation

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This also applies to men with purses. :-D

Seriously, it's worth having a clear bag for several reasons. For one, it can help keep your program (if you buy one) and/or other carryables mostly protected from spilled drinks. Also, you can bring in a clear, empty tumbler for filling with water. Plus it can allow you to make a larger food run and more easily get everything back to your seat without dropping things or making multiple trips and missing more of the action. Also, since you'll likely be using your phone a good bit, it's a great place to store/carry your backup charger.

ETA:
I love the Anker Fusion series, as it doubles as both a plug-in and backup charger, e.g. -

I would ALSO suggest getting a powerbank. I use RavPower or Anker and have the previous version of this one:

 
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TIDE-HSV

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This also applies to men with purses. :-D

Seriously, it's worth having a clear bag for several reasons. For one, it can help keep your program (if you buy one) and/or other carryables mostly protected from spilled drinks. Also, you can bring in a clear, empty tumbler for filling with water. Plus it can allow you to make a larger food run and more easily get everything back to your seat without dropping things or making multiple trips and missing more of the action. Also, since you'll likely be using your phone a good bit, it's a great place to store/carry your backup charger.

ETA:
I love the Anker Fusion series, as it doubles as both a plug-in and backup charger, e.g. -
I have this earlier Anker model. If you want to charge it off AC, you have to have an adapter. This one has really helped on European trips and power outages...

Amazon
 
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4Q Basket Case

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There is no such thing. Closest thing is a man holding his wife's purse.
Which, as mentioned in the Gameday guide, I’ve seen several instances of this, though not much lately.

Men with slightly embarrassed looks on their faces, traipsing back to the car with their companion’s purse in hand.

Depending on exactly where the car is, it could be a long round trip.
 

81usaf92

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Roll Tide! So I’ll be making my first trip ever to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the LSU game and would love to get some advice and must see’s to get the best experience for two first time visitors. A little bit about myself is that I’m 33 years old and I’ll be traveling from Michigan for the game and taking my nephew whose a Junior in high school currently in Hoover. What are the must see’s and do’s for game day in Tuscaloosa? Thanks for any help and suggestions for a first time visitor!
I would stay in Hoover and get up early to beat traffic. There is parking scattered out all over the place best places to park is Central High School and First Christian Church on Bryant Drive. The latter fills up fast because it’s so close.

Tuscaloosa is really not this super impressive town other than the campus. Yeah some will defend it to the day that they die but it’s really not the Madison, Wisconsin that many try to make it out to be. It’s okay but it’s really the campus and a few Famous bbq places.

For a first timer yeah go to the museum and go to the walk of champions. Look around. The game will either be 2:30 CBS or 7pm ESPN. There may be a few autographs opportunities from former players.

But really having a tailgate with a tv is the best way to go. People will say go to the strip but it’s like everything else… if you have seen one college bar you have seen all of them. I think finding someone with a tailgate is always going to trump mingling with drunks on the street. But that maybe just me.

I don’t know if they are doing the security zones this year only for big games or not doing them at all. But they usually shut down streets around 4 hours to game day. But they didn’t for the Mercer game.
 

81usaf92

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As part of the response to COVID, tickets went all-electronic last year. Stayed the same this year. So I’m not sure if the old setup — you know, guys with city-issued licenses on lanyards, selling inventory of paper tickets out of their pockets on The Strip — works anymore.

I didn’t see any Saturday, but it was Mercer, so I still don’t know for sure.
Everything is transferred through rolltide.com evenue. I don’t think we will be seeing many scalpers anymore.

I think COVID just gave the SEC teams the reason to get rid of street scalpers. Heck visiting fans have to either sale or transfer their tickets by midnight of the Friday before the game.
 
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Pmb11

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I would stay in Hoover and get up early to beat traffic. There is parking scattered out all over the place best places to park is Central High School and First Christian Church on Bryant Drive. The latter fills up fast because it’s so close.

Tuscaloosa is really not this super impressive town other than the campus. Yeah some will defend it to the day that they die but it’s really not the Madison, Wisconsin that many try to make it out to be. It’s okay but it’s really the campus and a few Famous bbq places.

For a first timer yeah go to the museum and go to the walk of champions. Look around. The game will either be 2:30 CBS or 7pm ESPN. There may be a few autographs opportunities from former players.

But really having a tailgate with a tv is the best way to go. People will say go to the strip but it’s like everything else… if you have seen one college bar you have seen all of them. I think finding someone with a tailgate is always going to trump mingling with drunks on the street. But that maybe just me.

I don’t know if they are doing the security zones this year only for big games or not doing them at all. But they usually shut down streets around 4 hours to game day. But they didn’t for the Mercer game.
Since you say how the TTown isn’t some incredible college city than do you think taking the shuttle leaving Hoover 5 hours prior to game time gives me enough time to knock most of the things out? I personally am leaning towards shuttle that way I don’t have to deal with driving and battling traffic in places I’ve never been and most importantly I can drink beers and not worry about the safety of my nephew with me being behind the wheel. I agree with you on how a strip in a big college town are all kinda the same. I’m sure its pretty similar to Ann Arbor and East Lansing

I for sure agree with you on the tailgate option is always a great option. It’s the most authentic experience of all the bunch and get to see the what makes places unique versus college sports bars. I personally would probably love the museum but I’m not sure my 16 year old nephew would be keen on doing a museum and knowing his mind he probably just wants to check out Co’eds in their sundresses. I also, think it’s probably a good idea to get to the stadium a bit early so I can see the warmups and the Million Dollar Band entrance and plus not get stuck in a long line as well.
 

DogPatch

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Since you say how the TTown isn’t some incredible college city than do you think taking the shuttle leaving Hoover 5 hours prior to game time gives me enough time to knock most of the things out?
Yes. Avoid the Strip and focus on things you can't see anywhere else. Every college town has bars.

If you're interested in taking in the MDB, be sure to be on the Quad for the elephant stomp.
 

81usaf92

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Since you say how the TTown isn’t some incredible college city than do you think taking the shuttle leaving Hoover 5 hours prior to game time gives me enough time to knock most of the things out? I personally am leaning towards shuttle that way I don’t have to deal with driving and battling traffic in places I’ve never been and most importantly I can drink beers and not worry about the safety of my nephew with me being behind the wheel. I agree with you on how a strip in a big college town are all kinda the same. I’m sure its pretty similar to Ann Arbor and East Lansing

I for sure agree with you on the tailgate option is always a great option. It’s the most authentic experience of all the bunch and get to see the what makes places unique versus college sports bars. I personally would probably love the museum but I’m not sure my 16 year old nephew would be keen on doing a museum and knowing his mind he probably just wants to check out Co’eds in their sundresses. I also, think it’s probably a good idea to get to the stadium a bit early so I can see the warmups and the Million Dollar Band entrance and plus not get stuck in a long line as well.
Hoover is about 35-45 minutes away without bad traffic. I would plan to get in T-town about 10 am if it’s 2:30 and about 1 pm if it’s a night game. Like Patch said the Stomp is pretty cool if you never seen it. Especially because the MDB isn’t a huge focus anymore in the stadium since we pipe music more.

I really can’t think of “must see” things other than those listed. Probably the best restaurant on the Strip is Buffalo Phil’s. The quad has bbq trucks.

Keep in mind I’ve done the Alabama experience hundreds of times because I went there and I work a t-shirt tent. Our best tradition is winning. Other than that the major ones are already stated.