In its initial configuration the stadium could hold 12,000 people on a single curved terrace along the eastern side. Even that proved above demand when the stadium opened to half-empty stands in 1929.
But Crimson Tide, who easily beat Mississippi College in the opening fixture, came here to stay. And despite the team playing part of its games at Legion Field, it was Tide’s growing popularity that proved decisive in numerous expansions that happened over the years.
After the WWII Denny Stadium had already 31,000 capacity and was growing steadily by roughly 10,000 per decade from that moment. That meant it reached 60,000 by early 1980s with all stands having one tier around the field.
It wasn’t until 1988 that the stadium saw its first upper deck, added atop the west side. Following the curved shape from early days, it expanded the stadium by 10,000 regular seats and its very first skyboxes. In 1998 similar expansion was made on the east side, this time with many more suites, allowing the stadium to exceed 100 suites overall.
Most recent expansions came in 2006-2010, when the seating bowl was enclosed in the upper decks. First a second tier was added to the north end (2006) and then similar one arrived in the south (2010), allowing Bryant-Denny Stadium to exceed 100,000 in capacity, more than the entire population of Tuscalooosa where it stands. It also meant having a very distinctive shape with straight stands on ends and curved ones along the sides.
As the above description suggests, name has been changing throughout history. It was the Denny Stadium until 1975, honouring former University of Alabama president George H. Denny. Then one more figure was added, legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who brought great success for the Tide.
Tenant: Alabama Crimson Tide (NCAA)