Letter from Mike Hamilton & Berry4Heisman Video Premiere

Sept. 1, 2009

Last month the University of Tennessee announced plans for a Berry4Heisman campaign. Today we are unveiling the first in a series of Berry4Heisman videos. We hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for Eric's reaction on the video board during the Western Kentucky game.

Dear friends,

It's Time!

There is nothing more exciting than gameday in Knoxville! This Saturday we kick off the Lane Kiffin era and the excitement around the program right now is unbelievable. I hope you will come help us celebrate this landmark day, wear your orange, arrive early, have a significant presence at the Vol Walk and cheer loudly as we give our student-athletes the best home field advantage in the SEC.

In honor of Coach Kiffin's first game, we are asking fans to create an "Orange Out" in the stands. The official 2009 Tennessee football t-shirt is on sale at Tennessee Traditions, online at volmall.com and at other retailers across the state.

There are several changes you need to be aware of on gamedays. The "Vol Walk" start time has been moved closer to kickoff to allow more fans the opportunity to experience the tradition and create more excitement closer to kickoff for fans and players. The "Vol Walk", which will start one hour and 45 minutes before kickoff, will begin at the Torchbearer, the official symbol of the University, head down Peyton Manning Pass and continue on Phillip Fulmer Way to Gate 21A. The band will commence their march upon completion of the Vol Walk. The band will change its route to accommodate traffic flow for fans entering campus closer to kickoff. Their march will begin at the entrance of the Joe Johnson-John Ward Pedestrian Mall, cross Volunteer, and head down Andy Holt for the traditional "Salute to the Hill" on Phillip Fulmer Way to enter the stadium at Gate 21A.

We have created "express entrances" at gates 10 and 21 to allow fans who are not carrying bags to get through security faster and streamline the entrance process. There are also a few gate changes you may want to be aware of if you typically enter Neyland Stadium on the west side:

  • Gates 13 and 20 are new stair towers
  • The old gate 13 is now gate 14
  • Gate 15 is press level access only
  • Gate 18 is now an exit only
If you are in town on Friday night, join the Tennessee Volunteers, Pride of the Southland Band, Spirit Team, and Smokey as we kick off the 2009 Football season at the 3rd Annual Big Orange Blast concert and pep rally featuring country music star Sara Evans and up and coming Nashville based country music band TelluRide. The Big Orange Blast will be held at World's Fair Park this Friday, September 4th with gates opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 each at bigorangeblast.com.

A limited number of individual game tickets for five University of Tennessee home football games - Western Kentucky (Sept. 5), UCLA (Sept. 12), Ohio (Sept. 26), Memphis (Nov. 7) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 21) are available for purchase online at uttix.com. Tickets for Western Kentucky, Ohio, Memphis and Vanderbilt are $40 each plus shipping and handling. Tickets for UCLA are $60 each plus shipping and handling. If you are looking for tickets for any other home games, please continue to check www.uttix.com to see if any tickets were returned from the student allotment.

On Sunday we launch "The Lane Kiffin" show. This year's show will have a new format. The first 30 minutes will cover Saturday's game with Coach Kiffin with the last 30 minutes being a roundtable discussion with Bob Kesling, an assistant football coach and various former UT players. Fans can submit questions for Coach Kiffin through utsports.com at "Ask the Coach" beginning at kickoff Saturday. The most asked question will be answered every week on the show. Click here for show times.

We have completed the first portion of Phase III renovations at Neyland Stadium and it looks amazing! This portion included renovating the west second level concourse, bathrooms and concessions as well as replacing the scissor ramps on the west side with stairwells and elevators to increase fan accessibility and improve traffic flow. We also created a new press box/broadcast center, updated the west side skyboxes and completed the West Club, which is a primary funding source for the renovations. In addition, prep work was begun on Tennessee Terrace. With the Vol Walk time change, fans can now enter the stadium and watch the Vol Walk from the expanded concourses at the top of the lower level and the upper deck on the west side.

Thank you for your continued support of Tennessee Athletics.

Expect to win!

Mike Hamilton





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