Unbelievable Increase In Attendance Tennessee’s attendance has increased by more than 8,000 fans per game in the four seasons Bruce Pearl has been on Rocky Top ... Tennessee’s increase in attendance is higher than the average attendance of more than 250 Division I programs, including teams from the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac 10, Conference USA, WAC, Mountain West and Missouri Valley conferences ... The Vols saw their 5 millionth fan pass through the Thompson-Boling Arena turnstiles in 2007-08 ... Tennessee ranked fourth nationally with an average of 20,483 fans per home game last season.
Tennessee Ranks Fourth Nationally In Attendance For Third Straight Year Tennessee finished last season ranked fourth nationally in average attendance for the third straight year, drawing 20,483 fans per game ... 10 of Tennessee’s 15 home crowds last season exceeded 20,000 ... UT averaged 20,267 fans per game in 2007-08 and 19,661 in 2006-07 ... UT’s average home attendance last year was the second-highest in school history, trailing only the 20,823 averaged in 1987-88 (first year that Thompson-Boling Arena was open) ... Below is a look at last year’s attendance leaders:
Home Crowds of 20,000 Nothing New For Vols Tennessee has played in front of 33 home crowds of 20,000 or larger during the Bruce Pearl era ... 10 of UT’s fifteen home crowds last season were larger than 20,000, with the crowd of 22,326 for the Gonzaga game marking the largest at ThompsonBoling Arena since capacity was reduced from 24,535 to 21,678 prior to the 2007-08 season.
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Kansas, Kentucky Games Sold Out Tennessee basketball tickets are again a hot item this year ... UT sold more than 15,000 season tickets for the third straight season ... Additionally, all single-game tickets for the Kansas (Jan. 10) and Kentucky (Feb. 27) games are sold out ... Obstructed-view seats for those games are expected to go on sale shortly after New Years.
School Games Kentucky 18 North Carolina 15 Syracuse 19 Tennessee 15 Louisville 18
Total 414,220 315,519 399,841 207,239 349,142
Average 23,012 21,035 21,044 20,483 19,397
Vols Looking To Extend New Home Win Streak The Vols entered the 2009-10 season looking to start another lengthy home win streak ... After posting back-to-back 16-0 home records in 2006-07 and 2007-08, the Vols turned in an uncharacteristic 10-5 mark at Thompson-Boling Arena last season ... Tennessee’s 37-game home winning streak (the longest in school history and second-longest in Division I at the time it ended) came to an end on Jan. 7, 2009, when Gonzaga topped the Vols in overtime 89-79 ... Now in his fifth season at UT, Bruce Pearl is 57-7 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Volunteers At Thompson-Boling Arena Thompson-Boling Arena is hosting its 23rd season in 2009-10 ... The Vols have won 73.9 percent of their games in Thompson-Boling Arena and have ranked in the top 10 nationally in attendance 10 times, including last year, when UT ranked fourth nationally with 20,483 fans per game. • Tennessee is 257-91 (.739) in its 23rd season in Thompson-Boling Arena. • Since the 1998 season, the Vols are 157-32 (.831) in Thompson-Boling Arena. • The Vols are 73-23 against SEC teams at home over the last 11 seasons. • Tennessee has won 20 of its last 23 SEC games at Thompson-Boling Arena. • UT has won 90 of its last 99 home games against non-conference opponents. • UT is 30-2 in home games against non-conference opponents under Bruce Pearl. • Tennessee finished both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons with a 16-0 home record. • This is the third straight season in which Sporting News has tabbed Thompson-Boling Arena the “best homecourt advantage” in the Southeastern Conference.
Tennessee Stands Alone Tennessee is the only Division I school ever to rank in the top five nationally in attendance for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball in the same year ... UT accomplished that lofty feat for the sixth time in 2008-09. Vols Enjoying New-Look Facilities The University of Tennessee invested more than $35 million into its basketball facilities between the end of the 2006-07 campaign and the start of 200708 ... During that eight-month period, UT added a basketball-only practice facility and began the first phase of renovations to Thompson-Boling Arena ... The $19 million first phase of renovations included the addition of 32 luxury suites that are located in the existing north balcony, a loge area just below the luxury suites that includes 166 side court seats, new seats for the entire arena, a $3 million centerhung scoreboard and concourse refurbishments, such as graphics and other amenities ... The renovations took Thompson-Boling’s capacity down from 24,535 to 21,678 ... The Vols’ new state-of-the-art basketball practice facility, Pratt Pavilion, houses two full-size gymnasiums, one for each of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as an athletic training room, weight room and film-study room ... Prior to this season, a pedestrian bridge was constructed leading from the G-10 parking garage to the arena, an elevator was added at the arena’s northwest end as a customer service amenity and new exterior signage has been installed on the building’s facade ... The UT athletics department announced in November that it plans to begin a renovation of the men’s and women’s basketball offices at the arena in April, creating a new and impressive “front door” for the basketball programs. Legends In The Rafters Four Tennessee basketball legends are memorialized with banners in the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters ... The UT men’s basketball program had never retired a jersey prior to the 2006-07 season, but after nearly 100 years of hardwood history, Bernard King (1975-77) was the first player to earn that distinguished honor ... King’s No. 53 jersey was officially retired during a halftime ceremony at the Feb. 13, 2007, home game against Kentucky (UT won 89-85) ... During that same ceremony, banners honoring longtime head coach Ray Mears (1962-77) and beloved radio “Voice of the Vols” John Ward (1964-99) also were unveiled ... Then on March 2, 2008, Ernie Grunfeld (1974-77) became the second UT player to receive the ultimate honor, when his No. 22 jersey was unveiled in the rafters during halftime of Tennessee’s 63-60 victory over Kentucky.