The Tennessee Volunteers open their 2014 football season on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Neyland Stadium against Utah State before a sellout crowd of 102,455. There are many new and exciting initiatives for fans and students at the stadium this season, and a detailed explanation is listed below, as well as updated traffic information and fan reminders for gameday.
Stadium Atmosphere/Pride of the Southland Band
During the last several months, The Pride of the Southland Band, under the direction of Dr. Don Ryder, has worked on numerous initiatives to enhance the gameday atmosphere, starting new traditions while respecting existing ones. More than half of the music available to be played by the Pride is new, and the Pride Drumline has installed new cadences in an attempt to energize fans consistently throughout the game.
Additionally, pep bands will be touring the upper deck during the third quarter of every game.
There has also been a significant rule change by the SEC entering into the 2014 season relative to bands and institutionally controlled music. Music played by The Pride of the Southland Band as well as recorded music can now be played until the center steps over the ball. With this in mind, when the Vols are on defense, there will be a custom-made song (previously introduced during the open practice on August 16) called "Third Down for What" that will play over the stadium speakers.
There are also several student-related initiatives being enacted for the 2014 seasons. UT students may now use their VOL Card or Dining Dollars at selected concession stands. Those stands are located on the lower concourse by Sections E, G, H, and J, and also at selected stands on the second level concourse.
In the spring of 2014, leaders from the Student Government Association (SGA) and other student organizations presented an idea for the naming of the student section to Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart and head football coach Butch Jones. Both Hart and Jones agreed to this idea and asked members of the athletics department to help facilitate the process.
After multiple meetings with SGA members, there was an open entry form created for students to provide suggestions, with the possibilities narrowed to five. Voting by the student body on this initiative recently took place, and the new name for the student section will be announced at the Utah State game.
One other student initiative beginning in 2014 with the Arkansas State game will be the Volunteer Spirit Recognition Program, which will encompass two elements. First, one student will be chosen as a Guest Coach for each home game and will experience gameday with the team as a part of the Tennessee Football family. The second element is "Spirit Row", a designated row within the student section to honor students recognized for their outstanding spirit.
The Tennessee Gameday app is a new social-centric mobile app to keep fans connected to the action either while at Neyland Stadium or watching from home. The app contains social, on-campus and stadium features to enhance the gameday experience. This includes free live game audio; the official gameday guide with key times, events and need-to-know information including stadium maps to plan the day; opt-in alerts for weather updates, pre-game events, play-by-play information and more. The Tennessee Gameday app can be found as a free download in both the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.
Parking and Traffic
Because of campus construction, fans are encouraged to arrive early. For complete information on game day parking, stadium regulations and activities, see http://www.utsports.com/gameday/football/.
Season-ticket holders and those who have purchased individual game tickets to the Utah State game are encouraged to pick up their tickets in advance of Sunday, as Will Call and walkup sales lines are typically very heavy for the first game. Only fans with permits can park on campus. UT encourages others to use shuttle buses from the Old City, the Knoxville Civic Coliseum and Krutch Park, near Market Square in downtown Knoxville, and Farragut High School.
For pedestrian safety, Phillip Fulmer between Middle Drive and North of G10 Garage will be shutdown starting 3 hours before kickoff. Patrons with Lot 9 or 9B passes may enter off of Phillip Fulmer Way or down Peyton Manning Pass. Patrons with Lot 4/5 passes at the South End of the stadium will need to enter those lots by turning off Lake Loudoun Blvd onto Fulmer Way within this three-hour closure. Lots C20 or 30A may continue to enter off of Peyton Manning Pass. Lot G5/30 will need to enter directly off Lake Loudoun Blvd 3 hours prior to kick-off.
No backpacks of any kind or size are allowed inside Neyland Stadium. All items, including purses, are subject to search at the gates. Purses or other bags larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches cannot be brought into the stadium. The UT Police Department encourages all fans to come to the stadium carrying as little as possible with them to expedite their entry into the stadium and to their seat. These items also are prohibited:
No items can be left or stored at stadium gates. Fans can bring the following items inside the stadium, provided they meet the size requirement:
For a full list of permitted and prohibited items, visit http://www.utsports.com/gameday/football/ UT also reminds fans to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. All fans are asked to call 865-974-3111 or 911 or to use the university's new "Tip411" system to report suspicious activity inside and around the stadium by texting the letters "UTPD" followed by the location and details pertaining to an incident to Tip411 (847411).
In accordance with state law, no smoking is allowed anywhere inside the stadium. If fans leave the stadium to smoke, they will not be readmitted.
Commercial solicitation in front of Neyland Stadium from Middle Way Drive to Gate 10 is prohibited starting four hours before kickoff and until the game ends.