City of Tuscaloosa prepares for major events happening this week in light of COVID-19.
The city will face a large number of fans coming in for the game, but also for Thanksgiving and black Friday shopping.
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - It is Iron Bowl week, Alabama and Auburn fans everywhere are counting down until kick off in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The city will face a large number of fans coming in for the game, but also for Thanksgiving and black Friday shopping.
Traditionally Bryant-Denny stadium would be filled with over 100,000 fans on Saturday but for this years Iron Bowl it will sit at on 20 percent capacity due to COVID-19.
The Alabama Department of Public Health released an updated COVID-19 dashboard and the city of Tuscaloosa went from a very high risk to a moderate risk.
“It’s conflicting emotions,” Walt Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa, said. “We certainly have seen higher numbers of covid cases this week. as we reported out yesterday, especially within our hospital system, but it’s still manageable.”
These events take place during the same week each year, but in 2020 it can be seen as a triple threat for the city with COVID-19 still on the rise.
“In Alabama we have a great amount of faith and we have a great amount of respect in each other and in one ways we can do that is do everything within our power not to spread the coronavirus,” mayor Maddox said. “So please come, please enjoy yourself and let’s practice those commonsense steps that will keep everyone safe.”
Mayor Maddox welcomes visitors and fans, but asks them to adhere to CDC guidelines.
“Number one, we’re glad to have you, number two please wear your mask, practice social distancing and use a lot of common sense,” mayor Maddox said.
The Iron Bowl will bring in economic activity for the city, mayor Maddox said it is desperately needed.
“2020 has been tough of some of these small businesses,” mayor Maddox said. “It’s not what it should be but at this point we will take what we can get because a few months ago we didn’t even know if we would be having football.”
But it will not compare to years past -
“In keeping with the holiday, I am very thankful that we have something because it’s better than nothing,” mayor Maddox said. “We have a lot of business owners who have worked extremely hard to keep their doors open. This gives a little revenue in which they need to keep going. Everyday it’s survive in advanced with this pandemic whether it’s from a health care perspective or a small business perspective, so we will take it”
Mayor Maddox said on a general funds side, the city is projecting about a $10 million loss overall on the year.
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