Neyland Stadium's unsung gameday heroes
Football time in Tennessee is always a good time for the thousands of fans who make their way into Neyland Stadium on a game day.
But the players those fans don't see are the ones who make sure their experience inside the house the General built is a winning one. It's a group led by Tennessee Athletics Director for Event management, David Elliott. He said, "It takes a lot of moving parts to make it happen, and it takes a lot of communication and we start the communication the first part of the week with the TV affiliates, the game officials, the conference office and then meld it with our folks and try and blend it together and hopefully try and make it a seamless operation."
Elliott leads the charge during game week and ultimately on game day, making sure the match up and its broadcast to thousands more goes off without a hitch. "We try...and if anything's changed from Monday through Friday, we'll hit it with the teams and the officials just give them a little cue that we had to do a little tweaking of the schedule in that 110 minute meeting," Elliot said.
Unbeknownst to most, at 110 minutes before each home game, in the recesses of the Vols venerable old stadium, members of both teams, the officiating staff, field personnel, network representatives and several others gather to discuss the procedures put in place to keep all of the above on the same page. Elliott said it can't happen without the help of so many adding, "We are so blessed here in East Tennessee with the people who work Neyland Stadium. Our ushers, our ticket takers, our law enforcement, medic, anybody and everybody that's affiliated with Tennessee football does their little part to contributing to Tennessee football in Neyland Stadium. You know, Neyland Stadium in and of itself is made of brick, steel and mortar, it's the people that work this place and attend this place that make it special."
Weather might be the biggest variable preparing for a game. David said there's a command post in the press box where the weather is being monitored so they can read and react quickly.
Weather might be an issue late in this Saturday's game against Vandy.
We'll be watching and we know David and crew will be ready!