TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Questions surrounding when Crimson Tide football might return to Tuscaloosa have still linger, but one answer remains: even an abbreviated season would have a negative impact on the both the state and local economy.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said no football at all could result in approximately $2 billion in lost revenue. This comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has questioned whether it could be possible for a football season to happen in the fall.
“It would be economically catastrophic for Tuscaloosa if there is no football season,” Maddox said. “Even a mitigated football season with restricted attendance and number of ball games would have dire economic consequences.”
Alabama football is a significant economic driver for both the city of Tuscaloosa and the state. According to statistics from the University of Alabama, home games during the 2015-16 season brought in an estimated $175.5 million, or $25.1 million per game. Maddox said that in the end, all decisions must be made on the basis of public health.
Currently, the University of Alabama does plan to have a football season this fall. The Crimson Tide has already started workouts, though five players tested positive for the virus prior to the start of training.