NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – During Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s COVID-19 news briefing on Tuesday, University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Athletic Director, Phillip Fulmer, spoke about how they will approach football season this fall amid the ongoing pandemic.
Capacity at Neyland Stadium
Fulmer addressed all of the safety protocols they are taking with student-athletes and fans, noting that there will be a lot of changes at Neyland Stadium this fall.
“Attendance this fall is one of the discussions that constantly comes up. We’re grateful for our good friends at Bristol and the efforts they made to again pave the way to some degree for what we’re getting ready to do but obviously, whatever happens, it is clear that capacity in Neyland Stadium will be reduced if we get to start on time or if it is a later date in the fall or next spring because of social distancing,” Fulmer said.
Fulmer added on the topic of capacity at the stadium, “We are anticipating somewhere around the 25 percent mark and we hope to be able to achieve that.”
Face coverings will be required for those fans that are able to watch the game at Neyland Stadium.
Game Day Traditions
In his address, Fulmer did mention pregame activities such as tailgating, “In any way that we can we need to avoid large gatherings.”
So what about game day traditions like the Vol Walk?
Fulmer said Tuesday it probably will not happen this season.
“Game day traditions like the Vol Walk and the band march could very well be unsafe for everybody concerned so again, we’re kind of making the decision that we would probably not have those,” Fulmer said.
One of Fulmer’s final remarks about changes for the upcoming season included the question of how these changes, including the limited ticket sales, will impact the school financially.
Fulmer said in part, “There’s a 30 to 40 million dollar loss that is there that we’ll have to figure out as we go along.”
It’s a season of change for football. From the NFL to high school, News 2 digs deeper into the impact COVID-19 is having on the game.
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