From new social decks to another way to see crucial replays, fans can get a whole new game day experience when they step inside Neyland Stadium for Tennessee football’s season opener Thursday.
There are still a few unfinished elements of the renovation, which began at the end of last season, but the stadium is ready for fans as the Vols face Ball State (7 p.m. ET, SEC Network).
Like to sit? Like to stand? Big changes in two new areas bring a swanky feel to one of the largest college football stadiums in the country.
Here are five things you need to know about what changes to expect before you sit down (or stand up) for kickoff.
Neyland Stadium’s Lower West Club gets cushy seats
Looking for a comfortable experience? The renovated Lower West Club is worth your attention. Sorry, it’s already sold out for the 2022 season.
The new outdoor portion features 2,600 cushioned Smokey Grey seats with extended leg room and chairbacks.
The indoor portion includes new, upgraded drink and concessions stations, along with high-top seating, air-conditioning and TVs. It can be accessed from four places within the section.
The club is still under construction, but it has temporary bathrooms and flooring. Deputy Athletics Director Ryan Alpert said construction will continue throughout the season and after the last home game.
Uniforms:Smokey Grey uniforms are back for Vols football for first time since 2017
Neyland Stadium’s North End Zone Social Deck is for standing
The new North End Zone Social Deck offers a completely different fan experience than the Lower West Club.
Sectioned off with wood paneling, the standing social deck can fit up to 1,200 people in an open air sports bar environment.
There’s no traditional seating but plenty of standing room for fans to watch the action from above the north goal post. The area requires a special ticket to enter.
Along with the standing space and a large common area, the deck features two concession stands and a 360-degree bar serving beer from breweries like Tennessee Brew Works, Yee-Haw, Alliance, Wicked Weed and Blackberry Farm.
What other big renovations are there? A jumbotron!
Along with the return of the V-O-L-S letters, there is one more huge addition to the north side of Neyland Stadium that would be hard to miss.
No more neck craning to see the replay!
Above the Upper North Social Deck, there is now a second jumbotron almost directly opposite from the original screen above the southern end zone. It gives fans in any section of the stadium a chance to view the display comfortably.
How much do new seating areas cost?
The two new areas offer a little something different, so they cost a little bit more.
Tickets for the Lower West Club, at $4,600 a seat for the season, already are sold out for the season.
Tickets for the Upper North Social Deck cost $1,950 for the season or $115-$275 per game, depending on the game.
Fans can add access to the social deck to a regular ticket. The premium pricing guide can be found on the Tennessee Fund website at tennesseefund.org.
Don’t want to pay for premium seating? You can still benefit.
“We were able to actually decrease 60% of pricing in our seats across Neyland Stadium,” Alpert said. “And certainly there’s some new elements of premium seating, but those donors are self selecting to join the Lower West Club or the Upper North Deck or Skybox.”
Neyland Stadium Wi-Fi is coming
The stadium eventually will have Wi-Fi, but Alpert said it’s taking longer to implement. He said it could take a year or more before it’s available.
In addition to new ticket prices this year, all tickets and parking passes are digital. Fans can download the Official Tennessee Athletics app to manage tickets and parking passes.
John Adams:Can’t afford Lower West Club? You still can celebrate Tennessee football
To get in at most gates, fans will use one of 88 ticket pedestals around the outside of the stadium to scan the digital ticket from your phone.
There’s more in store for Neyland renovations.
“The next phase you’ll see is the South Concourse work,” Alpert said. “We’ll start some demolition and abatement of the South Concourse.”
When the three-year renovations on South Concourse finish, it’ll feature new bathrooms, new seating and new concessions. That work begins next year.