TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Thousands of Alabama football fans will be at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon for the first home game this season. Crews have set up a number of water cooling stations and large fans to keep people hydrated.
Chris Holloway is the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue EMS Chief. He says he is hoping fans will use the cooling stations to stay hydrated. Two years ago medical teams took 125 heat exhaustion calls at the stadium. He is hoping to avoid that this year.
“There are water stations and cooling stations that are scattered throughout the stadium on the Mezzanine level and there are actually five of those stations that will be manned by first-aid workers,” Holloway said.
Holloway is encouraging football fans not to drink alcohol or coffee on game day. Instead, he recommends for folks to drink as much water as possible.
“Today the day before the game you need to be drinking plenty of water,” Holloway said. “More water then you think you need to drink go ahead and pre-load and you don’t want to start out your day dehydrated tomorrow before you even go out. Alcohol will greatly increase your chances of having a heat-related illness because it dehydrates your body.”
Fans will be allowed to bring clear water bottles into the stadium and they can be re-filled at water cooling stations. Kick-off is Saturday at 3 p.m. when Alabama takes on New Mexico State.