Vols Capping Basketball Attendance at 4,000 This Season

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(utsports.com) To align with state and local social-distancing guidelines for public gatherings, Tennessee Athletics has finalized its adjusted seating model for the 2020-21 basketball season at Thompson-Boling Arena. 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.

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. This aligns with Southeastern Conference indoor event recommendations, which call for at least six feet of physical distance between groups as well as a 12-foot buffer zone encircling essential personnel located in and around the playing floor.

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“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.

This season’s home schedule for the Vols will include a handful of non-conference games in November and December, nine SEC contests and a showdown with Kansas as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. 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.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.