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Thompson-Boling to operate at 18% capacity for Vols basketball season

Thompson-Boling Arena's gameday capacity this season will be approximately 4,000, according to officials.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee —

After making social distancing adjustments to the seating model at Thompson-Boling arena, UT officials announced the arena will hold 4,000 fans for the 2020-21 basketball season.

"Pending the status of the pandemic, our hope is that this plan is only required for one season and that Thompson-Boling Arena can return to its traditional seating model next year," UT said in a statement.

While an exact figure is dependent on the final configuration of patron seating pods, Thompson-Boling Arena's gameday capacity this season will be approximately 4,000—or close to 18 percent. 

Officials said the proposed seating arrangements align with Southeastern Conference indoor event recommendations, which call for at least six feet of physical distance between groups. 

Those SEC recommendations also call for a 12-foot buffer zone encircling essential personnel located in and around the playing floor.

"Despite having gone through a similar process for football earlier this fall, the reality that we will be unable to welcome all of our ticket holders into Thompson-Boling Arena this basketball season remains saddening," Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer said. "There's no easy way to adjust to the circumstances we find ourselves in. But we've been thoughtful and deliberate in attempting to offer attendance opportunities to as many of our season-ticket holders as possible while also maintaining the safest arena environment possible."

Face coverings, over the nose and mouth, will be required for all fans and gameday staff and must remain in place at all times unless actively eating or drinking.

Regardless of one's decision to opt in or out for this season, everyone who purchased 2020-21 basketball season tickets will retain their status as a season-ticket holder along with their seats of choice when the 2021-22 renewal process begins.

Tennessee has outlined detailed guidelines for fan health and safety at Thompson-Boling Arena this season. Those guidelines, which align with previously announced SEC guidelines, can be accessed HERE.

As soon as possible, fans who previously purchased 2020-21 Tennessee.

The Lady Vols' home schedule is highlighted by eight SEC games and a Hall of Fame revival series clash with UConn and also will include additional non-conference tilts.