8,000 tickets left for opener, but new scanner has UT officials on edge

Attendance figures of recent home season-openers for the Vols

2010: 99,123

2009: 98,761

2008: 98,205

2007: 106,311

2006: 106,009

2005: 107,529

2004: 108,625

2003: 103,860

About 8,000 tickets remain for Saturday's football season opener against the University of Montana, but filling those seats isn't what has University of Tennessee's athletic administrators anxious.

The implementation of a new digital ticket scanning system has been the cause for celebration among the members of UT's data-craving sales and marketing team, but it also has them on their toes for potential ticket fraud and technology failure in its debut.

"Anytime there's new technology, people are going to push the limits and see what they can get away with," said Joe Arnone, UT associate athletic director for ticket operations. "The problem is the volume of people you're dealing with and how many of them think they can beat the system."

Chris Fuller, senior associate athletic director, said it's inevitable that there will be a handful of incidents where fans try to gain entrance to the stadium with a duplicated ticket, especially now that it is seemingly more enticing with the new option to print tickets at home or email them to someone else. The digital system, which was implemented four years ago for basketball games at Thompson-Boling Arena, will immediately flag that ticket as void and the fan or fans trying to pass them off as legitimate will be asked to leave.

With thousands of fans trying to pile into the stadium through 26 gates, which will be manned by 113 UT employees holding $1,100 ticket scanners, multiple flare-ups could quickly translate into widespread logjams.

"I personally think we've done everything we can to get ready for Saturday night," said Arnone, who recently coordinated a ticket-scanning training session from the top of a ladder with a bullhorn at Neyland Stadium.

The early hiccups, though, aren't expected to overshadow the benefits of the system, which will also lessen the load on those working at the ticket window. Because fans can print their tickets at home, less — in theory — will have to line up at Will Call.

Fuller said he expects a walk-up crowd similar to last year's season opener against UT Martin, when more than 2,000 tickets were sold on the day of the game.

Barring an unprecedented surge in ticket sales, UT will post its lowest season-opening crowd in recent memory. In the past three seasons, the Vols have averaged 98,696 fans for their first home game of the season.

Fuller said he's hoping for somewhere in the "mid-90,000s."

UT has promoted the game in a variety of ways, including a collaborative venture with Bristol Motor Speedway, but there aren't any plans to "devalue the product" by slashing prices just to fill the stadium, Fuller said.

Individual tickets for Saturday's game start at $40.

"We still think there's tremendous value in Tennessee football," Fuller said. "The balance here is between making sure you don't devalue the product by getting crazy on pricing versus 'We want to play in front of a full house.' "

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Comments » 81

zigvol writes:

Maybe lower the price and you would sell out.

Mtnbiker writes:

"Individual tickets for Saturday's game start at $40."

Sure thing, I'll pay $40 for nose bleed seats and roast in the late afternoon heat, not to mention drive from Cleveland and $3.50 gal gas.

OR I can pay the $35 PPV and sit in my livingroom, cool and comfortable. Montana won't get it done, for a full house at least get a Top 25 team to open against.

GBO

finn writes:

The nature of football viewing has changed. Mtnbiker makes a good point. The economy is in the dumper, gas prices are up, it's hot, and the ticket prices keep heading north but the home viewing experience just keeps getting better and better. a 60" HD TV and a fridge full of beer and food sounds much better than a hard metal bench, some Sysco nacho goop, and a $6 coke. Hey UTAD, stop trying to rip folks off and maybe more of them will watch the game in your house instead of their own.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

You priced me out of the stadium.

tn_rockytop writes:

yea best seat in the house is my couch with a two hour drive well thats the nail in the coffen.plus all the beer and hot wings you can eat . but will go to high end games..by the way 9 win season and sec east win and sec champ game win and bowl win 11-3 .book it ................mind power is a great gift...................

hateNCloveTN writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

here, here

hateNCloveTN writes:

in response to hateNCloveTN:

here, here

correct that, hear hear

Titan writes:

My Vols are opening at home on Saturday. I am a fan and it doesn't matter who they play on Saturday or how hot it is or how much Cokes cost or how much gas is for the 360 mile round trip. The players and the coaching staff have put forth a ton of effort over many months to be ready for this season. If they can do that, the least I can do is put forth a little effort eight days this fall to be there in person and support them.

Orangeblood13 writes:

I hear a bunch little girls
I drive from Missouri every home game and it doesn't matter who they play, what the price, weather, it's a privilege to watch my vols play
I love it breathe it and live it
If u want to stay at home cause u want to be a armchair fan, go for it

Dc, z, CSS, and the rest of the trolls, kiss it u wouldn't know what being a true fan was if it hit u in the face

Give em heck boys, gbo!

VolzsFan writes:

8k+ unsold. Another 10K will not show for this D1AA dandy. I predicted no more than 85K for the opener. It will go down with each beating.

LifetimeVolFan writes:

Ticket prices are absurd! Give people a break that have been faithful fans and are now struggling because of the economy. A soft drink and hot dog cost $7 or more. A bottle of water that cost $3 when you can get a case for less than than the cost of one bottle. Sure, they should make a profit, but not conduct highway robbery at the expense of fans.

TheREALFightSong writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Student tickets are only $10! Thankfully, they give us a comparatively good break.

stevefrommemphis writes:

You mean somebody is going to try to "push the limits," "see what they can get away with" and "beat the system" -- to see Tennessee play Montana!?!? It's just not worth the effort.

I'll buy one on the street for $20 or less and dare UTAD to claim it's fradulent.

"A tremendous value in UT football?" For a game against Buffalo? against Middle Tennessee? against a Division I-AA opponent? Good grief.

Get those remaining tickets in the hands of high school students and high school athletes and band members and 4H members from East Tennessee -- if not for this game, then definitely for Buffalo and Cincinnati. Getting the next generation of fans hooked on UT football is more important than ever now that kids have so many other distractions. Think long term for a change, UTAD instead of short term. Currently UTAD never thinks past ripping off fans at the next home game.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to Mtnbiker:

"Individual tickets for Saturday's game start at $40."

Sure thing, I'll pay $40 for nose bleed seats and roast in the late afternoon heat, not to mention drive from Cleveland and $3.50 gal gas.

OR I can pay the $35 PPV and sit in my livingroom, cool and comfortable. Montana won't get it done, for a full house at least get a Top 25 team to open against.

GBO

Plus, while I'm walking 30 minutes to get back to my car, then fighting traffic to drive 100+ miles back home to the Chattanooga area, you will be watching Georgia vs Boise State and LSU vs Oregon.

Talk me out of going to Knoxville before it's too late!

Titan writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

Plus, while I'm walking 30 minutes to get back to my car, then fighting traffic to drive 100+ miles back home to the Chattanooga area, you will be watching Georgia vs Boise State and LSU vs Oregon.

Talk me out of going to Knoxville before it's too late!

With that kind of attitude, I don't think we need to talk you out of going - you've already done it.

Mtnbiker writes:

in response to Titan:

With that kind of attitude, I don't think we need to talk you out of going - you've already done it.

Titan I'm glad you have the money to be present. I can't really justify the $35 ppv. I had my income slashed in half right after July 4th. I'll either PPV or just listen on the Radio depending on whether I can make last months house payment now that this months is due.

Soo all you high and mighty who put down those of us not going to see Montana, remember everyone on here is making enough money to pay the bills let alone the $$$ to go see a game live.
$40 +$40 + $30 + $20= $130 minimum(ticket x2;gas;food)
You'll not find a bigger fan so get off you high horse. I've went the last two years to the spring game...$15 and i got a shirt...

Mtnbiker writes:

in response to Mtnbiker:

Titan I'm glad you have the money to be present. I can't really justify the $35 ppv. I had my income slashed in half right after July 4th. I'll either PPV or just listen on the Radio depending on whether I can make last months house payment now that this months is due.

Soo all you high and mighty who put down those of us not going to see Montana, remember everyone on here is making enough money to pay the bills let alone the $$$ to go see a game live.
$40 +$40 + $30 + $20= $130 minimum(ticket x2;gas;food)
You'll not find a bigger fan so get off you high horse. I've went the last two years to the spring game...$15 and i got a shirt...

Not everyone can afford is what that should have read.

mbain13 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

I hear a bunch little girls
I drive from Missouri every home game and it doesn't matter who they play, what the price, weather, it's a privilege to watch my vols play
I love it breathe it and live it
If u want to stay at home cause u want to be a armchair fan, go for it

Dc, z, CSS, and the rest of the trolls, kiss it u wouldn't know what being a true fan was if it hit u in the face

Give em heck boys, gbo!

ok? so true fans can't sit at home? well...

jjhvols writes:

I understand people who dont go because of the cost and the economy and stuff. That sinks for everyone. What gets me upset is when people buy the tickets and donate money to the school for the right to buy the tickets and only show up when we play bama and florida. That sad. If you have the tickets and time and would just rather sit at home GROW UP and get your butt to neyland. Also I am a student and the tickets this year we have to print out online. no more "hard tickets" which that is called being cheap

traderjoe writes:

Montana? Is that one of Obama's 57 states? Are they cowboys or football players? Do they have 11 players on each side of the ball or are 11 going both ways all game? Do they have cheerleaders? Do they know what they are? Are you sure there are women in Montana? Is this really a game or something like a scrimmage? $40? Really? $40.00??? for? Sure, who doesn't like football. I remember sitting through pouring rain in the 70's when the Vols played Auburn and TN kicked on 3rd down. Now that was football and we didn't have good teams back then. Montana? For real? I don't know...something just doesn't sound right. Are we still in the SEC?

RaineyVol writes:

Pathetic... enough said.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to jjhvols:

I understand people who dont go because of the cost and the economy and stuff. That sinks for everyone. What gets me upset is when people buy the tickets and donate money to the school for the right to buy the tickets and only show up when we play bama and florida. That sad. If you have the tickets and time and would just rather sit at home GROW UP and get your butt to neyland. Also I am a student and the tickets this year we have to print out online. no more "hard tickets" which that is called being cheap

Wow. They aren't even printing real tickets for students? That is cheap.

Once you're out of college working 40+ hours per week and not living in Knoxville, making the effort to fight the traffic to get to Neyland is a lot harder. Four years ago, I got on a plane early Saturday morning in Memphis headed to Berkeley to see UT play California that afternoon. I've done that several times to see meaningful games. However, UTAD would have to pay me $1000 to drive to Knoxville to see UT play Buffalo. Instead, I'll be participating in many of the outdoor activities at RiverRocks Chattanooga that weekend, and having a lot more fun.

I buy 4 season tickets and will only go to 4 or maybe 5 home games this season -- but I either sell them or usually give them away when I'm not at Neyland, so the tickets don't usually get wasted. But I paid for them, so if I want to throw them in the trash can, it's my right.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to Mtnbiker:

Titan I'm glad you have the money to be present. I can't really justify the $35 ppv. I had my income slashed in half right after July 4th. I'll either PPV or just listen on the Radio depending on whether I can make last months house payment now that this months is due.

Soo all you high and mighty who put down those of us not going to see Montana, remember everyone on here is making enough money to pay the bills let alone the $$$ to go see a game live.
$40 +$40 + $30 + $20= $130 minimum(ticket x2;gas;food)
You'll not find a bigger fan so get off you high horse. I've went the last two years to the spring game...$15 and i got a shirt...

Excellent post. These times are tough for almost everyone, definitely the worst since the Great Depression. Best wishes for an upturn in your income soon.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

even better, both

PennVol writes:

So UTAD could sell the remaining $40 tix for $10 each and get $80,000 and potentially a full stadium but they choose to throw them in the trash and not de-value the product. Wow.

The_Real_Orange writes:

It will be interesting to see how many counterfeit tickets will be turned away at the gate for the first big game UT has. It seems crazy to me that they aren't using "hard tickets" anymore. There is no way I would buy a ticket on the street before a game anymore. Good luck against Montana. Go Gators!

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

It will be interesting to see how many counterfeit tickets will be turned away at the gate for the first big game UT has. It seems crazy to me that they aren't using "hard tickets" anymore. There is no way I would buy a ticket on the street before a game anymore. Good luck against Montana. Go Gators!

I have bought tickets on the street at other venues which used the scanning device and have never had a problem. I'd be hesitant to buy a ticket printed out on a computer at somebody's house, but almost all tickets look the way a ticket is supposed to look - just with a barcode at the bottom.

I wonder what the marketers expect to gain from the scan. There are many games at Neyland (Buffalo, MTSU, Montana, Cincy) where the season ticket holder is not the person who ends up using the seat.

Down_The_Field writes:

sell them for $10 to the students.

if a student is drunk, rowdy, wearing 50% orange on their body and has some face paint on, give them a free ticket and hotdog/coke voucher.

Go_Big_O writes:

in response to traderjoe:

Montana? Is that one of Obama's 57 states? Are they cowboys or football players? Do they have 11 players on each side of the ball or are 11 going both ways all game? Do they have cheerleaders? Do they know what they are? Are you sure there are women in Montana? Is this really a game or something like a scrimmage? $40? Really? $40.00??? for? Sure, who doesn't like football. I remember sitting through pouring rain in the 70's when the Vols played Auburn and TN kicked on 3rd down. Now that was football and we didn't have good teams back then. Montana? For real? I don't know...something just doesn't sound right. Are we still in the SEC?

I personally think Montana is a good choice. They're FBS, but pretty darn good at that level. It gives us a chance to fine tune our roster and gives our young guys some game experience before we launch into the gauntlet of FL, AL, AR, GA, and SC.

GreerVol22 writes:

I've said this before. $20 per head family pack tix for all upper deck south seats. Put in one of those big KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut things on that end and thier concession will make up the balance. A couple of freshmen marketing kids could do better than the holier than thou, do not devalue the product, bunch in the ad. Heck, until we begin to beat somebody again they need to let anyone in a Scout uniform, military uniform, or fire/police walk right in.

AlpharettaVol writes:

Go to the UT Alumni Association website and you can get Montana tickets (plus several other games) for $25 each.

volaholic45 writes:

in response to Titan:

My Vols are opening at home on Saturday. I am a fan and it doesn't matter who they play on Saturday or how hot it is or how much Cokes cost or how much gas is for the 360 mile round trip. The players and the coaching staff have put forth a ton of effort over many months to be ready for this season. If they can do that, the least I can do is put forth a little effort eight days this fall to be there in person and support them.

Ah, yes, the "true" fans - so morally superior to those fair weather ones who act more like mere customers than devotees. I don't want to burst your bubble, but have you ever noticed that the love only runs one way?

DooleysOrangePants writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol, i almost spit my coke out...

gortrtt writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Classic!

Twelvethirtyone writes:

LOL no one wants me to go... Saw UT in 1984 vs UK, lost 12-17 - last time UK beat us... saw at Bama when Tony Robinson was QB, lost 14-16, Saw the Bama game when we were supposed to beat them and lost 6-9, Saw vs Auburn in 2009, lost 21-26. I have been to about 7 or 8 UT games in the past 40 years and we have lost every game I have been to. So I do my part as a UT Fan by NOT going to the games LOL... Although, my work wants to take us to the Buffalo game this year... hopefully I will get to watch my first win, but if we lose, you can blame my job for making me go to the game (as a "team building exercise"!!) LOL ;)

sm1 writes:

in response to TheREALFightSong:

Student tickets are only $10! Thankfully, they give us a comparatively good break.

They used to be, and should still be free.

bhamvol1 writes:

is it really that hard to drive from Cleveland, TN? Give me a break. I grew up driving from Memphis for every home game. My paretns still do it and we come from Birmingham. Get over your pathetic self. 60" HD tvs are for away games. Living Color, in person action is what Neyland was built for, not to mention for real fans.

Go Vols!!

MusicCityVol writes:

LOTS of reasons there are 8000 tickets available. A recession, crazy gas prices, a less than wonderful product the last few years, and an FCS opponent. But you know what? Some kid will go to the game tomorrow for the very first time and remember it for the rest of his life.

This Is Why I Love Tennessee Football: Memories
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

Twelvethirtyone writes:

in response to MusicCityVol:

LOTS of reasons there are 8000 tickets available. A recession, crazy gas prices, a less than wonderful product the last few years, and an FCS opponent. But you know what? Some kid will go to the game tomorrow for the very first time and remember it for the rest of his life.

This Is Why I Love Tennessee Football: Memories
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

Great response, MusicCityVol :)

Fishpants writes:

When I was a kid in the '70s, for games like this, the upper deck was full of color, with many local pee-wee league teams sitting together, wearing their jerseys. And UT GAVE these tickets away.

With 8000 empty seats, imagine the positive PR that would be generated if they started doing things like that again. UT can do so much more to foster the next generation of fans.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When Galen Muschamp is fired, Fulmer will be first in line for Germ Foley to call. One of your best coaches Ray Graves was a UT Man, so why not. I just can't picture Fulmer in Jorts, give him a while and he can pick up that Jersey accent Like most Gator fans.

allvols4life writes:

I don't understand the complaints about playing a team like Montana to open the season. Why start out the year playing a top 10 or top 25 team? Especially in a rebuilding phase of the program. The SEC slate of games will be tough enough, no reason to schedule 4 top teams for out of conference games. Maybe schedule 1 top team, 1 mid level team, and 2 below average teams. I like the idea of a "cup-cake" to start the year. Gives the coaches a chance to see what needs to be corrected and also allows the team to gain confidence, unless we have another Wyoming blunder from a few years back.

lknvol writes:

UT will feel the effects of Mikie's reign long after he is gone. This is just the beginning. Wait until the Buffalo game! And the ticket office is offending the very fan base that supports them. Amone should not be allowed to speak in public. There is nothing going on at UT this weekend that I personally care to travel to see. I don't even plan to watch on pay-per-view. I'm a long time fan, and always will be, but when the dumb-downed the schedule, they lost me until they compete with the big bous again. Good riddance Mikie!

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

sell them for $10 to the students.

if a student is drunk, rowdy, wearing 50% orange on their body and has some face paint on, give them a free ticket and hotdog/coke voucher.

I support your idea.
I will be there tomorrow!
As for the attendance figures, it is a national phenonmenon, and not exclusive to our Vols.
Besides, who can really complain about 95,000+ paying >$40 per seat to watch the Vols take on a FCS opponent.
That being said, I hope our players act like they are playing an SEC foe and carry the following thoughts into the game:

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE.

3. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

GO BIG ORANGE!!!

CynicalCitizen writes:

I think the higher prices are doing a nice job keeping away the riff-raff and trash.

TKG_VOL writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NASCAR is booooooooooring... The only thing worse is NASCAR on the radio. What's up with that?

AlaVol1 writes:

Why Montana? Farragut HIgh School is just down the road and they could use the money just as much as Montana.

Twelvethirtyone writes:

in response to CynicalCitizen:

I think the higher prices are doing a nice job keeping away the riff-raff and trash.

Soooo... are you implying that drug dealers wouldn't have the money for a ticket? Or that those of us that work our tails off to support our families and just cannot budget for tickets are riff-raff or trash? I just think that comment needed clarification if it was going to be posted... :)

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to finn:

The nature of football viewing has changed. Mtnbiker makes a good point. The economy is in the dumper, gas prices are up, it's hot, and the ticket prices keep heading north but the home viewing experience just keeps getting better and better. a 60" HD TV and a fridge full of beer and food sounds much better than a hard metal bench, some Sysco nacho goop, and a $6 coke. Hey UTAD, stop trying to rip folks off and maybe more of them will watch the game in your house instead of their own.

The winning programs seem to overlook those barriers. Win, and they will come.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

I support your idea.
I will be there tomorrow!
As for the attendance figures, it is a national phenonmenon, and not exclusive to our Vols.
Besides, who can really complain about 95,000+ paying >$40 per seat to watch the Vols take on a FCS opponent.
That being said, I hope our players act like they are playing an SEC foe and carry the following thoughts into the game:

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE.

3. If at first the game - or the breaks - go against you, don't let up... put on more steam.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle... for this is the WINNING EDGE.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.

GO BIG ORANGE!!!

VOLS win 45-10

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