Football Season 101

A great gameday requires a bit of preparation, especially in a town like Tuscaloosa. As hundreds of thousands of fans converge to watch college football, navigating the town can get tricky. With certain parts of campus closed to thru-traffic and crowds strolling through the streets, things like parking, transportation, and even tailgating become more difficult. 

But we can assure you – the reward is worth the extra work. And, a little bit of pre-game prepping can equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate gameday weekends like a pro. Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth T-Town gameday, here are some football season tips to help you have a smooth roll in this college town. 


Gameday Parking 

Parking is one of the hardest parts of gameday weekend. Many normal lots are closed on football Saturdays, and parking in the wrong place is sure to get you a ticket (or even towed.) But you do have options. 

If you want to park on campus, the public “Lot A” will be your best bet. This large public lot on the east side of campus is a short stroll from the quad, and you can pre-purchase passes for $30 during the week of the game. You can also buy a full season parking pass for $200. 

There’s also parking available downtown. The Tuscaloosa Intermodal Facility offers free parking and a $1 shuttle ride to the stadium starting 3 hours before kick-off. You can also park for free at University Mall and catch the stadium shuttle there for $10 round-trip. 

Of course, you can also stay at WestGate to enjoy private on-site parking just steps from the Stadium! 

Gameday Traffic

Beginning three hours before kick-off (and sometimes earlier), the core campus area will be closed to thru-traffic. It will reopen approximately 2.5 hours after the game. During this time, walking will be the only way to get around the area outside of the stadium. 

After the game, many roads will become one-way routes to ease the flow of traffic away from the stadium. You can find the most efficient gameday traffic routes on the school’s gameday website. 

Gameday Tailgating

Tailgating is a can’t-miss tradition during college football home games. The Quad is by far the most popular spot to set-up, but reservations are required for most of the space. Free tailgating is available on the Quad’s west side on a first-come first-serve basis, so you’ll want to arrive early to snag your spot.

Other tailgating tips:

  • Supply drop-off at the Quad is open from 6pm to 8 pm on Friday and 7 am to 10 am on gameday mornings. You will have 15 minutes to unload your supplies and exit Colonial Drive. 
  • Grills are the only cooking equipment allowed on the Quad. They must be monitored at all times. 
  • No excessive music or amplified sound systems are allowed on the Quad. 
  • All tents, supplies, and equipment must be removed from the Quad by 10am on Sunday. 

If you want to enjoy a premium tailgate without all the trouble, book your gameday stay at WestGate! Our rooftop SkyGate Club offers a new standard in UA tailgates, with exclusive perks like ample seating, multiple high-def TVs, chef-prepared meals and more. Plus, our prime location next to the stadium means you won’t miss a second of the action! 

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