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         Denny Stadium first opened its doors on September 28th 1929. On that day the Tide defeated Mississippi College 55-0. Denny Stadium was officially dedicated the following Saturday as part of the University's

Denny Stadium 1929

Homecoming activities. Alabama Governor Bibb Graves dedicated the stadium to President Denny in front of a sell-out crowd of over 12,000. In attendance at the dedications ceremony were Theo Bilbo, Governor of Mississippi and William Little captain of the Crimson Tide's first football team. Shops all over Tuscaloosa closed on this day so that people could attend the game. The City wanted to show the University that Tuscaloosa was behind the Tide so that more games would be played at Denny Stadium.

          When it was built in 1929 Denny Stadium consisted of only one large grand stand on the west side of the field running parallel to what is

Yale Bowl
present day Wallace Wade Avenue. The grand stand was 45 rows high, covered the length of the field from goal line to goal line and was built with an elliptic shape. This was done because President Denny had a vision of "bowled" stadium that someday would seat over 60,000. A vision that at the time many considered not plausible. Denny Stadium was modeled after the Yale Bowl. Since 1929 the stadium has gone through seven major expansions. Between 1929 and 1965 temporary wooden bleachers were used in the north and south end zones of the stadium to increase its capacity. The size of the bleachers changed from year to year. Prior to the first permanent expansion in 1937, bleachers ran parallel to the east side of the field. It is very hard to determine the exact capacity of these temporary seats.
East Grandstand 1937

     In 1937 the first expansion of the stadium took place on the east side of the stadium with the addition of a 6,000 seat grand stand. Like the grand stand on the west side, the east side grand stand covered the length of the field but was only 25 rows high. The expansion ran parallel to Colonial Drive. This brought the seating capacity of Denny Stadium to 18,000.

Denny Stadium 1937
   In 1947, lights would be installed at the stadium. The 1st night game would not be payed until 1948.   The second expansion of Denny Stadium happened in 1950. The east side grand stand was expanded by the addition of 20 rows and 6,000 more seats. By the fall of 1951 the Tide was playing to more than 25,000 people in Tuscaloosa. For the first time since 1929, the east side grandstand and the west side grand stand would have the same capacity and height.

The next face of expansion came in 1961 when coach Paul Bryant ordered the addition of 16 rows to each side of the stadium and 12,000 seats, 6,000 would be added to the east and 6,000 would be added to
Denny Stadium 1961

west grand stands. Plus a two-story state of the art press box would be constructed on the west side grandstand. As part of this expansion all the wooden bleachers would be covered with fiberglass by the start of the '62 season. A VIP section with chair back seats was added to the west side. This VIP section was located in the middle of the grand stand on the top rows. This would be the first time since the stadium opened in 1929 that any addition would be made to the original west side grandstand. With this expansion, the fourth in the 31-year history of Denny Stadium, the grand stands would reach their present day height of 61 rows. Over 40,000 people could now watch the Tide play.

        By 1966 Denny Stadium was ready to grow again. This time the expansion would not involve the east or the west sides of the stadium but the north and the south. The wooden bleachers in both end zones would be replaced by a concrete and steel structure on both ends of the

Denny Stadium 1966

stadium. The south end zone would consist of 52 rows and the north end zone only 50 rows and a wheel chair section. The 1966 Tuscaloosa home opener against Clemson would be a special one for the Tide and its fans. Not only did the Tide beat Clemson 26-0; over 60,000 fans in the newly "bowled" Denny Stadium would witness the game. The first master plan for the stadium was completed. In 1929 George Denny had a dream of an enclosed stadium for the Crimson Tide and in 1966 his dream came true. In 1968 artificial turf would replace natural grass and would stay until 1991.