The Alabama Crimson Tide are scheduled to host the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium for their 2021 college football home opener on Sept. 11.
As of the first day of March, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne is planning to have a full house for that contest:
With this announcement, we've received a number of questions regarding capacity at Bryant-Denny for @AlabamaFTBL in 2021.— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) March 1, 2021
We are moving forward with plans to have a full stadium in the fall and will monitor medical guidelines as we have all along. #RollTide https://t.co/zEjIWIDUMZ
Per Alex Scarborough of ESPN, Alabama reduced its capacity to 20% last fall because of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. With the university planning to open in-person instruction without restrictions on classroom capacity for the fall term, the hope is that Bryant-Denny Stadium will again return to a capacity of 100,077 fans in September.
While COVID-19 infections and infection rates are dropping throughout the United States, there are continued concerns that new variants might make current vaccines obsolete or less effective down the road. Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country at 13%, according to Scarborough..
As things stand today, the New England Patriots are among NFL franchises planning for full stadiums this fall. The NFL has said it will continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also local health guidelines through the spring and summer months.