Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Celebration Is on, despite Threat of Rain

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Celebration Is on, despite Threat of Rain

Article excerpt

The celebration for the University of Alabama football team's 2011 national championship is set to proceed today despite a chance of rain. A tornado watch in effect for the area in the morning will expire before the 2 p.m. event at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The tornado watch for Tuscaloosa and across west Alabama will remain in effect until noon today. A line of broken thunderstorms is expected to bring rain and a chance of hail.

The National Weather Service forecast for the Tuscaloosa area, posted at 8:01 a.m. today calls for morning thunderstorms. Rain is likely in the early afternoon. Some of those storms may produce damaging winds and large hail in the morning. Highs will be in the mid 60s, with southwest winds of 5 to 10 mph, shifting to the northwest in the afternoon. The chance of rain is near 100 percent.

UA officials confirmed Saturday morning that there has been no change in plans. The one-hour championship celebration will feature the Crimson Tide football team and head football coach Nick Saban. Admission is free. Gates will open at noon.

The celebration will take place inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, with no Walk of Champions event. Tickets are not required to enter and all seating is general admission and first-come, first-served.

The event will be held regardless of weather. Items normally prohibited in the stadium will not be permitted. Block seating will not be available for students.

Seating is limited to the west side of the stadium. Fans can get into the stadium by the lower bowl entrances through gates 10-13 and 16-19. They also can access gates 5 and 21 for the upper levels and on the west side of the stadium.

The first 1,000 UA students with a valid UA Action Card can access the field for the event though gate 31 at the southeast side of the stadium. The first 1,000 general public fans who wish to watch the event from the field will be allowed to enter via gate 30. All gates will open at noon.

Fans attending Saturday's celebration are encouraged to park in the east and west ten Hoor surface lots, the north and south ten Hoor parking decks as well as the Campus Drive west lot behind Publix supermarket. There will also be parking at Coleman Coliseum, the Campus Drive deck and the east campus parking lots. …

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