Fulmer Announces Neyland Stadium Will Not Be at Full Capacity in 2020
Volunteer Country Staff
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer has announced the news which Vol Fans have been dreading throughout the entire offseason: The Volunteers will not be playing in front of a packed crowd in 2020. Fulmer announced the news during a recent appearance on WNML Radio, in which he addressed a wide variety of topics.
“We would love to have (stadium capacity at) 100%, but the reality of it (is) what we all have to face,” said the 3rd year athletic director. “The economy has been damaging people’s jobs and everything — there are lots going on around us. For us not to have social distancing and wearing masks and taking care of our people and limiting us being all together would be impractical to do. We won’t be 100%. I’m hopeful we might be (at) 50% or be like most folks at 20% or 25%.”
Fulmer went on to clarify that while Neyland Stadium will not be at 100% capacity, the university has not reached any decision regarding what number of fans (if any) will be permitted to watch the Vols in person. “I’m kind of holding out, hopeful that we can get the curve kind of turned back down — we’ve got maybe a month — and maybe even during the season it could continue to get better,” explained the Tennessee athletic director. “We also know it could continue to get worse. I don’t want to put a number out there right now — we’re working on several models. We’ll listen to the state, multiple health departments, again our leadership on campus and everybody and we’ll come to the right place.”
Despite the bad news for fans regarding stadium capacity, Fulmer reassured fans that the SEC made the right decision to move to the conference-only schedule later in the appearance. “I think it was actually more about the flexibility that just playing conference game gives you,” said Fulmer. “I think we’ve ended up in the right place for this one year — it will be interesting to see how it ends up working out. Nobody wanted to lose those ACC games that they did have, and we did not want to lose our Oklahoma game that we did have. But for the best health and welfare of our players, athletes, fans, everybody concerned, it was the right thing to do at this point.”
The Vols first game of the season is currently scheduled to come against the Florida Gators, although the date of the game has not yet been announced. An announcement on the complete schedule for the season is expected to come in the near future, with the first games looming on the horizon.