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It's football time in Tennessee! Here's what you need to know for the Vols first 2021 home game

The Vols take on the Bowling Green Falcons at Neyland Stadium for UT's first home football game of the 2021 season on Thursday, Sept. 2.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's football time in Tennessee! 

The Vols will take on the Bowling Green State University Falcons at Neyland Stadium for the first home football game of the 2021 season on Thursday, Sept. 2.

After game days and traditions were limited in 2020 as COVID-19 precautions, the University of Tennessee said they will all be back this year.  

Tailgating will be back in full swing. Neyland Stadium will be at full capacity. The Pride of the Southland band, cheerleaders and Smokey will be allowed on the field. The Vol Walk is back on. The Vols will run through the T before the game.

RELATED: Neyland Stadium will be at full capacity, not requiring vaccinations this fall for its 100th year

Here is everything you need to know before you return to good ol' Rocky Top.

Important times:

10 a.m. Unveiling bronze statues commemorating Volunteer trailblazers Condredge Holloway, Tee Martin, Lester McClain, and Jackie Walker in the plaza outside Gate 21

3 p.m. Parking lots open

4 p.m. New Truly's Tailgate begins outside Gate 9 through the end of the third quarter

4:30 p.m. Toyota Volunteer Village opens in the Humanities Plaza

5:45 p.m. Vol Walk along Peyton Manning Pass and Phillip Fulmer Way 

6 p.m. Gates open

6:20 p.m. Pride of the Southland Band march

8 p.m. Kickoff

Three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Army Aviation Support Facility at McGhee Tyson Airport will do a stadium flyover at the end of the national anthem.

Need to know:

  • Face coverings and masks are encouraged in the stadium on game day. 
  • Masks are required on the shuttle buses.
  • Proof of vaccination and negative COVID-19 tests are not required to enter Neyland Stadium.
  • UT asks fans to do a health self-screen and stay home if they feel sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • UT asks fans not to do hugs, high-fives and handshakes and to stay on the sidewalk during the Vol Walk.
  • A limited number of boat mooring spaces are available at the Volunteer Landing and Vol Navy docks. Shuttles will not be available.
  • Medical bag checkpoints will be at Gates 14 and 21.
  • Stadium staff will do a self-screening for COVID-19 before entering Neyland.

What you can bring:

  • One clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bag, according to the clear bag policy
  • A small clutch purse not to exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches
  • Cushions or seats without arms or side pockets
  • Small cameras, binoculars, and mobile phones
  • Small bags with medically necessary items
    • Diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children must be carried in a clear bag.
  • One unopened factory-sealed clear water bottle and one empty clear water bottle per person
  • For personal tailgates, you can bring a tent as large as 10 feet by 10 feet for your group. Tents must not block parking spaces or vehicle traffic within a parking area.

What you cannot bring:

  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Open umbrellas
  • Outside food and drinks, including alcohol
  • Radios without headphones
  • Video cameras, professional cameras, and cameras with detachable lenses 
  • Stadium seats with arms or side pockets
  • Selfie sticks
  • Weapons of any kind, including pocket knives
  • Any smoking products including lighted tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other vape devices
  • Unmanned aircraft systems like drones


  • Those with parking permits will have pre-assigned parking areas. (See the map on UT's website)
  • Fans with football tickets but no parking permit have one cash only paid parking option on campus for $40 at the UT Culinary Institute (2712 Neyland Drive)
  • Fans with a current valid accessible placard or plate but no football parking permit will park on the Ag Campus on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Football Accessible Shuttle is available from the Ag Campus to the Student Union Loading Dock Entry Road.
  • Public parking options are also available around Downtown Knoxville. (See the map on the city's website)
Credit: University of Tennessee

Game day tips:

  • The game will be on the SEC Network.
  • Download your digital tickets before arriving on campus.
  • Display your parking permits, either printed or mobile, upon entry into parking lots.
  • You cannot leave any items at the gates so double check your belongings before you go in.
  • Game day information is available on the UT Sports website and on Twitter.