The Overlooked Story of Alabama’s Legion of Silent Fans
With its eternal views of Bryant–Denny Stadium, Evergreen Cemetery is the hottest ticket in town.
Few juxtapositions are as stark as the one between University of Alabama's Bryant–Denny Stadium and its neighboring cemetery.
Just feet away from the raucous epicenter of Crimson nation sits Evergreen Cemetery, which AL.com recently described as "13.8 acres of serenity." The effect, for those who pay attention to such things, is dramatic. A celebration of life and youth casting its shadow on a celebration of death.
On game days, more than 100,000 college football fans descend on the area, yet few notice the roaring silence of the souls who reside next door. Here, tombstones date back to the early 1800s. Though today, with its eternal stadium views, it's become a coveted resting place for Crimson Tide fans. Evergreen Cemetery plots are so hot, in fact, that they're sold out.
A spokesperson for the City of Tuscaloosa told AL.com that every plot has been purchased. The last deed transfer was reportedly listed in 2013 with two gravesites selling for $3,000.
Now, the only way to score a plot next to Bryant-Denny Stadium is through a private sale. And those will cost you. A group of three plots surrounded by marble encasement recently listed in the Tuscaloosa News sold in one day. The price tag: $32,500.
Evergreen Cemetery almost predates Bryant-Denny Stadium by almost a century. The first game wasn't played on that site until 1929. Nobody could have imagined how valuable the land it occupies would later become. The 0.15-acre lot across the street from the stadium has a market value of $128,600, and Evergreen is 92 times that size.
But it doesn't matter. It will never be for sale.
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Magnolia Chapel Funeral Home owns a mausoleum in Evergreen with a clear view of the stadium. They offer funerals with an Alabama fight song sendoff complete with pom-pom shakers.
"It's literally a football town," Magnolia general manager Danah Jones told AL.com, "and people who are not from here don't understand."