The Strip in Tuscaloosa preparing for Bama home opener against Utah State

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - Alabama’s first football game of the season is Saturday night and businesses along The Strip in Tuscaloosa are ready to welcome back fans.

If you think about it, this is the first time Alabama has started the season at home in a very long time, something pointed out by a business that depends on visitors and fans alike.

The Strip came alive Friday morning as fans and businesses geared up for another season, another year dreaming of a championship, which is why Laura Murry of Illinois is in town shopping at one of the more well-known spots on the Strip.

“We come to two games a year which is a tradition for us, try to come down twice as a family, do our traditional things, get our goods,” said Laura Murry, who is also in Tuscaloosa as part of Bama’s student recruitment of her daughter.

This is David Jones’ 22nd football season as owner of Alabama Express. Jones had a good game plan. He started stocking early, about 7 months ago actually, for opening weekend.

“With the football season so important to us, we had to get stuff super early. We are well stocked,” said David Jones.

“I’ve been in my store for 300 straight games. Football season is everything to us,” said Jones.

How big is it? Jones says football season makes up about 65% of business.

Further down the road, Hampton Inn General Manager Toby Wilson more than welcomes Bama’s opening game at home.

“This is the first home game we’ve had in Tuscaloosa on Labor Day in 10 years I can remember. Alabama has always gone to a neutral site, so Labor Day was a dead day normally. Everybody leaves town, goes to the beach or wherever,” said Wilson.

But not this year. Toby Wilson’s hotel is well on its way to getting booked up, so a profitable weekend is straight ahead.

Wilson says the city has around 4,000 hotel rooms and you may be hard pressed to find anything available for Saturday night.

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