UT announces smoking ban in Neyland Stadium

Smoking had been allowed in certain areas in past

The University of Tennessee football team runs through the 'T' as fans cheer them on before the start of the game against the Air Force at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. UT today announced a full smoking ban at Neyland Stadium, to comply with the “Non-Smoker Protection Act” passed by the state Legislature this year.

Photo by Jeff Adkins

The University of Tennessee football team runs through the "T" as fans cheer them on before the start of the game against the Air Force at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. UT today announced a full smoking ban at Neyland Stadium, to comply with the “Non-Smoker Protection Act” passed by the state Legislature this year.

Large letters mark the gate 21 entrance at Neyland Stadium. The stadium is undergoing renovations in the first of five phases which includes the addition of the East Side Club, infrastructure improvements and the expansion of the lower north concourse.

Photo by Clay Owen // Buy this photo

Large letters mark the gate 21 entrance at Neyland Stadium. The stadium is undergoing renovations in the first of five phases which includes the addition of the East Side Club, infrastructure improvements and the expansion of the lower north concourse.

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A new state law means nervous Big Orange fans won’t be able to go grab a quick smoke when the Vols find themselves in a tight spot this fall.

Neyland Stadium is now smoke-free, to comply with the “Non-Smoker Protection Act” passed by the state Legislature this year.

That means no cigarettes can be fired up within the gates of the 102,038-plus-seat stadium.

Smoking had been allowed in certain areas in past years.

The new state law applies to sports arenas’ indoor and outdoor areas.

“While I know non-smokers will see this as good news, I also know that this has a negative impact on our fans who smoke,” UT Director of Athletics Mike Hamilton said in a press release. “Over the past month we have spent a lot of time analyzing our venue and its constraints to make sure we are abiding by the new law to the best of our ability.”

That means when the Vols hold their home opener Sept. 8 against Southern Mississippi, they’ll be the fifth SEC school that doesn’t let anybody fire up a cig at the game.

UT’s smoking policy has evolved.

To comply with another state law banning smoking in state buildings, UT limited smoking to ramp areas and the Gate 21 plaza. Smoking already had been off limits in the seats.

“We did not receive many complaints about the restrictions last year,” Jeff Maples, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration, said in a press release.

Neyland Stadium is the country’s third-largest college football stadium.

More details as they develop online and in Wednesday’s News Sentinel.

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Comments » 7

AllVol writes:

The only thing that needs to be on fire in Neyland Stadium is the collective ass of every visiting team.

McIntireIMP writes:

I hate smoke so this seems good at first. Then I think about the increase of spit bottles and cups around the stadium and the puddles of "chaw juice" and the piles of "chaw chunks", and I'm not sure which is better.

be69chevy#560080 writes:

Very true McIntire but its much harder to drink your Jack and coke with a "chaw" in. So maybe it will cut down on the drinking inside.

wallyinman#208691 writes:

I'm not a smoker, but there is something unAmerican by this legislation. Another example of our rights being eroded under the "guise" of whats best for the public. Personally, this does not affect me at all, howver I am mindful of what actions like these can lead to. Maybe next time it does affect me.......or you....adversly. Kind of like helmet laws. I wear a helmet when I ride a motorcycyle, but it isn't the govenmments place to make it a law. This is a free country, and if individuals wish to engage in actions that are harmful to themselves, they should be able to. Here in Texas, there isn't a helmet law.

agentorange writes:

Go ahead and ban people who don't: 1) ever stand up; 2) yell when we're on defense; and do 3) leave games early. Bring beer sales back, too!

Colliervol writes:

Sorry Wally. That dog won't hunt. One slight difference in helmet laws and smoking bans. If you don't wear a helmet, the only person with a chance of getting hurt is you. Smoking affects everybody breathing the air within range of the smoker. I don't have a problem with people smoking within their own space but don't make me breath that junk. Their rights end at the end of their nose and they don't have the right to infringe on mine. I'm all for the ban here and in all public buildings.

ThurmondEppy writes:

One more thing to consider on legislation requiring motorcycle helmets, seat belts, smoking bans and the like. What happens when an uninsured smoker gets lung cancer or an uninsured motorcyclist gets a catastrophic brain injury? Who picks up the tab? That's right, the states and thus you and me. So the states should be legislating those kinds of things. Colliervol is right on too...once you start bothering me with that stuff then your "rights" stop. Now if they'd just stop frisking me at the gates and taking away my Jack Daniels.....

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