KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With the start of the centennial celebration of Neyland Stadium, Shield-Watkins Field set for primetime on Sept. 2, Tennessee Athletics has unveiled several new, exciting fan experience enhancements for the 2021 football season.
“As we enter the 100th season of Tennessee football at Neyland Stadium, we have some new gameday elements in store to welcome our fans back,” Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White said. “We’ll continue to evaluate our gameday experience, seek fan feedback and identify opportunities to enhance the way things look, sound and feel while still honoring the traditions and pageantry that make fall Saturdays on Rocky Top so unique.”
A vibrant, state-of-the-art LED lighting system is in the final stages of completion in Neyland Stadium. A dramatic LED light show will accentuate pregame and in-game festivities.
The traditional fireworks show is moving and now bigger than ever. Fireworks will now be showcased from the roof of the north end zone and the east and west skybox rooftops during pregame and following UT touchdowns and victories.
Toyota Volunteer Village Pregame Concert Series, Food Trucks
Toyota Volunteer Village will highlight a new artist or band each home game with a pregame concert series, providing Vol fans with the ultimate pregame atmosphere. Admission is free to all fans with or without a game ticket. Food trucks will be on hand, and there will be activities for fans of all ages. Vol Village serves as an ideal spot to view the Vol Walk and Pride of Southland Band march. The Sept. 2 lineup in Vol Village will feature a pregame concert from The Desert City Ramblers, as well as a video game truck, tailgate games and much more. Vol Village will be open from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2.
Located outside Gate 9, fans can stop by for food and drinks at Truly’s Tailgate. For any game starting later than noon ET, Truly’s will open four hours prior to kickoff. For a noon kickoff, the tailgate will open at 9 a.m. Truly’s will stay open throughout the game, giving fans in the south concourse a variety of food, drinks and additional restroom options. Truly’s will close at the end of the third quarter.
DJ “Sterl The Pearl”
VFL and former Tennessee quarterback Sterling Henton – known by fans as DJ “Sterl The Pearl” will reside in Truly’s Tailgate pregame and then transition to the sidelines inside Neyland Stadium when gates open. He will remain on field level throughout the game, becoming an energetic part of the stadium experience.
“I Will Give My All”
As fans make their way to their seats, they can participate in a similar tradition as the Volunteers who take the field. “I Will Give My All” signs have been installed above the portals entering each section of Neyland Stadium. Just as the team is reminded to “Give My All” before running through the T pregame, each fan entering the stadium is encouraged to do the same. Earlier this summer, Tennessee Athletics launched the “My All” Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising initiative to ensure Tennessee’s ability to provide a transformational student-athlete experience for current and future Vols and Lady Vols. More details on the “My All” Campaign are available at iwillgivemyall.com.
The ninth-oldest stadium in the FBS, Neyland Stadium first opened as Shield-Watkins Field in 1921. Fans can join in the 100-year celebration by sharing their memories of one of college football’s grandest cathedrals at Neyland100.com. The centennial milestone will be commemorated all season long with in-game videoboard content and more.
“Vol Walk,” Running Through The T
Two of Tennessee’s timeless traditions return in 2021. The Volunteers will make their traditional “Vol Walk” down Peyton Manning Pass and Phillip Fulmer Way with enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols. The team’s pathway during the Vol Walk will be expanded. Fans are encouraged to cheer on the Vols during the walk while remaining on the sidewalks along Peyton Manning Pass and Phillip Fulmer Way and refraining from hugs, high-fives, and handshakes. In addition, the Pride of the Southland Band returns to the field for its pregame performance, culminating with head coach Josh Heupel and the Volunteers running through the T. Smokey X will also make his triumphant return to the field in 2021.
Heupel’s debut comes during the 125th season of Tennessee football. Kickoff for the Thursday season-opener against Bowling Green is set for 8 p.m. ET live on SEC Network.
Though not required for entry to Neyland Stadium or movement throughout the seating bowl, facial coverings are encouraged for stadium patrons on game day.