(WBIR-Knoxville) Two days away from kickoff for the first sold-out home opener since 2007, hotels across the area said they're booked solid.
"We're seeing the Saturday, Sunday nights, yes, being sold out," said Jill Thompson, with Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association. "If I was coming through town on Saturday or Sunday, I would make reservations. I wouldn't take a chance on getting a room at this point."
Thompson said while there are some hotels with availability, the influx in demand shows growing interest in UT football since there are now 500 more hotel rooms in the area this year.
"To be flat would be great. But we're seeing an increase of a couple of percentage points for some. One of the markets has a 20 percent increase from their three-day weekend last year," explained Thompson.
The weekend, featuring Boomsday Saturday and a night game Sunday, is also helping hotels outside of Knox County.
"They're coming from all directions. There's just a lot of interest in UT football this year. A lot more interest than I've seen, you know, in the past few years," said Jason Regan, Hotel Manager at the Comfort Inn in Lenoir City, 25 miles from Neyland Stadium.
Regan said since the game is on a Sunday, that's changing the busy nights at his hotel from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday.
"I guess there's so much demand in Knoxville that it's pushed people out in our direction," said Regan."For the Florida game, we're almost sold out. We've just got a few rooms left."
In Farragut, on Campbell Station Road, four hotels said they had just a few rooms left.
In Harriman, located in Roane County, one hotel said it was down to six rooms available Sunday.
"We'll be full by the time Sunday rolls around," said the receptionist at Holiday Inn Express. "We fill up when things are going on in Knoxville, but in the past few years we hadn't been for Vols home games."
Thompson said with last-minute travelers expected to book rooms, the number of rooms sold could increase by kickoff.
"These are just reservations. So we won't know the real numbers until next week after everybody goes home and we have a win in our pocket for UT," said Thompson.