KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The hottest ticket in town right now is a chance to witness the number one team in the country take the court.
"The hair on your arm is standing up," said Sussan Wyatt, a season ticket holder for the past 32 years. "It’s just fun. It’s something everyone is looking forward to."
So many people are trying to get a glimpse of the number one ranked UT Men’s Basketball team the University had to open up additional seats in Thompson-Boling Arena for students. More than 22,200 people were at the game against Florida this weekend. The capacity is usually around 21,600.
The Vols already sold out five games this season and there are still several games left.
"We’ve always thought we could do it," said Jimmy Delaney, Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Fan Experience. "It’s just incredible to see all the pieces come together."
Of those more than 20,000 fans that packed into Thompson-Boling this weekend, it would be hard to find anyone who has been to more games than Susan Wyatt and her husband. They have had season tickets for the men’s basketball games since the arena opened in 1987.
"My husband has gone to pretty much every basketball game except for maybe three," said Wyatt, who estimates she has been to more than 400 games over the past three decades.
This season has been everything Basket Vols fans dreamed it would be, but it has not always been that way. Just ask Wyatt.
"We’ve been there when you knew you were a football school," said Wyatt. "I was at UT starting in 1974. I never thought of us as a basketball school. Now I think of us as a basketball school."
This past Saturday’s game saw the second largest crowd in Thompson-Boling since the university renovated the arena in 2008. There were so many people wanting to get in the university opened up sections usually closed to the public.
"We do have some standing room limited view seats that we use for when we get to capacity situations," said Delaney. "We wanted to make sure that every student who wanted to get into the game could. So we opened the doors and opened some seats for them."
They’ve also added more concession carts to the concourse and floor, all to help make Knoxville a basketball town.
"This season is just exciting," said Wyatt. "The excitement in the arena is just amazing."