5 Things To Know Before Your First UT Game

location icon site icon
5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game

# All Categories

# Entertainment

location icon site icon

IT'S FOOTBALL (SNACK, FIREWORK & MARCHING BAND) TIME IN TENNESSEE

If you’re new to Knoxville and find yourself downtown on a lovely fall Saturday, you will notice two things: the Market Square Farmers Market and an absolute sea of “gaudy orange” (Sandra Bullock’s words, not ours 😉). This Scruffy City loves her college football. And while Knoxville’s way more than a college town, we’ve found it’s fun to jump in and embrace the Volunteer spirit anyway. (Though we are not buyin’ checkerboard overalls… we have to draw the line somewhere, people.) We’re here to help you fully enjoy game day at Neyland Stadium – wherever your budget or love of (or lack of love of) sports lands you. Here’s everything a newbie needs to know about attending a University of Tennessee football game!

5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game

1.) GET TO CAMPUS EARLY

There are so many ways to enjoy game day (without even purchasing a ticket!) but not without showing up a few hours early. If you’re anything like us, you are always running late (we prefer the term “time optimists”)  but game day is not the time, friends! You’ll probably have to park a good hike away (scooters aren’t activated on game day, but the free trolley makes its rounds!) so keep that in mind when planning your adventure. And as people who could take or leave football itself, you do not want to miss all the parties, music, and good times happening before kick-off. With that in mind…

Truly Tailgate

2.) GET YOUR TAILGATE ON

If you’re brand new to Knoxville, you still may not have a tried and true group of friends to tailgate with (yet! You know we’re always here to help ya make friends 😉). But that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the tailgating experience! The Truly Tailgate (located between Gates 10 &11) opens up three hours before kick-off and the first hour is freeeee! Enjoy cornhole and other yard games, televisions streaming other games around the country, food trucks, and drinks (specifically Truly’s, obviously 😂). After the first hour, the tailgate is only open to ticket holders – so here’s a Pro-Tip: If you’ve been bullied into attending this football game, you can go straight from the stadium into this lil tailgate and just play yard games to your heart’s content while the game goes on inside.

Kids at the Vol Village Pep Rally

3.) GET PUMPED UP

The hours before the game are all about getting puuuumped. Specifically, two hours and fifteen minutes before kick-off, make your way in front of Neyland Stadium to watch the “Vol Walk.” The team, players, coaches, Smokey, Davy Crocket, etc. will all parade into the stadium while the rest of us do the very important job of making sure they know we love them. You can fulfill this task in a myriad of ways including shaking pompons, giving high-fives as they pass, and occasionally “whooping & hollering” as they say in the south.

Next, head up the hill to Vol Village for a pep rally! If you don’t want to pay for a ticket to a major game, but still want to enjoy all the energy and fun of a football game, this is the place you want to be. This pep rally is totally free for everyone, with or without a ticket to the game. There are cheerleaders, live music, food trucks, Smokey (Smokey gets his steps in on game day, that’s for sure) and more. Our favorite part was when the regular cheerleaders invited lil baby cheerleaders to join them in a routine and we nearly cried from cuteness.

Finally, make sure to head back towards the stadium to catch the band makin’ music while they march inside. (Fun Fact: They’re also called the “Pride of the Southland.”) You will hear them play “Rocky Top” QUITE A FEW TIMES on this particular adventure, so we highly recommend learning when to sing the “woo!”

Social Deck View at Neyland Stadium

4.) FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE

Once the band goes inside, follow that music-makin’ mass! (We love their flair and don’t want you to miss a single second of any potential performances.) The crowd at this point will be massive. Just hold your clear bag close and dive in, pal. OR get a season ticket to the brand new Social Deck. We got to check it out on the first game of the season and we felt very fancy. There were also plenty of perks – not least of which was entering around the back of the stadium where the line was significantly shorter 😂

THE SOCIAL DECK:

Quick pause for a recap of the Social Deck. The view from this deck is INSANE, Y’ALL. You look directly over the field and the iconic Neyland sign for an Instagram dream. You also get private concessions and a bar dedicated to just people on the deck so again, the lines stay pretty manageable. We did stand the whole time, but that just kept on our (literal) toes during the football portions. (Honestly, we’re here for the snacks and the marching band so we didn’t mind extra motivation to stay alert during the game itself 😂) Our very favorite part was watching the band form a Power T on the field. The cheerleaders, Smokey (again, that pup has endless energy), and the entire football team break through the T to enter the field and it. is. rad. Finally, right above the Social Deck is a brand new jumbotron to join the first.

5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game Multi Images
5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game Multi Images
5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game Multi Images

5.) THE FLAIR

Again, we’re here for the ✨drama✨ If you are too, here are a few things you’ll love about being inside Neyland Stadium for a UT football game. First, the Pride of the Southland truly does not hold back. They are marchin’ all over that field in the coolest formations. They are playin’ Rocky Top like their lives depend on it. They are somehow not passing out from the heat because they are magic people. Second, helloooo fireworks! Fireworks shoot off after every touchdown and we squeal with delight every time. Third, FLYOVERS?! With the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base just a few miles south of University of Tennessee, sometimes you’ll get a flyover at the start of the game. Don’t say you don’t care about flyovers until you’re right under one. We were mesmerized. Fourth, the fans. Y’all, these fans are adorably dramatic. There may be WOOOOOs and there may be BOOOOOs but there is definitely no question about how the crowd is feeling at any given moment. If you’re here for the drama, Tennessee fans deliver 😉

FINAL PRO-TIPS:

Finally here is some lingo/cheers we had to work to decipher 😂

GBO = Go Big Orange
VFL = Vol for Life
“I SAID IT’S GREAT – TO BE – A TENNESSEE VOL.”
“Rocky Top, you’ll always be home sweet home to me. Good ole Rocky Top (WOO!) Rocky Top, Tennessee”
Rocky Top = Generally UT at large
Power T: The big orange T logo you see all over town!

We hope this can help you make the absolute most out of game day at the University of Tennessee! If you can’t make it to campus at all, check out some of our favorite spots to watch UT games around Knoxville!

location icon site icon

Check Out Neyland Stadium:

Address: 1300 Phillip Fulmer Way, Knoxville, TN 37916

Publish date: 10 October.

Images by: Emilie Stooksbury

Share Title:

calendar

25 November, 2022

Local Knoxville Holiday Gift Guide 2022
I am absolutely one thousand percent obsessed with all things Christmas. I dive hook, line, and sinker into all the music, traditions, seasonal cocktails and tacky sweaters of the season. So yes, okay, suuuure, FINE, I've been known to go a little overboard on gifts some years. But if you're…
calendar

14 November, 2022

6 Must-Try Bakeries in Knoxville
This is for everyone who enjoys the sweeter things in life. (Yeah, we’re lookin’ at you, our buttercream frosting and chocolate-covered anything girlies 😉) There’s no hiding that the Scruffy City has stolen our hearts - but the literal ✨sweetest✨ things about Knoxville are her local bakeries (and there are…
calendar

23 October, 2022

What to Do for Halloween in Knoxville
It’s Halloween week (Halloweek, if you will) witch means there is plenty to boo in Knoxville, Tennessee! Whether you want to hit as many spooky events as possible or you need to carefully choose your one golden extroverted opportunity, here are a bunch of Halloween events for all ghosts and…

calendar

10 October, 2022

5 Things to Know Before Your First UT Game
If you're new to Knoxville and find yourself downtown on a lovely fall Saturday, you will notice two things: the Market Square Farmers Market and an overwhelming sea of "gaudy orange" (Sandra Bullock's words, not ours 😉). This Scruffy City loves her college football. And while Knoxville is way more…
calendar

29 July, 2022

6 Ways to Spend Rainy Days in Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee is an outdoor-lovers playground. There are endless options. We're talking mountain biking and paddle boarding and quarry swimming and patio eating. BUT Knoxville also has a tendency to, well, rain... a lot. (In my defense, I moved here after about 5 years of living in a Texan draught…
calendar

27 May, 2022

Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town
You are very cool and fun. We can just tell. When someone (such as yourself) is very cool and fun, people will inevitably want to visit Knoxville to hang with you. When people inevitably visit, they will probably want to do more than watch Netflix and eat food (I mean,…

calendar

14 November, 2022

6 Must-Try Bakeries in Knoxville
This is for everyone who enjoys the sweeter things in life. (Yeah, we’re lookin’ at you, our buttercream frosting and chocolate-covered anything girlies 😉) There’s no hiding that the Scruffy City has stolen our hearts - but the literal ✨sweetest✨ things about Knoxville are her local bakeries (and there are…
calendar

3 October, 2022

5 Must-Try Pizzas in Knoxville
Whether it’s game day chaos or a cozy night at home watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, if you’re anything like us... you’re hungry 😂 And in almost any scenario, what’s better than pizza? Luckily, Knoxville is home to some pretty stellar pizza spots. In no particular order, here are a…
calendar

15 July, 2022

10 Must-Try Summer Cocktails in Knoxville
We’ve been waiting for her all year, but now that she’s here, we desperately need to cool down 😳 Yes, we're talking about summer in Knoxville, Tennessee! And nothing says summer in Knoxville like cooling down with some summer cocktails in Knoxville 😉 It’s officially time for you to find…

calendar

25 November, 2022

Local Knoxville Holiday Gift Guide 2022
I am absolutely one thousand percent obsessed with all things Christmas. I dive hook, line, and sinker into all the music, traditions, seasonal cocktails and tacky sweaters of the season. So yes, okay, suuuure, FINE, I've been known to go a little overboard on gifts some years. But if you're…
calendar

9 December, 2021

The Ultimate Knoxville Gift Guide
If you have already finished your Christmas shopping, we are fundamentally not the same kind of person. I probably have a lot to learn from you and I’m frankly not sure why you clicked on this article at all. However, if you have been quietly muttering to yourself, “Everything will…
calendar

30 November, 2021

5 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Friend Who Has Everything
​It’s the time of year for ribbons, bobbles, and credit card debt (or however that Christmas song goes 😂). When it comes to gifts though (and credit card debt for that matter), we prefer experiences. You get to share it with your loved one, make lasting memories, and up your…

calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade Adams is the stylish, hilarious owner of Oglewood Avenue - and frankly, we’d like to be her new best friend. (It’s not weird, okay? Don’t make it weird.) Besides, considering the way she takes care of her plants, she’d be a good best friend to have. Let’s back up:…
calendar

5 January, 2021

5 Fave Black-Owned Businesses in Knoxville
If you’re anything like me (white… oh so very white), you may have realized you had a lot to learn last summer. You may have also been surprised to learn that COVID was hitting Black-owned businesses (even in Knoxville) disproportionately hard. My favorite part of 2020 life was ordering local…

calendar

17 October, 2022

5 Dog Friendly Hikes Near Knoxville
Knoxville has a lot to offer - like a lot 😂 We love our makers, brewers, markets, etc. - but we can prooobably all agree that East Tennessee’s magic really culminates in those Smoky Mountains (*swoooon*) Seriously, even when we’re deep in the heart of the Scruffy City, we still…
calendar

12 October, 2022

9 Things to Do This Fall in Knoxville
One thirty-something woman’s bucket list for things to do in Knoxville this fall. Call me basic but my absolute favorite season is FALL, Y’ALL 🍂 There’s just something about this time of year in Tennessee. The temperatures finally start going down while football ramps up, the return of all things…
calendar

29 July, 2022

6 Ways to Spend Rainy Days in Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee is an outdoor-lovers playground. There are endless options. We're talking mountain biking and paddle boarding and quarry swimming and patio eating. BUT Knoxville also has a tendency to, well, rain... a lot. (In my defense, I moved here after about 5 years of living in a Texan draught…

calendar

17 October, 2022

5 Dog Friendly Hikes Near Knoxville
Knoxville has a lot to offer - like a lot 😂 We love our makers, brewers, markets, etc. - but we can prooobably all agree that East Tennessee’s magic really culminates in those Smoky Mountains (*swoooon*) Seriously, even when we’re deep in the heart of the Scruffy City, we still…
calendar

6 April, 2022

How to Hike Fort Dickerson Loop
Fort Dickerson Park (home of Augusta Quarry, formerly known as Fort Dickerson Quarry) is a pleasant, easy hike just barely south of downtown Knoxville. You've got plenty of scenic overlooks, but also a lil bit of that ✨scruff✨ Knoxville holds so dear. It's also only 3-ish miles, so you can…
calendar

18 February, 2022

Top Places to Cozy Up by a Fire in Knoxville
If you’re new to Knoxville, there is something you need to know about Tennessee weather… it can be a little crazy. I’m not sure who originally said this, but the saying: “If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it'll change,” definitely applies to our scruffy…

calendar

25 November, 2022

Local Knoxville Holiday Gift Guide 2022
I am absolutely one thousand percent obsessed with all things Christmas. I dive hook, line, and sinker into all the music, traditions, seasonal cocktails and tacky sweaters of the season. So yes, okay, suuuure, FINE, I've been known to go a little overboard on gifts some years. But if you're…
calendar

16 November, 2021

Glitterville: A Look Inside
Stephen Brown is a rather unassuming name for one of the most vibrant human beings on the planet. Like many other Stephens, this one was born in East Tennessee and went to school at the University of Tennessee. But this is where the similarities end. See, from there, Stephen Brown…
calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade Adams is the stylish, hilarious owner of Oglewood Avenue - and frankly, we’d like to be her new best friend. (It’s not weird, okay? Don’t make it weird.) Besides, considering the way she takes care of her plants, she’d be a good best friend to have. Let’s back up:…


location icon site icon

Search Bar

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
location icon site icon

Don’t Miss the News!

Subscribe to the New2Knox newsletter to get monthly updates on all things Knoxville.

Loading
location icon site icon

Upcoming Events

november, 2022

location icon site icon

Move2Knox?

Moving can be daunting, but we’re here to help it go as smoothly as possible.

location icon site icon

Want to Advertise?

Want to advertise your business or event? Let’s chat!

X