by 4Q Basket Case
[See map below for locations]
Starting a couple of years ago, they won’t allow backpacks, ladies’ purses or any other type of opaque bag of any description inside the stadium. It’s since spread to all athletic events. Bryant-Denny, the basketball arena, the softball stadium … every single athletic event, and I’m telling you, they are serious about it no matter how much you (or she) protests.
The Parking topic might seem to be a strange place to put this warning. But it isn’t because…
If your female companion does not have one of the compliant clear plastic bags, put the purse in the trunk and leave it there. She will NOT be allowed into the stadium with it.
They do allow clear plastic bags, and small opaque clutches, I’m guessing for “feminine articles.” There are size restrictions on both, however, and they are enforced.
Entrepreneurship abhors a vacuum, especially as regards Alabama athletics. So as you might expect, there are all sorts of dooded-up versions that pass muster. They’re available online from TideFansStore.com (TideFans.com may receive a small commission if you purchase from this link or click on the pictures above) and on The Strip. Can’t you just hear the shout of, “cuuuuute!!!”
Fair warning: They’re not kidding on this and don’t make exceptions for either the clear requirement or the size restrictions. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the male half of a couple traipsing back to the car, carrying a purse.
Regarding parking itself, unless you’re in a Tide Pride club that provides a spot, it is a legitimate consideration.
Unless you’re in a Tide Pride club that provides parking, where to park is a legitimate consideration.
The easiest solution is to park in the downtown deck, entrance on 7th Street, between and 22nd and 23rd Avenue. It’s free to park, and for $1 each way, they provide a shuttle starting three hours before game time, ending three hours afterward. Or the relatively flat 10-12 block walk really isn’t all that bad.
There is free parking on downtown streets, and there’s a pay lot (used to be free, now pay) on 6th street between Greensboro and 23rd Avenue. Even though you didn’t park in the Downtown Deck, you can still ride the shuttle from the Downtown Deck for the $1 charge each way.
South of Stadium
There’s a slew of student housing south of the stadium, between Hackberry Lane and Calvary Baptist Church, extending 3-4 blocks deep. A lot of them rent out spots in their yards. Cost varies depending on proximity to the stadium, but is usually in the $20 – $30 range.
Not a bad option, and if you commit to a season, you might be able to negotiate bathroom privileges.
About 5-6 blocks south of the stadium is Central High School. The OFC will remember this as the former location of Tuscaloosa High School, torn down in the late 1990s / early 2000s. I think there’s a charge to park, and especially if you’re not interested in pre- or post-game Strip activities, it’s a good option. If you are, the walk isn’t too bad, just a bit generic.
University Mall has a large parking area for gameday parkers. $10 gameday shuttle to & from the mall. Not within walking distance.
North of Stadium (Limited)
Student housing neighborhood similar to the one to the south, and with similar pricing. But a much smaller area in the Caplewood / Read Street / Riverside Drive vicinity.
Personally, and especially if it’s a one-off game, I’d park at the Downtown Deck and either walk or ride the shuttle in. On the way out, I’d walk or, depending on the time of day (or night) take Uber back to the deck.
The University is referring fans to an app called Clutch! for potential parking spots. It links businesses, other types of organizations, and individuals with people who need a parking space.
It launched in 2018, but I have no experience with this, it has no connection whatsoever with TideFans, and whatever you negotiate with the owner of the spot is between you and them. Caveat emptor. It’s shown here only as one of several options.
Here’s a 2018 al.com article with some of the details.
Parking Availability Apps
These are apps & websites that promise to find your an available parking spot. Use at your own discretion.