Stroll down Knoxville’s central Cumberland Avenue, also known by students and locals as “The Strip,” on a Volunteer’s game day, and you’ll likely hear the twangy tunes of “Rocky Top,” the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s (UT) unofficial fight song. Among the smoky notes proclaiming Tennessee as the home sweet home of all who sing, you’ll also see that bright Vols orange splashed across storefronts and the many spirited, UT-clad fans.
Continue along Cumberland Avenue with our hotel in your rearview and you’ll come across Volunteer Boulevard, the aptly named road that leads into the heart of UT’s campus. Both the boulevard and the university’s athletic teams take their name from Tennessee’s own reputation as “The Volunteer State,” which it earned for the many volunteer soldiers it sent into the War of 1812. This and other cherished UT traditions are steeped in Tennessean history--even the “UT Orange” of their athletic uniforms comes from the American Daisy, which grew on the Hill, the then-center of UT’s classrooms.
With a stadium that overlooks the Tennessee River and vast green spaces dotted with old growth trees and brick buildings, the UT campus is worth a visit even if the Vols aren’t slated to play. But there’s something to be said for witnessing the white and UT Orange checkered Neyland Stadium during what is undoubtedly one of the most spirited and legacy-laden game days in the entire SEC.
GAME DAY THE VOLS WAY
You should expect the best from a team who first took the field in 1891, and the Vols certainly stick to some tried-and-true traditions to create memorable game days on nearly every fall weekend. And because our hotel is just a quick walk from Neyland Stadium and the UT campus itself, you can easily make the trip down to campus to experience the three events that make Vols game days distinctly Tennessean.
THE PREGAME SHOWCASE
Beginning two hours before kickoff, the Pregame Showcase event is free of charge and open to the public. A pregame staple since 1989, the Pregame Showcase now includes complimentary refreshments and door prizes. Not to mention this event will bring you straight to the heart of campus, and likewise UT’s spirited student life. Though the program took a hiatus following the 2016 season, it’s slated to return upon the completion of the new Student Union building ahead of the 2018 season.
THE VOL WALK
Witness this pre-game parade of Vols players, and maybe even shake a player’s hand as Rocky Top echoes across campus. The entire football team has participated in the Vol Walk since 1990, in which they walk from the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex, past the Tennessee Volunteers Wall of Fame, then continue down Peyton Manning Pass and onto Phillip Fulmer Way.
Former Tennessee broadcaster George Mooney first docked his boat along the Tennessee River outside Neyland Stadium in 1962 with the goal of avoiding gameday traffic. Today, 200 or more boats tie up outside the stadium to socialize before the game. The university even built a walkway connecting the shoreline to the stadium so game-goers can safely access the field.
Though Knoxville’s unique urban wilderness and lively arts and entertainment scene are enough to bring any adventurer to town, Knoxville is nevertheless true Vols territory--and our hotel is no different. Let your UT flag fly at our game day events series that’ll get you in the Rocky Top spirit from pregame grilling all the way to post-game recovery cocktails. We also welcome UT parents during football season and beyond with accommodations within walking distance of Neyland Stadium and the rest of the UT campus.
FOOTBALL CANCELLATION POLICY
The TENNESSEAN Hotel makes it easy to be a part of the excitement of Vol Nation celebrations. Enjoy urban luxury in an exceptional location, within walking distance to Neyland Stadium. Guests who book a stay at The TENNESSEAN on football weekends have a 30-day cancellation policy. Full deposit (room and tax) is taken at 30-days prior to arrival and is non-refundable. A $75.00 incidental hold fee is placed on your card at check-in. Please contact the hotel for any questions or concerns regarding our football cancellation policy.