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Nissan Stadium stands will remain empty, while Neyland Stadium welcomes 50,000 fans

Univ. of Tennessee Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Fans will be absent when the Titans and Nashville SC next play, but Neyland Stadium will welcome Vols supporters back to Knoxville for the first game of the season.

During a press conference hosted by Nashville Mayor John Cooper Tuesday morning, The Tennessee Titans and Nashville pro soccer announced fans will not be permitted to attend early games through at least the end of September due to pandemic restrictions.

Nashville SC’s first home game is set for Aug. 30 against Miami. The Titans first regular season home game is scheduled for Sept. 20 against Jacksonville.

However, during a press conference hosted by Gov. Bill Lee Tuesday afternoon, University of Tennessee Athletic Director Phi Fulmer announced that Neyland Stadium will welcome roughly 50,000 fans at 25 percent capacity.

If fans are in the stands when UT faces Missouri at home October 3, it will be by far the largest public gathering in Tennessee since the pandemic began.

Fulmer noted that UT had learned much about hosting a large event under social distancing restrictions from Bristol Speedway. The state allowed the raceway to host a reduced capacity crowd of 20,000 fans in mid-July.

Reporters on Tuesday asked Gov. Lee why UT was being permitted to hold such a large gathering when the Titans and Nashville SC had opted to play with stands empty. The governor answered simply that he was looking forward to seeing a Titans game in person this fall.