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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– A University of Tennessee football pre-game tradition — the Pride of the Southland Band march to the stadium — will be a half-hour earlier to help ease traffic congestion, a UT official said Thursday.

Steve Richards, football traffic committee chairman, said the traditional march an hour before the game will be moved to an hour and a half before kickoff to help alleviate traffic problems from on-campus construction.

The band will not perform its brief show at Andy Holt Avenue and Stadium Drive but will put on a pre-game concert inside the stadium, Richards said.

“The band march and concert are longtime favorite activities for Vol fans,” Richards said. “The tradition will continue, only now it will be held a bit earlier and will move inside the stadium.

“This should help reduce traffic and pedestrian congestion in front of the stadium before games.”

The band’s new schedule is not the only new change to ease pre-game traffic congestion.

Barricades will be installed on Stadium Drive to create separate lanes for pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic, Richards said. The portable metal barricade, extending from near Andy Holt to the G10 parking garage, will help route pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic more safely and efficiently, he said.

“The barriers will provide pedestrians with additional walking space which is clear of vehicles,” Richards said. “They will also provide motorists with a clearly defined route, free of pedestrians, to the parking areas.”

Signs will be used to encourage pedestrians to use the correct lane and steer clear of the motor vehicle path, he said.

Other scheduled changes include allowing the general public to enter through Gate 10 and through other student gates where student ID scanning is set up, and having extra police officers on duty, Richards said.

Richards also said new “Permit Parking Only” signs will be placed at campus entrances and other locations to remind motorists that no parking is available on campus without a permit.

Fans with permits to parking garage G10 cannot enter the garage by turning off Neyland Drive and crossing lot C17, as they have done in the past, Richards said. C17 has been excavated for construction on a new parking garage, he said.

G10 garage patrons must enter the garage from Stadium Drive. Richards said a good route is to turn from Cumberland Avenue onto southbound Stadium Drive to the garage.

“Because of some special situations this year, it is more important than ever to come early to the game and be careful in traffic situations,” Richards said.

Kickoff for Saturday’s UT-Georgia game is at 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Dr. Steve Richards (615-974-5255)