KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee is urging football fans driving to Knoxville Saturday for the Tennessee-Auburn game, as well as others passing through town, to avoid the downtown section of eastbound Interstate 40 after the game is over.
Construction work has temporarily closed the emergency lanes in a small section of I-40 East in downtown Knoxville. Electronic signs placed along the interstate will advise drivers to use the I-640 bypass Saturday evening if they are passing through town.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation said an auto accident in the narrowed section of I-40 East following the Tennessee-Louisiana Tech game last Saturday caused traffic problems until 2 a.m. Sunday.
“We hope the fans will get to Neyland Stadium well in advance of the game’s start time,” Philip Scheurer, vice president for operations, said Wednesday.
“Public transportation is always a good alternative, and it helps reduce traffic congestion around campus.”
Knoxville Area Transit will provide shuttle service from the Civic Coliseum parking garage and from Farragut High School in west Knox County.
Privately-owned shuttle services also offer rides from many hotels in the Knoxville area.
Game time between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Auburn Tigers is 7:45 p.m. Gates will open at 5:45 p.m.
The traditional Vol Walk starts at 5:30 p.m. from Gibbs Hall to the stadium. The Pride of the Southland marching band leaves the music building at 6:05 p.m.
ESPN will televise the game. The cable network will also broadcast their “ESPN College GameDay” show from Thompson-Boling Arena, overlooking Neyland Stadium.
Normal security measures will be in place Saturday, Scheurer said.
Large parcels such as backpacks will not be permitted inside Neyland Stadium. Items that are not allowed inside cannot be stored or left at the gate. Cell phones, small radios, seat cushions (without arms) and infant diaper bags accompanied by an infant are allowed, Scheurer said.
All bags are subject to search.
Phillip Fulmer Way from Middle Drive to Tee Martin Drive, Peyton Manning Pass, Middle and Lower drives and Estabrook Drive will be closed 30 minutes before kickoff. Directional parking will be used in Area 9 and Lot 5.