University Officials, Law Enforcement Prepare for Big Game in Tuscaloosa
It's being called the Game of Year as LSU travels to play rival Alabama tomorrow at Bryant Denny Stadium. Both university and city officials have been hard at work, preparing for an exciting, but safe event.
At Alabama, parking and traffic on regular days can be difficult. And even more so on game days, which is why school officials are working to make everything as smooth as possible.
Gina Johnson with the University of Alabama Gameday Operations says her team starts preparing for a game this big a year in advance.
''This game is the biggest game of the season for us on campus and we will have increased security.''
Extra security will come from state troopers, the Tuscaloosa Sheriffs Office, and Tuscaloosa police. Sergeant Brent Blankley says authorities won't tolerate inappropriate behavior.
''We urge fans to relaize it is just a game and we want to keep as much order as possible,'' he says. ''We'll hav extra officers on the strip regardless of the outcome of the game.''
Aside from law enforcement, Johnson says there will be other staff on hand to help visitors.
''We have about 1300 pople who will be out here on campus and in the city surrounding the campus that will be in a position to help any fans who may be in need of assistance,'' says Johnson.
Chris Wesson with Event Group is one of those people. He helps with parking and directs traffic when necessary.
''A typical LSU game is going to be packed out from that corner to that corner, all the way back over there. All this will be full. All that will be full.''
Meaning traffic will be heavy come game day. For this game, road blocks will go up five hours before game time, instead of the usual three hours. And after the game is over, police are urging fans to be aware of their surroundings.
''If you parked in a parking lot, when you parked it was bright and sunny but when you come back it's dark, have your keys in your hand. Hit your panic alarm if you need to.''
Police also say they will be out looking for drunk drivers and advise all those who will be drinking to call a taxi.