In Any Event 

Planning a September event? Read this first!

Neyland Stadium at dusk.

If you’re thinking about getting ahead of Tennessee football – and the start of Labor Day weekend and Rosh Hashana holiday – by planning a Thursday event in early September, think again.

The Vols have shifted the season opener from Saturday, Sept. 4, to Thursday, Sept. 2.

Tennessee announced the date change in mid-May, so event planners have plenty of time to adjust. A year ago, the pandemic wiped out every Tennessee football game in September until the last Saturday of that month, and the schedule extended into December with curtailed attendance.

That won’t be the case in 2021, and the plan is to have Neyland Stadium at full capacity this fall with 100,000-plus fans.

An explanation of why planners need to coordinate events around football can be read in this still timely “In Any Event” blog entry: By the time you hear Rocky Top, it’s too late.

Tennessee Athletics graphic of season opener

As noted in that entry: Avoiding a conflict with a home game is obvious because of the logistics of having tens of thousands of people concentrated in the downtown and campus area. But planners need to keep an eye on road games, too. Parties and gatherings are planned around football games, so that can cut into event attendance as well.

The full 2021 regular season schedule for the Vols at home and on the road can be found on EventCheck Knox for September, October and November.

The open date for the 2021 season is Saturday, Oct. 30, so carry on with all of the planning for Halloween parties and festivities, because there won’t be any conflict with football.

Kickoff time for the Sept. 2 game against Bowling Green is set for 8 p.m. Eastern. A football game takes about three hours to finish, and the time span can even push to four hours depending on multiple factors, including style of play which affects how often the clock stops.

If the air attack game of Coach Josh Heupel arrives early, that’s a lot of first downs – and thus more time to stop the clock and move the chains.

On that note, this avid football fan offers another tip and request for planners. Please don’t schedule an early morning breakfast event for Friday, Sept. 3. Those of us who sang “Rocky Top” all night long will need that extra hour or so of sleep. Go Vols.

Maria Cornelius, a writer/editor for Moxley Carmichael, populates the EventCheck Knox calendar. Her event world is sports, so she is ready to return to venues in 2021. Email her with any EventCheck Knox questions at [email protected].

One response to “Planning a September event? Read this first!

  1. Event planners should always check the UT football schedule. For fall events, I’ve had great success scheduling things on Friday nights before Saturday home games. This Thursday night game is an interesting twist. Go Vols.

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