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Tuscaloosa businesses brace for loss due to no tailgating, 20% capacity rule this football season

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — After learning there will be only a 20% capacity inside Bryant-Denny Stadium this season and no tailgating, some Tuscaloosa businesses are worried about the bottom line.

Benton Chambliss is concerned about losing business this football season.  He is the owner of Coaches Corner RV Park on Hargrove Road.  Last season the park was loaded full with out-of-town football fans who tailgated every home game weekend.  But Chambliss says this year might hurt his business if not as many customers show up.

RELATED: Alabama football games to be limited to 20% capacity at Bryant-Denny Stadium, tailgating banned for 2020

​”Several of them don’t really want to come just to tailgate, they want to come to go to the game.  And if they can’t go to the game they probably won’t come,” Chambliss said. “So we will have a lot of people who won’t come and hopefully many more that will.”

University of Alabama student Kaitlyn Mahowald is being optimistic.  Her family tailgates many home games during the football season and she is hoping more families will come to Tuscaloosa.

“I think that people will still be able to come to Tuscaloosa because they have kids who are students here,” Mahowald said. “And they will still want to experience a game day weekend whether it here or home or at an apartment so I think 20% is better than nothing.”

Chambliss is also hoping for the best but is not sure how things will turn out.

“We are still here and we will still be here and hopefully, for some who don’t come, there will be others who will like to come and tailgate,” Chambliss said. “We will be able to survive this year but if this is something that continues into the future, it would severely hurt the business”.

The Alabama Crimson Tide’s first home game is October 3 against Texas A&M.


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