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Vol Navy to face social distancing limits at city-owned docks

Tailgating also will be prohibited at city-owned garages and surface lots.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Members of the Vol Navy will face new social-distancing limits if they set sail for Knoxville this fall.

Boats will only be able to stack themselves two deep along the city-owned docks on Game Day.

Knoxville owns two docks -- one by Calhoun's on the River and another, bigger one by the pavilion along Volunteer Landing.

Vol fans during Tennessee home football games know boaters in normal times usually tie up against each other many boats deep in row after row.

Visitors then typically have to cross numerous boats to get back and forth to shore.

Because of COVID-19 and necessary precautions to help stem the spread of the highly contagious virus that won't be allowed this year.

According to the city, health authorities note that close contact can lead to the easy spread of the coronavirus.

"The limit in stacking of boats at City docks is aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus as much as possible by reducing the number of people congregated at the docks," a city news release states.

The city was expected Friday morning to reveal more about socializing during home football games.

Docking at city-owned facilities is allowed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The city also is asking that boaters not tie up for more than 24 hours this fall.

The first home game is noon Oct. 3 against the Missouri Tigers.

City officials, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the University of Tennessee have been quietly discussing plans to address gathering guidelines amid the pandemic.

TWRA will be on the water watching game day gatherings.

Fans also will face other restrictions at city-owned facilities during home games.

No tailgating will be permitted at any city-owned parking garage or on surface lots.

UT already has said it will limit large tailgating parties on campus.

The city offers these tips for Vol Navy fans who want to gather Saturdays:

*Be considerate of boaters already moored at the docks. Ask permission to tie off or cross another boat to get to the dock.

*Wear a face covering if you enter another person’s boat. When physical distancing is not possible, wear a face covering, even outdoors.

*If you do not have a ticket to the football game, please do not moor at a city dock on Game Day. With reduced capacity, please leave the docks available to fans attending the game.

*Move your boat after each game so that the docks are accessible to other boaters during the week.

*If you are concerned about strangers wearing face coverings crossing your vessel to access the dock, please consider beforehand whether you are comfortable bringing your boat to the game.

Brett Favre made a promotional appearance Saturday for ORCA coolers on the UT campus.

Lastly, the city wants to remind fans that because KAT buses at running at limited capacity, they won't be providing game-day shuttles this fall.