KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Not only does the 2023 Tennessee football season come with increased on-field expectations, Neyland Stadium will also feature a new round of upgrades as the multiyear renovation project continues to reshape the historic venue.
University of Tennessee Athletics gave media members a preview of some of the new additions to the historic stadium on Wednesday ahead of the home opener against Austin Peay on Sept. 9.
After the new section of chairback seats was added to the lower west sideline behind the Tennessee bench ahead of the 2022 season, this season marks the completion of the new Lower West Club. Fans sitting in the chairback section will have access to an adjoining, air-conditioned amenity level S right under their section with private restrooms, enhanced food and beverage options, and multiple TV screens.
The 2023 season will also mark the first season of Wi-Fi connectivity in Neyland Stadium after installation began earlier this year. Deputy Athletic Director Ryan Alpert said work is ahead of schedule. WiFi should be available at all gates, plazas, and lower concourse by the home opener.
Alpert said that the first few games of 2023 will help fine-tune the Wi-Fi network, which will help facilitate Tennessee’s recent switch to digital ticketing for all athletic events.
“We’re going to work between games to have a full Wi-Fi deployment by the fifth game of the season,” he said.
Structural reinforcement of the stadium’s south end over this past offseason saw the removal of the South Stadium Hall, which included old office space. New restrooms under the Gate 10 ramp are also expected to be completed by Fall 2023.
Neyland Stadium has undergone a major transformation over the past few years. In addition to the lower west sideline upgrades, it has seen the additions of a new LED light system, a north endzone video board with party deck space, and the return of the iconic V-O-L-S lettering on the south end of the stadium.
Renovations are anticipated to be completed by 2026. Future planned additions include a new Gate 4 entry plaza, expanded concourses, restroom upgrades, and redesigned luxury suites.
“The number one goal for the entire project is to improve the fan experience,” Alpert said.
“Everybody would say, I think, our fan experience team, our marketing team has elevated what you see in venue. The fireworks, the music, the in-game interactions, they’ve raised to an elite level and we want to do the same,” he said. “So investing into Wi-Fi concourses, restroom things that impact our full fan base is really important to us.”