UT campus welcomes 'TODAY' show

4:26 PM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
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"TODAY Show" hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda kicked off their hour-long show on the road from UT campus Monday morning with cheerleaders, the UT Band, members of the dance squad, and hundreds of cheering fans.

The hosts said they've never seen a school with so much spirit.

People had lined up for hours for the chance to appear on the fourth hour of the "TODAY Show."

Many in the crowd Monday morning wore Volunteer orange "TODAY in Tennessee" t-shirts, and it's not too late to get yours. Part of the proceeds will go to the United Way.

If you missed Kathie Lee and Hoda, you have one more chance to see their show from Knoxville. We will re-air it at 2:05 Tuesday morning on Channel 10, so make sure to set your DVR! 

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The "Today Show" crew said  they will broadcast live in front of Ayres Hall Monday morning, despite the weather.

Since rain is predicted in the forecast, crews said they will set up a tent to cover the set and will hand out ponchos to the crowd.

After more than twenty-four hours of set up, every detail seems to be in place before the national spotlight shines on UT.

NBC Director of Field Operations Jack Bennett says it takes more than $100,000 to take the Today Show on the road.

"We've been to a number of places and when we get a crowd, it doesn't matter if they're college kids or 40-year-olds or 50- year-olds-- they're all screaming and yelling," says Bennett.

About fifty employees help make it all happen, in addition to some very lucky students who got the opportunity to help out.

"I knew they were having this contest, I didn't think we would really have a chance to win," says UT student Brooke Fraser, who was selected as a "runner" for the show.

"And then once we got in the top six I think everyone kind of got on board and was like texting, tweeting, sending in pictures."

Senior Trey Pence also helped the crew tie up some last minute loose ends. 

"UTs been in the press so much with Gameday and now this, it's just been big. It's been great seeing something positive to come to campus. Why not be excited about it?" says Pence.

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NBC crews are preparing for their live broadcast on UT's campus Monday morning.

On Saturday, crews ran cords and sent up tents ahead of Monday's show. That's when the Today Show will broadcast its fourth hour from campus.

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will be live near Ayres Hall for their "Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back To College" series. The show starts at 10:00 a.m.

Channel 10's morning crew will also be there starting with live coverage at 5:00 a.m. We will continue our coverage on Mornings with Fox 43 beginning at 7:00.

You can show your spirit for the event by buying a "Today in Tennessee" t-shirt. The t-shirts cost $10 with most of the proceeds going to the United Way. You can buy them on our website. Just go to the "About" section and click on general store. You can also purchase a t-shirt Monday morning on campus.

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