Be it the economy, team performance or high-def television, ticket sales aren't what they once were for home games in Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee has sold about 67,000 season tickets for the 2010 football season, which is about 1,000 fewer than this time last year.
The shortcoming is easily traceable: 2,800 fans didn't renew their season tickets from last year.
Typically, about 2,000 fans don't renew their season tickets, according to statistics provided by Chris Fuller, UT senior associate athletic director.
The ticket slump prompted UT to survey season-ticket holders to determine why some are dropping out.
"The two most cited reasons for non-renewal were the economy and age," Fuller stated in an e-mail to the News Sentinel. "In general, I think this points to season-ticket fan bases' aging, and a significant number of people still struggling with the economy.
"Technology is really changing how people consume sports and buy tickets - primarily HDTV, the secondary ticket marketplace, new television contracts (changing game times, night games). The landscape for selling tickets, especially season tickets, is really changing in sports in general."
The SEC's television contract with ESPN signed last year meant a $15 million windfall of revenue for each of the 12 member schools. However, it also has made watching at home that much easier since every game is televised, often in high-definition.
The ESPN contract also places more games at night than the SEC's previous television contracts.
"I'll tell you the thing that I've heard from the fans as much as anything else is the night games," UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said. "With a state the size that our state is - from a geographic standpoint - it's hard sometimes for folks from West Tennessee to come up for a night game. They want to get back and go to church or whatever."
The ticket-sales shortage certainly has an affect on UT's budget, but it's not as significant since UT is reaping the benefit of the ESPN contract.
However, Hamilton said there are more reasons than just revenue to fill Neyland Stadium.
"I think that a full stadium gives momentum to the team on the field and is the aura that you want to give off in college athletics, and we want to have you here," he said.
UT has done plenty to improve its game-day experience. Another phase of renovations to Neyland Stadium is almost complete.
The latest phase includes a brick fa<0x00E7>ade to the main entrance and a statue of the stadium's namesake: Gen. Robert Neyland.
Fuller said UT will take at least two years off from renovations after the latest improvements are complete.
"The interesting thing with this project is it won't ever finish," Fuller said. "It will keep going."
UT also has lowered donation rates for prospective season-ticket buyers. In some areas of Neyland Stadium, tickets can be purchased with a $100 donation, meaning the price for a full slate of home games is $820.
UT has sold 92 percent of its 72,500 season-ticket inventory. Season tickets that go unsold will be offered as single-game tickets this fall.