Crews have been sprucing up the Walk of Champions outside Bryant-Denny Stadium, where statues of football coaches who have won national championships are displayed.

And, yes, "2017" has been added to area around Nick Saban's statue.

The preparations mean one thing: Football season is getting closer, with the University of Alabama set to kick off the 2018 season against the University of Louisville at Camping World Stadium at 7 p.m. Sept. 1. UA's home opener will follow on Sept. 8 against Arkansas State, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m.

Here's a quick guide of things fans need to know:

• Opening in Orlando:  Tickets to the Camping World Kickoff game are going for around $50 on the online resale market. If you're looking for things to do before or after the game,, has a link to parks and attractions near the stadium, including Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, Legoland and more. The website has a promo code fans can use to get discounts at those venues.  Also of note, the stadium will host a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert Aug. 29, the Wednesday before the Alabama game. If you're staying at home, the game will be shown on ESPN.

• Arrive early: Probably the top thing to keep in mind once the home schedule begins Sept. 8 is to get to Tuscaloosa early. With a myriad of road construction projects and new security measures at the stadium, smart fans will want to be at the stadium in plenty of time before kickoff. Walk-through metal detectors will be at all gates at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season. Fans will be asked to remove all metal objects, including keys and cellphones, before going through the metal detectors. Fans who attempt to bring in prohobited items will have to dispose of them or return those items to their car before entering the stadium. The clear bag policy will also remain in place, with fans limited to see-through bags that cannot exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, along with 1-gallon clear plastic freezer bags. Small, one-compartment clutch purses that do not exceed 4½ inches by 6½ inches, with or without a handle or strap, also will be permitted. All bags will be subject to inspection.

• When is kickoff?: So far, kickoff times have been set for UA's first three games: 7 p.m. for the Sept. 1 game against Louisville in Orlando, 2:30 p.m. for the Arkansas State game Sept. 8 in Tuscaloosa and 6 p.m. for the Sept. 15 Ole Miss game in Oxford, Mississippi. Kickoff times for the rest of the schedule will be determined after the TV networks decide which games they will broadcast. Announcements will generally be made a week or 10 days before each game.

• Need tickets?: UA's website,, has tickets for sale to all home games, except the Nov. 24 Auburn game. Some Texas A&M game tickets are available as part of partial ticket packages requiring the purchase of tickets to other games. Online ticket resellers have nonconference games priced starting at around $30, while conference games begin at around $100. The only exception to that is tickets for the Auburn game, which start at around $300; lower bowl seats near the 50-yard line are priced at around $1,000.

• Home sweet home: UA will have three home games in September, one in October and three in November. The homecoming game is Oct. 13 against Missouri. If you're looking to schedule a non-football social gathering this fall, or heaven forbid, or a wedding ... do it on Oct. 27. That's Alabama's bye week and no game is scheduled for that Saturday.

• Put on your traveling shoes: UA has games scheduled in Orlando; Oxford, Mississippi; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Atlanta could be added to the list, if UA wins the SEC West. That game will be played at 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If UA qualifies for the College Football Playoff, Arlington, Texas, or Miami Florida could be added to the list. The semifinal games are set for Dec. 29. And if UA advances, call your travel agent and get ready to add some frequent-flier miles: the national championship game is set for Jan. 7 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

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