- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The University of Alabama is opening part of Bryce lawn as a family-friendly, alcohol-free tailgating zone starting with the first home football game on Sept. 10.

“It is kind of an alternative for fans looking for a new place to tailgate. Again, it is more family-centered, an area for children to play,” said Nick Frenz, associate director of event management with Alabama’s transportation services.

The new family tailgating area is located at the corner of Hackberry Lane and Campus Drive. The university will cordon off some of the trees to discourage climbing as well as the gravesites of Peter Bryce, the first superintendent of the historic hospital, and his wife, Ellen Peter-Bryce, which are located on the lawn, Frenz said.

Alabama plays Western Kentucky University on Sept. 10. The game will also be the first for the university’s new clear bag policy, which limits fans to clear bags or small clutch purses in Bryant-Denny Stadium in an effort to improve security and speed bag screenings. Fans can purchase approved clear plastic totes or complimentary plastic, gallon-size storage bags will be available all season for fans who need them, Frenz said.

Spots in the new tailgating area will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, and there are no reservations required for fans bringing their own tents, Frenz said. Fans may arrive to claim an open spot and begin setting up at 7 a.m. on Sept. 10. Fans also may have a tent set up for them and reserve a space as part of packages that can be purchased ahead of time through the university’s Gameday Tents service. The pick-up and drop-off of tailgating supplies will be similar to the process on the Quad, Frenz said.

The university is moving all its child-themed attractions from the Quad to Bryce lawn. The inflatable games will be free of charge, Frenz said. Other attractions will include food vendors, games including a video game truck, a TV viewing area and restrooms. Merchandise vendors will not be part of the amenities at this time, Frenz said. There will also be bus service from the area to the Quad and stadium, he said.

The prohibition against alcohol will be strictly enforced, he said.

“Again, we are centering it around families trying to get away from the Quad and as high traffic as it is. It is more relaxed over here,” Frenz said.

The area was added following feedback from fans who wanted to tailgate but get away from the party atmosphere on the Quad, he said.

Frenz predicted the tailgating area on Bryce lawn would also likely expand in the future.

“We want to try to start if off with a good base and hopefully it grows over time,” Frenz said.

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Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, https://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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