Alabama State University unveils ‘The Nest’

After 14 months of renovations, Alabama State University unveiled a new entertainment venue at the university’s football stadium on August 18.

“The Nest,” a 5,000-square-foot venue located on Harris Way, sits right above the university’s ticket booth.

The Nest features comfortable seating, a full bar, 19 television screens, a dance floor and a stage for live performances. The food for the venue is provided by Aramark, the university’s food service provider. The venue will be open to those 25 and older providing patrons with “a more sophisticated ambiance.”

University President Quinton T. Ross, Ed.D., expressed his elation at the completion and opening of the long-awaited venue.

“It is a great time to be a Hornet,” Ross said. “We are excited about opening The Nest and welcoming the community under one of Alabama State University’s (Strategic Plan) anchors, CommUniversity. On behalf of the university and the board of trustees, I would like to thank our partners, especially Aramark, for the opportunity for all of this to come to fruition.”

He also thanked his staff and leadership team for helping to “fulfill a vision here at Alabama State University.”

The Nest features The Patio at The Nest, which gives attendees a unique outdoor setting to watch the games. It includes the same features as the other parts of The Nest with television screens and comfortable seating. It will operate during regular business hours, which are Wednesday through Friday from 5 -10 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. The hours are subject to change during game day.

The costs for access during regular season games are $200 per game for the first through fifth quarters to closing time and $50 per game for access during the fifth quarter to closing. For classic season games, access for the first through fifth quarters to closing is $250 per game and $75 per game for access during the fifth quarter to closing. For game days, patrons are required to wear Hornet gear or casual clothing and office casual attire on non-game days.

Another eye-catching feature is the Wall of Fame, which features pictures of legendary athletes and coaches, both past and present. The Wall of Fame stretches around the entire entrance and includes sports from golf to football. Names and pictures like Ezra Gray, Tytus Howard, Houston Markham Jr. and Annie Perry are just a few to grace the wall.

Community leaders, alumni and elected officials were among the 100 supporters that attended the grand opening. They expressed their excitement with The Nest and praised the venue’s many features. Alumni like Shawn Poole, 1998, felt The Nest provides the alumni with a special opportunity.

“Normally, everyone would have to try and find somewhere to go, but now we have somewhere right here on campus that we did not have when we were in school,” said Poole. “I could not be more excited about it.”

The first day made a great ‘first impression’ on many of the attendees. The prospect of bringing the community and university closer together was a big point of emphasis for those that attended while also giving a glimpse into The Nest’s future role as an economic impact.

“I am thrilled for ASU,” said Tonya Terry, a former member of WSFA and current marketing director in the community. “It is such a big part of the community and Montgomery.

The history here is great, but this represents the future and how they can bring that part to the forefront for the students. This place is going to generate so much money.”

Other attendees like Billy L. Carter, a former attorney for the university, were proud of the growth of the campus. Carter represented the university in the acquisition of most of the property where the stadium currently sits. After seeing the stadium be built and opened, he was proud of what it has become.

“I was here when the stadium initially opened,” Carter said. “I was familiar with this space and had an idea of what the vision was. It is just fantastic to see the vision come to fruition. It is a place that I will certainly visit frequently.”

The Nest is a step forward in the direction of innovation for the university, with Ross making it a mission to provide a game day experience that will give those that attend a “taste of Hornet Nation.”

After its grand opening, the university administrators believe The Nest is on the verge of becoming a “premier” venue for the university. It can also create an opportunity for the community to fellowship and produce more money.