1st Trip to See LVs at TBA - Suggestions?



Feb 16, 2008
Finally got the birthday gift I've been requesting since "Katrina" relocated us to Chattanooga--GOING TO SEE MY LADY VOLS! (vs MissSt, Sunday, Feb 24)

What do you experienced LV fans suggest we do to get the most from our trip to Knoxville? Can we get in early for shoot-around? Where to park? ...eat? ...need to be where by what time for a 3:00pm game?

Most of all, I want to get a look at our girls from ground level, so I can appreciate how tall the ones who look "short" on TV really are--and my wife would love to meet her favorite rebounder, Anosike!

Thanks for your input--and thanks to VolNation for all those years of keeping "expatriated" Vols like us informed in the land of geauxtigers!
The best place to park for LV games is the Big garage between Thompson-Boling and Neyland. It just cost $5 to park there and it's nice to be out of the weather. The doors open either an hour or hour and half before game time.
Womens basketball hall of a fame is a short walking distance from TBA, and UT's campus is really nice too. I think some of the LVs practices are open, so maybe you can pop in on one. :yes:
The parking deck is the best place to park. I would try to be in the deck no later than 2:00. If you go on in to TBA, you will be able to see the shoot around for both teams and all the pre-game. Don't be late for all the introductions are great fun. The Vols really try to make it a good experince for the fans. If you like BBQ, Calhoun's just across the street is a good place to eat before the game. Have fun and we will be there with you.
I forgot to mention that one of players usually signs autographs at the floor level after the game. Just ask an usher where they usually sit. Also, there is usually an interview with Pat or one of the players broadcast over the TBA sound system after the game. The person intervewed will usually sit at floor level.
Wow! Great responses--just the kinds of things I wanted/needed to know!

Tonight I noticed some UT fans at the Bama game tonight wearing sweaters.

What do they keep the temperature at during games at TBA? In other words... what kind of jacket do I need to take for my wife to put on in the second half?

Thanks everyone!
You want need anything very warm inside the arena. It is usually reasonably warm. Take a jacket for the walk back to your car. This time of the year most people seem to wear a sweatshirt or a light jacket or sweater. Hope you enjoy it.
A final report on our 1st experience, mainly for the next newby who runs a search and finds this thread...

First of all, Vol fans are the best. Wear your orange when you go--it'll feel like a family reunion.

Calhouns restaurant was not a disappointment. (But be prepared to turn right into their parking lot "before you're sure that's it" if you're traveling east on Neyland Dr--we passed it and saw "more of old downtown than we intended" trying to make our way back onto Neyland Dr.)

Good pulled pork plate and the half-slab of ribs was just enough, with sides... and cheesecake... and coffee. Very good cole slaw (can't believe I said that, but it's true)! I wouldn't recommend any of the bread, though.

We were inside Calhouns' doors before they actually opened at 11:00am, but we were quickly seated. Getting there EARLY is worth whatever time it takes... not feeling rushed will allow you to enjoy so much more!

ASK QUESTIONS of any Vol fans you see--that's how we found out the tip-off time had been moved up 30 minutes, which allowed us to be early in line when the doors opened and see everyone in the shootaround (you could see it was going to be a slow day for scoring).

Got into the big parking garage early: 3rd level - West end--ideal, especially on a cold, wet day!

Personally, if I had it all to do over again, I would do whatever it took to get tickets down near the floor (we had front row in section 229), to experience those things TV can't deliver. But I'm no extrovert, so being with 20,000 people in a big room just doesn't, in itself, energize me.

If you want to be in the "audience" for the postgame radio interviews with players and Pat's call-in show, make your way after the game to the section behind the home bench. It's a much nicer experience than you'd expect, and I wouldn't miss it next time.

But if you want an autograph from the player who will be made available at courtside (her picture will likely be on the back of the scorekeeping sheet you get at the gate) you need to head QUICKLY (before the game is over, evidently) to the 119 section, opposite side and diagonal to the home bench (but ask an usher to confirm location). The line was looooonnng for autographs, and it takes a while for the player to get back from the locker room, so be prepared to wait.

Alexis Hornbuckle was so friendly, so patient with all the people we saw getting her autograph & having pictures made with her... I've only seen country music singers show that kind of touch with an adoring public! I'm telling you, if she stayed to sign for everyone who was in that line, we were in Chattanooga before she left TBA!

It was a wonderful experience, even with the LVs playing such lousy basketball--only 16 points scored in the first 10 minutes of the game and more turnovers than a bakery sale! The instant replay screen seemed to show nearly as many "bad" calls were actually right, as they did the other way. I did leave with the impression that home court advantage extends beyond the crowd noise and into the whistle. For the sake of fairness, hopefully it's the same on each team's home court.

So go... get the best tickets you can, and GO!

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