A little more than a week before a delayed reopening, Bryant-Denny Stadium’s renovations are wrapping up.
Texas A&M will visit next Saturday in the first game in a reduced-capacity stadium that received an $107 million update.
The stadium will seat just under 20,000 fans as part of the social distancing requirements, Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne said in a Thursday interview with AL.com.
Byrne also revealed the new capacity of the 91-year old stadium when it can be filled to the brim again one day.
Bryant-Denny Stadium will now seat 100,077 after the offseason renovations to club and luxury seating.
It had a capacity of 101,821 since the 2010 addition of the south end zone upper deck and luxury seating.
The new capacity will not impact Alabama’s standing on the list of largest college football stadiums. It remains No. 7, just behind LSU’s Tiger Stadium that seats 102,321. Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor remains the largest with seats for 107,601.
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Alabama’s shift to a slightly smaller capacity follows the trend of colleges pulling back from the arms race for the biggest while shifting to emphasize the premium experience.
It’s a smaller dip in total Bryant-Denny capacity than originally planned. The 2018 announcement of the overhaul called to remove most of the south end zone upper deck to make way for a massive video board and standing spaces. Byrne at the time said he expected the capacity to dip below the 100,000 mark under that plan.
That changed in the summer of 2019 when amended plans left the upper deck intact with the luxury seating being the main focus of the renovation. Construction work began just days after the 2019 home schedule ended and is set to debut, on a limited basis, next Saturday with Texas A&M visiting.
Largest college football stadiums by capacity
Michigan Stadium 107,601
Beaver Stadium (Penn State) 106,572
Ohio Stadium (Ohio State) 102,780
Kyle Stadium (Texas A&M) 102,733
Neyland Stadium (Tennessee) 102,455
Tiger Stadium (LSU) 102,321
Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama) 100,077
Darrell K Royal Stadium (Texas) 95,594
Sanford Stadium (Georgia) 92,746
Rose Bowl (UCLA) 91,136
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