One of college football's most iconic landmarks, Neyland Stadium is the fifth-largest stadium in the nation.
What's on this page?
- A Facelift for the Future
- General Neyland
- Quick Facts
- How Neyland Stadium Grew
- Stadium Tours
- Directions to Neyland Stadium
- Seating Chart
Neyland Stadium Information
1600 Phillip Fulmer Way, Suite 201
Knoxville, TN, 37996
In the fall of 2004, athletics director Mike Hamilton unveiled a Master Plan to prepare Neyland Stadium for the next 75 years. The renovations were planned to be completed in five phases during the off-seasons to alleviate inconveniences to fans. One key goal of the plan was to find a way to fund the renovations without financially impacting the general fan.
The 2006 season marked the completion of the $26 million Phase I Master Plan renovations. This included extensive infrastructure work, the renovation of the north lower concourse, including concourse expansion, new restrooms and concession stands and the construction of the East Club. Phase I was funded entirely by gifts from the East Club and leadership donations to the project.
While the addition of the state-of-the-art East Club slightly reduced the stadium's overall capacity, it did keep the capacity at the imposing six-figure mark. The new official capacity of 102,038 kept Neyland as the fourth-largest college football facility in the country and the largest in the South.
Renovations to Neyland Stadium were completed in 2010, bringing to a close the first stage of renovations to Neyland Stadium that began following the 2005 season.Neyland Stadium Photo Gallery
For the 2007 season, fans enjoyed the unveiling of college football's largest LED display, located in the bowl of the stadium, along with permanent recognition of the football program’s retired numbers and national championship teams. The natural-grass playing surface also was replanted before the season for the first time since its reinstallation in 1994. Perhaps not coincidentally, Tennessee posted a perfect 7-0 mark at home in 2007—marking the 36th season in which the mighty Vols went undefeated at Neyland Stadium.
The continuation of Phase II of the renovations continued in the offseason prior to the 2008 campaign. Those improvements included the renovation of the lower-west concourse, improvements to the team locker room, the construction of the Lauricella Center, a field-level lettermen's room, and the Stokely Family Media Center. Phase III began after the 2008 season and the changes which were ready for 2009 were the renovation of the top level concourse of the west lower sideline, removal of the scissor ramps leading to the west upper deck, the addition of elevators and stairwells on the west side, improvements to the west tower sky boxes, renovation of the press box and broadcase center, as well as the construction of the West Club section.
Tennessee completed the Phase III construction prior to the 2010 season. Most noticeable was the new entrance plaza at Gate 21. The phase also included a new wrought iron and brick facade along the north and west exteriors of the stadium, as well as a statue of Gen. Neyland. The Tennessee Terrace in the west upper deck was also finished.
The primary source of funding for the project came from the addition of the West Club, East Club and Tennessee Terrace sections. Each phase of renovations is separately funded to ensure fiscal responsibility.
Visit the Tennessee Fund for more information, including photos, about renovations to Neyland Stadium.
The present day Neyland Stadium, Shields-Watkins Field, had its beginning in 1919. Col. W.S. Shields, president of Knoxville's City National Bank and a UT trustee, provided the initial capital to prepare and equip an athletic field. Thus, when the field was completed in March 1921, it was called Shields-Watkins Field in honor of the donor and his wife, Alice Watkins-Shields.
The stadium, apart from the field it grew to enclose, came to bear its own distinguished name -- Neyland Stadium. It was named for the man most responsible for the growth and development of Tennessee's proud football tradition. General Robert R. Neyland served as head coach from 1926-1952, with two interruptions for military service.
General Robert Neyland posted a 173-31-12 record in 21 seasons as Tennessee's head football coach. A twice life-size statue of Neyland at the stadium was dedicated in November 2010.
The history and tradition of Tennessee football began when Gen. Robert Reese Neyland came to Tennessee as an ROTC instructor and backfield coach in 1925 and was named head football coach in 1926. From that date, Tennessee was in the college football arena to stay.
Neyland, who came to Tennessee as an Army captain and left as a brigadier general, brought one of the most efficient single-wing offenses in the country to go with an unyielding defense. It was Gene McEver who kicked off the Neyland era with his 98-yard return of the opening kickoff in the 1928 Alabama game, a game the underdog Vols won 15-13. Each of his succeeding eras would be highlighted by similar big plays. Johnny Butler's 56-yard run against Alabama in 1939 and Hank Lauricella's 75-yard run against Texas in the 1951 Cotton Bowl.
Neyland's 1939 Vols were the last to shut out each of its regular season opponents. Over the course of his career, 112 of 216 opponents failed to score against his Tennessee teams and the Vols still own an NCAA record for holding opponents scoreless for 71 consecutive quarters.
Neyland's teams won Southern Conference titles in 1927 and 1932, piling up undefeated streaks of 33 and 28 games along the way, and SEC championships in 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946 and 1951. In addition, Neyland-coached teams won four national championships. The Vols were consensus national champions in 1951 and Neyland's 21-year record at Tennessee was 173-31-12.
His legacy continues to live through his name on the football stadium, the indoor football complex and the road paralleling the Tennessee River.
First game as Shields-Watkins Field:
Sept. 24, 1921
Tennessee - 27 / Emory & Henry - 0
Dedication game as Neyland Stadium:
Oct. 20, 1962
Alabama - 27 / Tennessee - 7
First game on artificial turf:
Sept. 14, 1968
Tennessee - 17 / Georgia - 17
Final game on artificial turf:
Nov. 27, 1993
Tennessee - 62 / Vanderbilt - 14
Since attendance records were first kept beginning in the 1946 season, more than 25 million fans have watched Big Orange football in Neyland Stadium. An average of 68,925 fans have attended 364 games in 58 years. That statistic is one that promises to climb each year, as Tennessee football enthusiasts pack the stadium each autumn Saturday the Vols are home. Average attendance has been on climb since 1946, when an average of 31,167 saw six home contests.
Tennessee success at Shields-Watkins Field:
In 82 seasons and 509 games, the Vols are 398-94-17 at home, a winning percentage of .799.
Consecutive home games without a loss:
55, beginning Oct. 3, 1925, with a 51-0 victory against Emory & Henry and ending Oct. 21, 1933, with a 12-6 loss to Alabama.
Consecutive home wins:
30, beginning Dec. 8, 1928, with a 13-12 win against Florida and ending Oct. 21, 1933, with a 12-6 loss to Alabama.
Consecutive home losses:
4, beginning Nov. 13, 1954, with a 14-0 loss to Florida and ending Oct. 8, 1955, with a 13-0 win against Chattanooga, beginning Sept. 10, 1988, with a 31-26 loss to Duke and ending Nov. 5, 1988, with a 10-7 win against Boston College.
Tennessee has had 74 winning seasons in 88 years at Shields-Watkins Field, including 35 undefeated years at home. The last team to go undefeated at home was the 1999 squad, which was 7-0 at Neyland Stadium.
109,061 - Sept. 18, 2004 - Tennessee 30, Florida 28
First Night Game at Neyland Stadium:
Sept. 16, 1972 - Tennessee 28, Penn State 21.
|YEAR||ADDITION||CAPACITY CHANGE||TOTAL CAPACITY|
|1921||Original West Stands||3,200 seats||3,200|
|1926||East Stands||3,600 seats||6,800|
|1929||West Stands||11,060 seats||17,860|
|1937||North Section X||1,500 seats||19,360|
|1938||East Stands||12,030 seats||31,390|
|1948||South Stands||15,000 seats||46,390|
|1962||West Upper Deck||press box, 5,837 seats||52,227|
|1966||North Stands||5,895 seats||58,122|
|1968||East Upper Deck||6,307 seats||64,429|
|1972||Southwest Upper Deck||6,221 seats||70,650|
|1976||Southeast Upper Deck||9,600 seats||80,250|
|1980||North Stands||net gain 10,999 seats||91,249|
|1987||West Executive Suites||42 suites||91,110|
|1990||Student Seating Adjustment||792 seats||91,902|
|1996||North Upper Deck||10,642 seats||102,544|
|1997||ADA Seating Adjustment||310 seats||102,854|
|2000||East Executive Suites||78 suites||104,079|
|2006||East Club Seats||Club Level||102,037|
The University of Tennessee offers tours of Neyland Stadium by appointment only Monday through Thursday.
Tours must be scheduled 5 business days in advance.
If you would like to schedule a tour, please call the Event Management department at (865) 974-1205 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tours may include:
- General Neyland's Statue
- Lettermen's Club- Lauricella Center
- Tennessee Locker Room
- Wolf Kaplan Recruit Lounge
- Media Center
- West Club
- Tennessee Terrace
There is no field access to Shield-Watkins Field available during any tour.
Tours begin at Gate 21 and end at the Official Tennessee Team Shop at Gate 20.
When booking tour please note if you have any special needs such as a wheelchair accessible route.
- Up to 20 people: $8 per person *
- More than 20 people: $150 flat rate
*Children 3-years old and younger are free.
Military, Large Group, and Photography Session rates are available upon request. Tours are unavailable when the University observes holiday hours or when special events prohibit.
From McGhee Tyson Airport: Turn north on U.S. Highway 129 leaving airport. After crossing the Tennessee River bridge just outside of Knoxville, exit onto Neyland Drive (Tennessee Highway 153). Turn left (south) at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow road until Thompson-Boling Arena is visible. Turn left onto Lake Loudoun Boulevard. Turn right at stoplight. Follow Phillip Fulmer Way to stadium area.
From I-40 east (from Nashville) and I-75 north (from Chattanooga): Follow I-40 and I-75 to I-40/I-75 junction in west Knoxville. Continue on I-40 east to U.S. Highway 129 south. Follow 129 south to the exit for Neyland Drive (Tennessee Highway 153). Turn left (south) at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow the road until Thompson-Boling Arena is visible. Turn left onto Lake Loudoun Boulevard. Turn right at stoplight. Follow Phillip Fulmer Way to stadium area.
From I-40 west (from Asheville, N.C.): (updated for I-40 construction) Follow I-40 west to the Hall of Fame Drive. Take a left at the top of the exit and follow Hall of Fame Drive to the Neyland Drive exit (Tennessee Highway 153). Follow Neyland Drive until Thompson-Boling Arena is visible. Turn right onto Lake Loudoun Boulevard. Turn right at stoplight. Follow Phillip Fulmer Way to stadium area.
From I-75 south (from Lexington, Ky.): Follow I-75 south to I-275 south just past Merchants Road. Follow I-275 to I-40 east. Exit I-40 east onto James White Parkway and follow Parkway to Neyland Drive (Tennessee Highway 153) until Thompson-Boling Arena is visible. Turn right onto Lake Loudoun Boulevard. Turn right at stoplight. Follow Phillip Fulmer Way to stadium area.
All facilities and facilities projects at the University of Tennessee are supported by donations to the Tennessee Fund and season tickets.
For more information on how you can help support Tennessee Athletics, visit the Tennessee Fund homepage for more information.