UT Opens 2009 Football Season with Changes to Vol Walk, Band March, Stadium Entry

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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, welcomes fans to campus this Saturday for the first home football game of the 2009 season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 12:21 p.m. for the Volunteers’ game against Western Kentucky University. Gates open at 10:15 a.m. ESPN-SEC Sports will televise the game.

The start of the traditional Vol Walk has been moved closer to Neyland Stadium and closer to game time this year. The walk will begin at 10:35 a.m. at the Torchbearer statue on Volunteer Boulevard, then proceed down Peyton Manning Pass, then left onto Phillip Fulmer Way.

Immediately following, the Pride of the Southland Marching Band will march down the Joe Johnson-John Ward Pedestrian Walkway and proceed along Andy Holt Avenue to the stadium.

“These changes in game-day events allow more fans the opportunity to experience the traditions and build excitement closer to kickoff,” said Jeff Maples, UT Knoxville senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration. “Anyone with a ticket to the game can go to the new observation deck on the third floor of the west side of Neyland Stadium and get a great view of the Vol Walk and band march.”

Fans also can attend the College of Arts and Sciences’ Pregame Faculty Showcase, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Held two hours before each home game kickoff in the University Center Ballroom, the showcase is a free 30-minute presentation by a UT faculty member, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. This week, Carroll Freeman, director of opera and associate professor in the School of Music, will dispel common myths about opera in “Master Class-less: BeaUTy and the Beats.”

Due to the time changes involving the Vol Walk and the band march, it is more important than ever to arrive for the game as early as possible, Maples said.

During the duration of the Vol Walk and the band march, fans should enter the campus from Lake Loudoun Boulevard, Joe Johnson Drive or the western end of Volunteer Boulevard at Cumberland Avenue and avoid the entrances on the north and east sides of the campus.

Only fans with permits can park on campus. UT encourages fans to use shuttle buses from the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, the Old City area of downtown Knoxville, and Farragut High School in west Knoxville. Limited public handicapped parking spaces and handicapped shuttle service to the stadium are available on the UT Agriculture Campus, off Neyland Drive.

Many area hotels also offer shuttle service to the game. Check with your hotel’s management for details.

For the first time in years, no major interstate road construction is taking place in Knoxville at the start of the football season. Tennessee Department of Transportation overhead signs and radio broadcasts will advise motorists which interstate exits to take to get to campus. The signs also will advise through-traffic on Interstates 40 and 75 to take the I-640 bypass around downtown Knoxville.

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

In an effort to reduce wait times, the university is offering express entry lanes at Gates 10 and 21. Those fans with no items subject to search may utilize the express lanes for quicker access to the stadium.

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.

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.

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.

C O N T A C T :

Jeff Maples (865-974-3061, maples@utk.edu)

Brian Browning (865-974-3061, brian-browning@utk.edu)

Charles Primm (865-974-5180, charles.primm@tennessee.edu)

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