TALLADEGA, AL: Announcer Eli Gold started broadcasting for Motor Racing Network (MRN) in 1976, heard on 500 radio affiliates, and in 1982 added NASCAR Live, a weekly radio call-in show heard on 450 MRN affiliates.
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Alabama Is Losing Its Losing Its Beloved Radio Broadcaster

Eli Gold, the voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide since 1988 who missed the start of the 2022 season fighting cancer and other health issues, has been let go by the US Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN) and replaced by Chris Stewart.

On Thursday, CTSN released a statement regarding parting ways with the 68-year-old Gold, mentioning that he was offered an opportunity to stay on and call games on occasion, but Gold said the broadcast would be "best served" if Stewart, who sat in for Gold during his absence in 2022, took it on full-time.

"As we noted in yesterday's release, Eli Gold has been a legendary broadcaster in a career spanning 52 years," the statement said. "In 2023, we worked out a plan to have Eli call the home games plus Auburn, with Chris Stewart handling away games. We are incredibly appreciative of the positive things Eli has contributed to the Crimson Tide Sports Network and The University of Alabama during his time with us, which is why our desire was for him to remain part of the gameday broadcast and allow us to celebrate his UA broadcast career.

"But at this point, the interests of UA and CTSN are best served by Chris Stewart handling play-by-play for all games. After a series of conversations over a period of time, Eli was presented with an opportunity to continue his contributions to the CTSN broadcast team in the coming years in a more limited role, including the lead broadcast role for this year's A-Day game. Unfortunately, he declined the opportunity.

"We will always appreciate Eli and wish him nothing but the best in his next endeavors. We are incredibly excited about the future of CTSN and what Chris Stewart will bring to the broadcasts in his new role."

In 2023, Gold returned to the booth to call all Alabama home games and the Iron Bowl against Auburn. He didn't partake in road games, including the SEC Championship against Georgia or the team's loss in the College Football Playoff against Michigan. Not only are Crimson Tide football fans familiar with Stewart, but before taking over for Gold, he served as the play-by-play commentator for the basketball team.

Currently, Stewart is slated to be part of both the football and basketball broadcast teams.

So, what's next for Gold? He'll be the new play-by-play voice for the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League, the team announced on X.

Fans on X reacted with mixed responses on X.

"Yes - we all can agree Chris is an upgrade and a needed change in the radio booth but that's disgraceful. You let a legend and a guy who gave his all to UA for 35 years go out on his own terms," one user wrote.

"I'm pretty confident that there is more to this story than we know. Will the public ever know? Not sure. The situation is unfortunate, but it is what it is," someone else said.

"Eli is a legendary broadcaster and I appreciate his years of service for the Crimson Tide but he is not the same. The 4th and 31 gold digger play probably did him in. His call could have been one for the ages but was underwhelming. He was consistently wrong on down and distance," another user said about Gold.

The Nashville Kats' season kicks off on Saturday, April 27, 2024, against the Minnesota Myth.

MORE: Alabama Radio Announcer Eli Gold Makes Inspiring Comeback for 2023 Season