"It's going to be tight," Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore said of the race to have Bryant-Denny Stadium's current expansion and remodeling project completed by September 2.
"But," Moore added, "it's got to be done. We've sold all the seats." Approximately 9,000 seats, including those in new skyboxes and in the club level, were added in the North end zone.
The athletics director said that barring bad weather, the contractor expects to make the deadline. He said all the seats will be ready, as will the new locker room for Alabama. Moore said it would not be unusual if there were some minor touch-up things to be done after the opening game.
Moore also discussed the Southeastern Conference decision to have every SEC football team play a game the Saturday before the SEC Championship Game beginning in 2007. That means that the Alabama-Auburn game, which has been played two weeks prior to the SEC title game, is moving back a week, to Thanksgiving weekend season after next.
"I think it's good and the proposal had overwhelming support in the SEC," Moore said. "It's good for the players. We're playing 12 games now and this year we play for 12 straight weeks. By moving the Auburn game to the final week we'll be able to fit in an open date somewhere in the season."
He pointed out that it was unlikely that Alabama would have its open date the week before the Auburn game. He sees that game coming closer to the middle of the season. And, he said, he hopes that perhaps the NCAA will allow schools to begin the season a week earlier so that a team could have two open dates during the season.
Moore pointed out that the Alabama-Auburn game was played on Thanksgiving weekend for many years before the two teams agreed to move up a week in order to have an open date prior to the SEC Championshp Game.
Moore said that all SEC teams playing that final weekend eliminates the possibility that one team in the championship game would have the advantage of having had an open date while the other team had played a game the week before.
Moore was also asked how it felt to have Bama Baseball Coach Jim Wells' name being mentioned daily in connection with the opening for a head coach at LSU. Moore smiled and said, "I agree he's that good. If I was in Baton Rouge, I'd be wanting him, too. We're proud of the great job he has done here. And I talk to him, too." He said he and Wells have had "normal" on-going discussions about Wells' future at Alabama.