Football Time in Tennessee: Our Favorite Volunteer Traditions

The above image (IMG_9497) by Flickr user Switz1873 is licensed under CC By 2.0.

From pre-game festivities to an award-winning marching band, you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy game day at the University of Tennessee.

Loyal fans and first-time visitors alike would agree that a University of Tennessee Volunteers football game in Knoxville is a one-of-a-kind experience. Hosted in one of the top ten highest capacity stadiums in the world, Saturdays on Rocky Top are a sight to behold. With the team’s unwavering fan base, the Volunteer spirit is truly contagious. Even if you don’t care for sports or you’re cheering for the other team, these four traditions make UT game days an occasion that you’ll always forward to.


Ranked among the top five campuses for gameday tailgating, the University of Tennessee’s geographic location makes it ideal for pre-game celebrations. The Tennessee River flows adjacent to Neyland Stadium, so while most campuses are limited to tailgates in the back of a vehicle, over 200 boats line up to cheer for the Vols on the water. Even if you aren’t a part of the Vol Navy, you can still enjoy a multitude of gameday festivities located across the UT campus.

The Vol Walk

While on the topic of pre-game festivities, it’s worth mentioning the Vol Walk tradition. Another popular event, the Vol Walk brings fans on campus two hours prior kickoff for a parade of sorts. Designed to raise excitement before the game, University of Tennessee cheerleaders and the Pride of the Southland Band begin at Circle Park and march through fans in a sea of orange. The Volunteers, along with their coach, then greet fans before entering the stadium.

Checkerboard Neyland

A newer tradition that’s quickly become a fan favorite, Checkerboard Neyland is a true spectacle. Orange and white checkerboards are synonymous with UT Football, and the pattern is painted onto the end zones of the field. But on one special game day, checkerboards take over the entire stadium. Fans can visit a website to determine which color to wear based on their seat in the stadium. The final result is a near-perfect checkerboard pattern of fans.

Pride of the Southland Band

Volunteer Football games wouldn’t be the same without the university’s 400-member marching band. School spirit is at an all-time high when the Pride of the Southland performs Rocky Top, the university’s unofficial fight song. Before kickoff, the band marches into the formation of a large “T” on the field. The Volunteers then run through the T and thus, it’s football time in Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee football games are one of the many things to love about living in East Tennessee. To learn more about the region and all it has to offer its residents, contact Lakeside Real Estate Group at 865-458-9600.

Tagged With: , , | Posted: October 16, 2017