Vols football season opener & Boomsday will switch days

Vols football season opener & Boomsday will switch days; reactions mixed

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By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee and Visit Knoxville announced Tuesday the Vols' season opening football game and the annual Labor Day Boomsday fireworks event will switch days this year. 

Autumn Faircloth describes herself as a huge Volunteer fan.

"I love the volunteers. I came to school for the Vols," said Faircloth.

At first when she heard the season opener was going to switch to Sunday she was upset.

"First thought, I was like I don't think that's a good idea. I feel like Vol fans aren't going to like that but then the more I think about it this gives Vols fans more of an opportunity to make a family trip out of this," said Faircloth.

Logan Armstrong works at Tin Roof on Cumberland Avenue. He and his managers believe the switch may actually be good for business with fans coming early and staying late on Sunday for the game.

"They are definitely going to stay for the game. I know in past years people would go to the game but Boomsday would be kind of late and would kind of drift off toward the end," said Armstrong.

With the season opener being played on Sunday the game will be broadcast on ESPN's new SEC network.

"This will be a unique and exciting weekend for our city and our state," said Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones. "With Boomsday on Saturday and our season opener on Sunday, the atmosphere and energy in Knoxville will be unrivaled. We're also excited about being one of the schools featured on the first weekend of SEC Network football telecasts, and we are looking forward to this tremendous opportunity."

Vol fan Chelsie Bennett isn't thrilled with the switch saying playing on Sunday breaks tradition.

"I think if it's something that is mainly because of money and to do with the SEC Network then it's not really the best tradition," said Bennett.

Faircloth believes the switch will be beneficial to Knoxville's economy.

"I think with the game being on Sunday people will come up Saturday stay the night, go out to eat, get a hotel room and the next morning do the same thing all over again get ready for the game, go out to eat," said Faircloth.

Visit Knoxville also announced ticket prices for premium seating for Boomsday.

Senior Associate Athletic Director Jimmy Stanton said in a statement that the game against Utah State will move to Sunday, August 31 at 7 p.m. The game was originally slated for Saturday, August 30.

The move means the Boomsday fireworks event will move to Saturday evening.

Admission to this year's event is $20 per adult. Children 12 and under can get in free. Admission grants access to a programmed and secured fireworks viewing along Neyland. 

The price includes full access to all performances, a family-friendly kids area, new food vendors, shopping and much more.

A VIP section will be available for veterans, who will also get in for free.

Boomsday tickets go on sale in July.

"Holding Boomsday on Saturday in partnership with the University gives the opportunity to provide Vol fans and visitors alike with a truly memorable holiday weekend," said Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville. "Events like this stimulate our local economy and highlight all that Knoxville has to offer. We look forward to celebrating this great city all weekend long."

The events switched days previously in 2004 to accommodate a game day telecast on ESPN.

Visit Knoxville officials previously said the switch was under consideration.

Knoxville's annual Boomsday celebration is touted as the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the nation. 

Fans wishing to ensure that their cable provider will carry the SEC Network should visit www.getsecnetwork.com.

Vols Full Schedule:

8/31/14 - Vols vs. Utah State at Knoxville at 7 p.m.

9/06/14 - Vols vs. Arkansas State at Knoxville

9/13/14 - Vols at Oklahoma

9/27/14 -Vols at Georgia

10/04/14 - Vols vs. Florida at Knoxville

10/11/14 - Vols vs. Chattanooga at Knoxville

10/18/14 - Vols at Ole Miss

10/25/14 - Vols vs. Alabama at Knoxville

11/01/14 - Vols at South Carolina

11/15/14 - Vols vs. Kentucky at Knoxville

11/22/14 - Vols vs. Missouri at Knoxville

11/29/14 - Vols at Vanderbilt

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