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Tuscaloosa leaders look beyond Alabama's A-Day game as fans crowd the city

Pat Duggins

Alabama football season is just around the corner and fans will get a taste of it tomorrow. The annual A-Day kickoff game will showcase Alabama’s offensive and defensive lines. Crimson Tide football impacts Tuscaloosa far beyond the doors of Bryant-Denny Stadium. A-Day gives Tuscaloosa’s hospitality industry a boost. Jim Page is the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. He says events like A-Day bring fans and revenue to town.

“Alabama football fans, when they’re here, many stay in our hotels, eat in restaurants and visit bars, which generates sales tax revenue for our community. It’s a positive economic impact. It’s not quite to the level of a traditional game in the fall, but it is significant nonetheless,” Page observed.

Tuscaloosa leaders, however, are looking beyond the impact of Alabama football on the city’s hotels, restaurants and bars. Page says UA’s expansion has made Tuscaloosa’s economy less dependent on football season.

“With so many out of state students now, there’s a lot of travel from parents and people visiting. So our hospitality industry specifically really sees an impact from the University of Alabama throughout the year. It certainly peaks and spikes during football season, but there’s consistent activity throughout the year.”

Tuscaloosa leaders are specifically working to expand the city’s transportation, water and technology sectors. They say they feel these industries align with the strategic goals of the University of Alabama.

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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