KNOXVILLE — With the start of the 2006 University of Tennessee football season just a few days away, officials are asking fans to remember the enhanced security measures designed to keep them safe during games at Neyland Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 2, as the Tennessee Volunteers host the Golden Bears of the University of California-Berkeley.
UT Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Jeff Maples said the toughened security measures fans have seen over the past few years will continue.
“After the events of September 11, 2001, UT implemented new safety and security plans, and five years later, those plans are still in place and still protecting visitors to Neyland Stadium,” Maples said.
This season, gates will open two hours before kickoff, and visitors are encouraged to enter the stadium early instead of waiting until the last minute.
Since the new security measures were put in place, Maples said, one problem that still exists is when people try to bring prohibited items inside the stadium. No items or parcels can be stored at any stadium gate.
This often results in people having to walk back to their cars to store the items, which may make them late for kickoff, Maples said.
All items, including purses, are subject to search.
The list of items that spectators cannot bring to the game includes:
-alcoholic beverages, cans, bottles or coolers;
-radios without headphones;
-stadium seats with arms;
-large bags or parcels, including backpacks and large purses;
-weapons of any kind.
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.
Security measures outside Neyland Stadium are the same as in previous years, Maples said.
A no-fly zone will extend over the stadium from one hour before the game until one hour after it ends, prohibiting flights within a three nautical mile radius and lower than 3,000 feet altitude, except as authorized by air traffic control.
Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a law prohibiting smoking in state buildings. The law, which went into effect in July, pertains to University facilities as well. In concert with the new legislation, smoking will no longer be allowed in the stadium except in ramp areas and the Gate 21 plaza.
Smoking is already banned in the seating areas of the stadium. This change will prohibit smoking in the interior concourses of the stadium.
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.
With the renovation of the Glocker Business Administration Building, traffic on Andy Holt Avenue has been designated one-way westbound. But starting three hours prior to kickoff Saturday, traffic will flow both eastbound and westbound. During and immediately after the game, Andy Holt Avenue will revert back to its permanent designation of one-way westbound.
Due to construction, sidewalks on the north side of Andy Holt Avenue and the east side of Volunteer Boulevard at Glocker have been closed, along with the sidewalk on the east side of Lake Loudoun Boulevard at the corner of Neyland Drive.
Solicitation near stadium gates and along Phillip Fulmer Way will be prohibited.
ESPN will televise the game Saturday. The traditional Vol Walk from Gibbs Hall to the stadium starts at 3:15 p.m., and the Pride of the Southland marching band leaves the music building at 3:50 p.m.
With a seating capacity of 102,039, Neyland Stadium is the largest football stadium in the South and the third-largest in the country. Tennessee has averaged 105,176 per game attendance over the past nine seasons, drawing nearly four million fans during that time.
For more information on campus parking, visit http://www.tennessee.edu/news/traffic.pdf.
For more information on traveling to Knoxville, visit the UT Mens Athletics Web site at http://utsports.cstv.com/travel/tenn-travel.html or the Tennessee Department of Transportation Web site at http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/smartfix/jwp/closures.asp.
Contact: Jeff Maples (865-974-3061)