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KNOXVILLE — When basketball season opens at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, next week, new regulations for smoking will be enforced at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The arena is now smoke-free for men’s and women’s basketball games. In the past, a smoking area was set up outside, but that no longer will be available. Fans who exit the arena to smoke will need a new ticket to re-enter.

The first men’s exhibition game is Monday, Nov. 3, against the University of Indianapolis. The first Lady Vols’ exhibition game is Thursday, Nov. 6, against Carson-Newman College.

Making Thompson-Boling Arena a smoke-free facility for athletics is in keeping with all other university athletic facilities: Neyland Stadium, Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Regal Stadium, Lee Stadium, Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center and Varsity Courts.

The Southeastern Conference prohibits all “pass outs” at conference sporting facilities, meaning fans exiting the building cannot be re-admitted. Tennessee is the seventh SEC school to ban smoking. Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt already have policies that require fans who exit the arena to smoke to have a new ticket to re-enter their arenas.

Security Measures

A new ticketing system was instituted last season to protect fans if their tickets are lost or stolen and to discourage the use of counterfeit tickets. A bar code on tickets will be scanned when fans enter the arena.

If tickets are lost or stolen, fans should contact the ticket office so that the bar code can be deactivated and a new ticket can be issued. Call the ticket office at (865) 656-1200.

Many of the same security measures from last year remain in place:

– For men’s games, gates open 90 minutes before tipoff.

– For women’s games, gates open 60 minutes before tipoff.

– Students are required to enter the gates off the west ramp.

– Large bags, backpacks and other large parcels are not allowed.

– Artificial noisemakers also are prohibited.

– Radios with headphones, other small electronic devices and diaper bags accompanying infants are permitted.

– All items are subject to search or inspection, and hand-held metal detectors may be used.

For parking, basketball fans with permits will be allowed to park in designated lots adjacent to the arena. Free parking and a shuttle are available at the UT Agriculture campus.

For more information about Thompson-Boling Arena, go to or

Interstate Closure

As part of the SmartFix 40 Project, Interstate 40 will remain closed between Hall of Fame Drive and James White Parkway downtown for the entire season. However, all of the exits that lead to campus remain open.

Eastbound motorists have access to several exits: Alcoa Highway (exit 386B) to Neyland Drive, 17th Street (exit 387) to Cumberland Avenue or Henley Street (exit 388) to downtown. The last eastbound exit is 388A, James White Parkway.

Westbound motorists should use Hall of Fame Drive (exit 389) to Neyland Drive.

For more information about the I-40 closure, visit or


Tiffany Carpenter, UT athletics, (865) 974-1361,

Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

Jeff Maples, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration, (865) 974-3061