UT Opens 2008 Home Football Slate with New Security Measures; Interstate Exits Open Despite I-40 Closure

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, welcomes fans to campus this Saturday for the first home football game of the 2008 season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. for the Volunteers’ game against Alabama-Birmingham. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.

The traditional Vol Walk from Gibbs Hall to the stadium starts at 10:15 a.m., and the Pride of the Southland Marching Band leaves the music building at 10:50 a.m.

Two changes are in store for fans: enhanced security and the closure of Interstate 40 through downtown.

UT installs security cameras

The university has installed new state-of-the-art security cameras throughout Neyland Stadium as part of a $125,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The cameras will allow law enforcement to remotely monitor areas in and around the stadium.

The camera system is a joint effort between the university, Knox County and the U.S., state and local Homeland Security offices. UT funded an additional $37,000 for the project.

“We are pleased to offer our fans even more peace of mind with the addition of these cameras, which will facilitate patrolling the stadium and protecting the huge numbers of fans who come to our campus on game days,” said UT Police Chief August Washington.

The university has continued to enhance the security measures put in place since Sept. 11, 2001.

“We are able to provide protection to visitors to Neyland Stadium with the help of the UT Police Department, the Knoxville Police Department, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the FBI,” said UT Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Jeff Maples, who oversees campus facilities including the stadium.

Interstate closed near campus

As always, fans driving to the game are encouraged to arrive early. I-40 is closed between Hall of Fame Drive and James White Parkway downtown, but all of the exits that lead to campus remain open.

Eastbound motorists have access to several exits: Alcoa Highway (exit 386B) to Neyland Drive, 17th Street (exit 387) to Cumberland Avenue or Henley Street (exit 388) to downtown. The last eastbound exit is 388A, James White Parkway.

Westbound motorists should use Hall of Fame Drive (exit 389) to Neyland Drive.

For more information about the I-40 closure, visit http://www.utk.edu/maps/closure.shtml or http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/smartfix/jwp/.

Game day policies remain same

Under state law, no smoking will be allowed anywhere inside the gates of Neyland Stadium. No one inside the gates will be allowed to leave and then be re-admitted.

Only fans with permits can park on campus. UT encourages fans to use shuttle buses from the Knoxville Civic Coliseum and the UT Agriculture Campus.

A no-fly zone extends over the stadium from one hour before the game until one hour after it ends, prohibiting flights within a 3-nautical-mile radius and lower than 3,000-feet altitude, except as authorized by air traffic control.

Solicitation near stadium gates and along Phillip Fulmer Way is prohibited.

UT reminds visitors that all items, including purses, are subject to search at the gates. Certain items remain prohibited inside the stadium, and those items cannot be stored at any stadium gate.

Prohibited items include the following:

– alcoholic beverages, cans, bottles or coolers
– radios without headphones
– open umbrellas
– video cameras
– stadium seats with arms
– large bags or parcels, including backpacks and large purses
– weapons of any kind, including pocketknives

Fans are allowed to bring the following items inside the stadium:

– cushions and seats without arms
– diaper bags that accompany infants
– small cameras, pagers, cell phones and binoculars

For those driving on campus, Peyton Manning Pass, Middle and Lower Drives, Estabrook Drive and Phillip Fulmer Way from Middle Drive to Tee Martin Drive will be closed 30 minutes before kickoff. Directional parking will be used in Area 9 and Lots 4, 5A and 5B.


Contacts:

Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179, elizabeth.davis@tennessee.edu.

Jeff Maples, (865) 974-3061