UT to unveil changes

As the University of Tennessee football team completes its final week of fall camp, and with the Sept. 4 season opener on the horizon, the University today announced several stadium improvements and gameday changes for the upcoming season.

While approaching Neyland Stadium fans will immediately notice the dramatic new plaza at Gate 21, complete with an arched entrance, permanent bench seating, brick pavers, and landscaping. Just outside Gate 21, a new amphitheater and "grand entrance" to the Hill serves as host location for the Vol Network's Kickoff Call-In Show featuring Bob Kesling and Tim Priest. The Kickoff Call-In Show begins 1½ hours before kickoff. Other features of this phase of the Neyland Stadium renovation include:

• The Tennessee Terrace, a 1,804-seat area located just below the club seats on the west side. Terrace members have access to a climate-controlled hospitality area as well as enhanced concessions offerings.

• A large display area at Gate 16 that will house a twice life-size statue of Gen. Robert Neyland. The statue is being created by Blair Buswell, who has sculpted busts for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is scheduled to arrive mid-season.

• Large murals of legendary former Vols on the exterior of the stadium, featuring Gen. Neyland, Johnny Majors, Al Wilson, Peyton Manning, Doug Atkins and Reggie White.

Beginning with the Vols' Sept. 4 home opener versus UT Martin, the "Vol Walk" returns to its traditional start time of 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. The "Vol Walk" features the team beginning its walk from the intersection of Lake Loudoun Boulevard, rallying at the Volunteer Statue (Torchbearer), the official symbol of the University, and then proceeding down Peyton Manning Pass to Phillip Fulmer Way, entering Neyland Stadium at Gate 21A.

The Pride of the Southland Band commences its march 1 hour and 40 minutes prior to kickoff. The band route proceeds down Volunteer Boulevard to Andy Holt Avenue for the traditional "Salute to the Hill" on Phillip Fulmer Way, before entering the stadium at Gate 21A.

The Tennessee football team returns to the west sideline for the 2010 season, thanks in large part to the cooperation of the Student Affairs Office and Student Government Association. Minor adjustments to the student seating allocation were necessary to make this move possible.

Because of construction, access to the UT Athletics Ticket Office has been altered. During the week, the ticket office will staff a location outside Thompson-Boling Arena on the northwest side of the facility for will call pickup. The ticket office also will staff Gate 21 on gamedays beginning 4 hours prior to kickoff.

Season tickets and select individual game tickets are still available at UTtix.com.

TEXT MESSAGING SYSTEM FOR 2010 SEASON <

Tennessee Athletics in conjunction with InStadiumSolutions (ISS) will introduce a fan text messaging system at Neyland Stadium, beginning with the Sept. 4 game against UT Martin. This system allows fans to request immediate assistance from event management personnel through a text message.

"This system allows us to increase our efficiency in addressing fans' needs in a simple and effective way," said David Elliott, Assistant Athletic Director for Event Management. "Through the fan text messaging system, we are able to enhance our customer service capability."

From a personal cell phone, fans can text "Vols" the issue and location of the incident, including the section number, row and seat number, to 69050. The fan will then receive an automatic reply message acknowledging receipt of the message, or if there is insufficient information, will be asked for a more complete message. Stadium staff, security or emergency personnel will be alerted and respond to the site.

Fans can text requesting assistance for a variety of issues including, but not limited to, medical, security, fan disturbances, lost children and customer service issues. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

REMINDER OF ITEMS THAT ARE PROHIBITED AT UT SPORTING EVENTS

• Weapons of any kind (including pocket knives)

• Outside food and beverages, cans, bottles, coolers

• Laser pointers, artificial noisemakers, strobe lights

• Video cameras or professional cameras (large lenses)

• Open umbrellas

• Radios or other audio devices without headsets

• Stadium seats with arms

• Signs larger than 8½" x 11"

• Large bags or parcels including backpacks and large purses


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