Soon after Alabama officially captured the College Football playoff national championship on Monday night, photos and videos circulated on social media of thick crowds pouring into Tuscaloosa streets to celebrate the victory.
A day later a disappointed Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox reportedly said it's too soon to know how the big crowds might impact the city's fight against coronavirus.
"Certainly only time will tell," Maddox said, according to the Tuscaloosa News.
Late last week Maddox asked for fans to celebrate responsibly, adding there "will be a time and place to celebrate, but this is not the time."
"Particularly in our downtown Strip area and other places of entertainment activity throughout our city it's important to remember this -- we can't have block parties this year," the mayor said.
According to a timeline Maddox provided and reported by the Tuscaloosa News, streets started to fill with fans around 10:40 p.m. By 11:30 p.m., the report said Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said pepper spray in limited amounts was used to begin breaking up the crowds. And by just after midnight Maddox said University Boulevard, a popular street near campus, was cleared.
"I think it goes without saying we are disappointed in seeing the large number of people flood into the Strip area itself," Maddox said, according to AL.com. "We do not have an exact estimate but we do believe it’s larger than any celebration that we’ve seen in recent memory and I think it’s safe to say that it was thousands upon thousands."