Bryant-Denny Stadium Is a Special Place to Be on a Saturday

Bryant-Denny Stadium is an outdoor football stadium located on the campus of the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa.

It is the home field of the Alabama Crimson Tide football program of the Southeastern Conference, the SEC.

Over 90 years old, it was first opened in the year 1929, and was originally named in honor of George H.  Denny, who was the school’s President for 1912 through 1932. 

Seating Capacity at Bryant-Denny Stadium

The entrance to Bryant-Denny StadiumBryant-Denny Stadium

In the year 1975, the legislature of the state of Alabama added the name of long term head coach, alumnus, and legend, Paul “Bear” Bryant to the stadium name.

Almost bigger than life, Bryant led the Crimson Tide for seven more seasons, though the year 1982.

He is one the very few active coaches to have coached in a venue that bears his name.

Bryant-Denny Stadium currently has a seating capacity of 101, 821, making it the fourth largest stadium in the SEC, and the 7th largest in all of college football.

When it was opened in the year 1929 it was replacing Denny Field that had a capacity of 12,000, which was the lower half of the current stadiums east grandstand.

However, the President of the University, Mr. Denny, envisioned a stadium that had a capacity of 66,000 which was literally unheard of in those days.

Before the 1937 season, permanent seats were built along the east sideline, which increased its capacity to 24,000.

Further expansion occurred in 1946 (bleachers added to both of the end zones), 1961 (new seats in the west grandstand, and 1966, (both end zones with fully enclosed new seats.)

An upper deck was added to the west side in 1988, which added almost another 10,000 seats.

Bryant-Denny Stadium North End ZoneBryant-Denny Stadium North End Zone

Here is how the capacity changed at Bryant-Denny Stadium with these new additions.

  • 1936-6,000 seats added-new capacity of 24,000
  • 1946-7,000 seats added-news capacity of 31,000
  • 1961-12,000 seats added-new capacity of 43,000
  • 1966-17,000 seats added-news capacity of 60,000
  • 1988-10,123 seats added-new capacity of 70,123

During the construction period in 1987-1988, the Crimson Tide played its entire home schedule at Legion Field in Birmingham, which was 57 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa.

In the year 1995, the University’s Board approved more construction for a cost of 4.65 million to be paid by the cities of Tuscaloosa, Northport, and Tuscaloosa County.

These cities agreed to the construction costs, with the pledge by the University NOT to play their home games in Birmingham at Legion Field.

There was also extensive expansion to the stadium in the years 1998, 2006 and 2010.

There is also another major expansion planned for the year 2020, immediacy following the end of the 2019 season.

Here is how the capacity at Bryant-Denny Stadium changed in those expansions.

  • 1998-13,695 seats added-new capacity of 83.818
  • 2006-8320 seats added-new capacity of 92,138
  • 2010-9683 seats added-new capacity of 101,831

Following the 2006 expansion, there were also massive changes made to Bryant-Denny Stadium’s grounds on the north side.

The Walk of Champions at Bryant-Denny Stadium

Saturday Afternoon at Bryant-Denny StadiumBryant-Denny Stadium of a Saturday Afternoon

A walk of champions was added which required the demolition of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house and the grading of the hill it set on.

The walk of champions is made up of a brick plaza leading to University Boulevard on the north end zone entrances.

The plaza features 16 granite monuments set into the walkway that commemorates the Crimson Tide’s SEC as well as their several National Championships throughout the years.

Along the west side of the plaza there is also five 2,000 pound tall bronze statuses, for each one of the coaches that have led teams to National championships.

The statues include Wallace Wade, Frank Tomas, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Gene Stallings, and the current coach, Nick Saban.

Each of the Statues has a semi-circular wall that bears the coaches name and the years that he led his team to a National Championship.

Finally there is a bronze statue of two anonymous Alabama football players at the entrance of the North end zone.

The one on the left is holding a large Alabama Crimson Tide flag that is upright on a flagpole.

This player is wearing the number 18 and a helmet, with the player on the right wearing number 92, and pointing into the distance.

These Jerseys, 18 and 92, represent 1892, the first season of Crimson Tide football.

Beginning in the year 2009, Bryant-Denny Stadium as well as Auburns University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium, became the homes of the high school playoffs.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association state football championship games alternate between the two fields.

The odd years they play at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the even years they play at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Coach’s Records at Bryant-Denny Stadium

Statue of Paul "Bear" BryantThe Walk of Fame at Bryant-Denny Stadium

When most Alabama football fans think of the records of their coaches, all that they can think of is “Bear” Bryant, and the current coach, Nick Saban.

However, there are other records and here are all of their records while coaching in Bryant-Denny Stadium (not their complete record—just in the stadium)

  • Wade Wallace—------1929-1930   6-0
  • Frank W. Thomas -1931-1946 37-3-1
  • Harold “Red” Drew 1947-1954 18-3-1
  • J.B. “Ears” Whitworth 1955-1957 2-4-1
  • Paul W. “Bear” Bryant 1958-1982 72-2
  • Ray Perkins ---------------1983-1986 11-2
  • Bill Curry------------------1987-1989   4-2
  • Gene Stallings------------1990-1996 22-4
  • Mike DuBose-------------1997-2000 9-8
  • Dennis Franchione-------2001-2002    6-5
  • Mike Shula----------------2003-2006    19-10
  • Nick Saban------------2007- present   165-23

Bryant-Denny Stadium offers tours that give you a look behind the scenes.

These tours include a special look at several areas including the home team locker room, the recruiting room, and a walk on the field.

These tours are offered each day Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM.

The price of the ticket is $12.00 per person, with a group price of $10.00 per person, for those buying 15 or more tickets.

The tickets are sold until 8 AM the day of the tour on a first come, first served basis.

There are a few exceptions, however.

Tours will NOT be conducted on university observed holidays, Fridays prior to home football games, or when special events prohibit them.

Bryant-Denny Stadium is full of history and excitement and is definitely a “must see” on your list of Tuscaloosa day trips.


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