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Alabama Crimson Tide

College
13x Champion:
1925, 1926, 1930, 1961, 1964,
1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992,
2009, 2011, 2012





Current 92,138


Future 100,000+ (should begin in November/December 2008 to be completed before 2010 season)
outside new addition



toward new addition
 

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Going to be nice.
 

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This expansion would be able to complete the Bryant-Denny Stadium. What other college football stadiums are considered "complete" after many years of expansion?
 

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^technically florida state completed doak campbell, but i still see a possiblity of increasing capacity over 90k with an addition to the student section..
 

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Don't worry, Texas' DKR Stadium will eventually hold far more than Denny ever will. Your Longhorns already have design plans in hand for 115k. This is simply wishful thinking by a Tide fan. Checking the web I found no mention of even a fund raising effort for this project, let alone a commitment to begin this fall. I think they'll have to pay off their coach and a few more recruits before they pull out another $50M for this.
 

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Alabama's stadium is nice and will great with the full upper deck inclosed...however i do like Michigan and TeXaS stadiums.
 

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Another rendering of proposed expansion plans for the south endzone of Bryant Denny Stadium (University of Alabama). Tentative schedule is to begin construction after the 2009 season.

 

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so its 100% clear that it will be expaned?
 

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Pardon my ignorance but we dont really have college sport on a big scale in Europe. Who supports these teams, are they all students or do the people of the towns/cities support them just because they dont have a pro team? How many games a season do they play and do they fill the stadiums? Do they make a profit or does the taxpayer/student fees pay for them?

Are the players all youth players who then go on to play NFL after too?
 

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Pardon my ignorance but we dont really have college sport on a big scale in Europe. Who supports these teams, are they all students or do the people of the towns/cities support them just because they dont have a pro team? How many games a season do they play and do they fill the stadiums? Do they make a profit or does the taxpayer/student fees pay for them?

Are the players all youth players who then go on to play NFL after too?
Students support the team, alumni support the team, and usually the city supports the team. The make money through TV appearances, certain types of games that are played, large donations, and money from ticket sales and concession sales. Tax payers play no part in the financing of these teams. Roughly 6 homes games are played, and another 6 are away games. There are either 1 or 2 post season games depending on the regular season performance. Teams that have stadiums of 80k+ capacity fill the stadiums up on a regular basis. Nebraska, for example, holds the longest streak of selling out games of over 280 games. The streak started in 1962. The college game provides a different atmosphere than the pro game.
 

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The alumni and students of the school have a stronger bond to the team than with a professional franchise. Most people attending the games spent four years at the institution and are very attached. Therefore, the atmosphere is considerably better compared to the professional game.
 

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Wow, that's a big question to answer, but hopefully, I'll make this shorter than a novel... :)

Let's start off on college sports as a whole. College athletics have a major following in the US and is a major multi-billion dollar industry. Even the second most popular sport, Men's Basketball has sold the TV contract for it's playoff tournament to CBS for $6 billion two years ago. The largest athletic programs (Ohio State and Texas) have annual budgets in excess of $100 million and annual profits of $70 million. Each school's athletic department supports a large number of sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, rowing, tennis, volleyball, etc.) but the money making sports are football and men's basketball. A few schools make profits on women's basketball, baseball, and hockey, but those are more of exceptions than the norm. The profit from this small number of profitable sports funds the remaining ones.

I can go into lots more detail about the "business" of college sports and but in a nutshell, yes it's profitable. However, one caveat is that we are currently in the midst of an arms race in college athletics that is making it more difficult for a number of programs to remain profitable. The largest programs are expanding, renovating, improving their facilities at an incredible pace. Consequently, some of the smaller programs are having difficulty keeping up or are going into debt to do so. A true story of the "haves" and the "have nots".

For the "haves", their athletic departments are self sufficient without assistance from the university. Their revenues from tickets, alumni donations, merchandise, and TV contracts far exceed their expenses. Because a great deal of exposure of universities is through their athletic programs, many of the "have nots" will choose to supplement these funds and subsidize the cost of the the athletic programs for the greater good of the school.

Of the college sports, college football is the most popular. Unlike other US sports, the college football game has been around much longer (1869 vs. 1920) than the professional game (NFL) and consequently has much stronger ties to tradition and a much more established fanbase. The NFL really didn't gain significantly in popularity until after World War II. Even though they are the same sport, college and professional football have some significant differences:

1) Although it's grown to be a big business, the focus is still on amateurism. Players aren't paid; they are students. The motivation is to bring fame and noteriety to your school. Loyalty is a much stronger factor. Players for the most part start and finish playing for the same school. Transfers are rare.

Winning brings significant notoriety to the school. For example, after Texas won the national championships in 2005, they saw a 40% rise in applications and over $100 million in licensed product sales the next year.

2) For college football fans, it's a very personal connection to their teams. Although some support the team because they live nearby, the vast majority are alumni and students. Since the players are also students, you can imagine the sense of camaraderie that goes along with supporting the people that you sit next to in class, are friends with, etc.

It's through these alumni that many schools get a huge amount of funding. Many donate millions a year to support their teams, not to mention many more "average" fans that donate thousands to have the right to buy season tickets.

Although there is probably some bleed off with professional teams, many fans enjoy all of the different levels of football. Many of the largest college football programs coexist alongside their professional teams. For example in Texas, many of spend our Friday nights watching high school football, Saturday is reserved for college, and then Sunday is for the NFL.

3) Tradition and pagentry reigns. College football thrives on traditions like Ohio State's "Dotting the I" manouver, Michigan's "Hail to the Victors" fight song, Texas' "Hook 'em Horns" hand sign, Notre Dame's "Touchdown Jesus", Georgia's "Between the Hedges", Texas A&M's 12th Man, Tennessee's "Rocky Top", Florida's "Gator Chomp"... not to mention marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots, fight songs... the list goes on and on. This probably stems from the fact that it's been around for so long, but every team/school is incredibly proud of it's unique heritage.

This focus on tradition also explains some of college football's oddities, like being the only sport that names a champion without a tournament/playoff because the tradition of bowl games is so strongly engrained.

4) College football stadiums are usually larger than their professional counterparts. If you look at the top 20 largest stadiums in the US, 19 of them are college football stadiums with the one remaining being from the NFL. This is more impressive considering that they only host 6-7 games a year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_football_stadiums_by_capacity

This strong sense of tradition leads to how most often stadiums are expanded and renovated instead of being built anew to maintain that tradition and nostalgia of the old stadia. That also the reason why the best stadiums are also called the "cathedrals of college football".

The atmosphere and culture at college football games is absolutely electric. The passion in both the atmosphere and the fans make NFL games feel quite sterile in comparison.

This thread can probably give you a better idea of what it's like: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=286428&page=12

5) College football is viewed as the level for an age group instead of a by play level. The NFL cannot draft (select) players until they have been out of high school for 3 years, so all of the NFL players (regardless of early ability) play at the college level. However, the average level of play is higher in the NFL because of experience and the difference in numbers (1700 NFL players vs. ~30,000 college football players). Also as you can see only a small percentage of college football players ever make it to the NFL.

My personal preference is college sports, but I definitely still enjoy both.
 

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate your answers. It is a really fascinating pheonoma and just something we dont have over here in Europe. Universities do play sports of course, some even in the professional leagues (usually at a low level) but to be honest nobody would go and watch them apart from their friends, certainly not the other students at the university. I guess the only famous exception would be the Cambridge v Oxford boat race which is a bit of a national institution for some people.
 

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Of the college sports, college football is the most popular. Unlike other US sports, the college football game has been around much longer (1969 vs. 1920) than the professional game (NFL) and consequently has much stronger ties to tradition and a much more established fanbase.
I believe you mean 1869. Other than that, good explanation. I think college sports are the hardest thing to explain to people not familiar with it.
 
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