Alabama football, you may have a problem. Or, at least, your stadium may have one.
As the leaders in the sports world look to reopen in some form or fashion, various construction projects continue on stadiums across the country. One of those is Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the Alabama football team.
Starting last November, the university is in the midst of a $106 million renovation of the 91-year-old facility. Construction is scheduled to be completed before the Sept. 12 home opener against Georgia State. Alabama opens the 2020 football season against USC. Maybe.
According to al.com, however, there has been a significant outbreak of the coronavirus among construction workers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. From the report:
More than 10 people have tested positive for COVID-19, according to people familiar with the outbreak, but the number could be much higher. With so many exposures and a lack of transparency about the outbreak, there is a fear that more positive cases linked to the job site are inevitable.
The large number of positive tests means, essentially, everyone at the job site could have been exposed.
The same reports states that the renovation has been temporarily halted. That’s so the job site can undergo what was described as a deep cleaning.
The university issued a statement addressing the development:
From the start of the pandemic, UA has continuously mandated that our campus contractors take all necessary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The contractors immediately adapted operations and processes, engaged in heightened cleaning, and took other protective measures for the health and safety of their employees. The University directly provided sanitation supplies, thermometers, and signage at all construction sites, and made personal protective equipment available to all contractors. Those processes, which have been in place since early March, are continuously refined based on the latest guidance from state, federal and industry leaders in order to protect the health and safety of the campus community.
This project marks the fourth expansion or renovation of the stadium since the late nineties. The original capacity of the stadium was 12,000. Following the South end zone expansion in 2010, that number is up to 101,821.