As promised, the latest renovations to the Neyland Stadium will keep over 100,000 spectators for the 2022 season.
A source from the University of Tennessee confirmed to GoVols247 Thursday afternoon that Neyland’s new capacity will be 101,915. Mike Wilson of The Knoxville News Sentinel first made the news earlier in the afternoon.
Tennessee’s historic football cathedral – home to the Falls since 1921 – has seated six figures since 1995, and at times has been the largest stadium in the country. That’s no longer the case, but it still ranks near the top of the list, and every renovation since then has come with a promise to keep the historic Tennessee home above the 100,000 threshold.
The official capacity of Nieland Stadium is 102,455, having been in place since the addition of Tennessee Terrace in 2010. The addition of East Club and West Club seats in 2006 and 2009 temporarily reduced the capacity to 100,011.
Nyland’s official capacity peak was reached in 2000, when the addition of the East Executive Wings brought the official figure to 104,037. That era included the largest official attendance in history, when 109,061 rallied at The General’s House for Tennessee’s thrilling 30-28 on SEC Eastern Division competition Florida.
The SEC arms race for facility facilities has been ubiquitous, though, and Neyland’s latest renovations began in Tennessee as soon as last season ended. A series of renovations were officially approved in 2017, and adjustments were made throughout the process, including when Danny White took over as sporting director in January 2021.
The current phase of Neyland’s renovations have focused on the lower western level and the northern end area of the riverside stadium. It includes a “Excellent Experience” area on the lower west side of the field, just behind the Tennessee seat. A long-awaited video board has also been added to the north end area of the stadium, and there will only be a new parking room below it. This standing room only section has been described as a ‘party deck’ with a sports bar feel.
UT’s current plan is for revenue generated from the new West and North club area areas to fund the remaining upgrades to the stadium in the coming years. The current phase of renovations has cost about $180 million for a project that is expected to cost about $340 million.
“By the time we finish this massive renovation, we want to have one of the stadiums, if not the best, in college football,” White told Business Journal earlier this year. This means thinking proactively about the future and the modern fan experience. In less exciting ways, it means fixing some things and refurbishing some things that are really outdated.”
Tennessee was unable to host its annual Orange & White game this spring due to construction in Neyland. The Foles considered playing their annual spring brawl in Nashville or Chattanooga, but eventually chose to have one in the training complex—Anderson Training Center and Field Got.
He has also begun a $30 million renovation of the Anderson Training Center, the plan being to add several impressive new features to what was already considered one of the best training facilities in the country. The addition of 36,000 square feet of space and renovations to 100,000 square feet of existing space will increase the size of the center to approximately 181,000 square feet.