Lindsey Nelson Stadium – Tennessee Volunteers
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Vol Ball At Rocky Top
Lindsey Nelson Stadium has been the home of the Tennessee Volunteers baseball program since 1993. The 4,283 seat facility has been a difficult place for visiting teams, as the Vols own a nearly .700 home winning percentage in Knoxville.
The University of Tennessee has fielded a baseball program since 1897. Since joining the Southeastern Conference, the Vols have won 3 SEC Championships, 3 SEC Tournament Championships and appeared in 4 College World Series. The program has produced future MLB players R.A. Dickey, Zack Godley, Yan Gomes, Rick Honeycutt, Chase Headley, Todd Helton and Phil Garner.
Food & Beverage 3
There are two concession stands on the outer concourse of Nelson Stadium, plus a variety of food carts on the fan plaza located at the top of the stands along the first base line. The stands offer the typical fare, with no signature dishes. The concession menu includes hot dogs ($5), cheeseburgers with chips ($9), pretzels ($5), popcorn ($4), peanuts ($4), candy ($4) and chips ($2). Beverages include tea ($5), Coca-Cola brand sodas ($4), bottled water ($4) and frozen lemonade ($5).
The University of Tennessee has made several upgrades to Lindsey Nelson Stadium to make it more competitive with its SEC baseball brethren.
In 2010 the stadium underwent massive renovations designed to bring the field closer to the fans. Nearly 400 MVP field level seats were added behind the home plate area. These seats provide direct, private access to the Vols MVP Clubroom. Another unique feature added to Nelson Stadium are the 8 “porches” located beyond the left field wall. This area provides a very relaxed atmosphere to watch the ball games, as they come outfitted with rocking chairs and grills and patio tables with umbrellas.
Other amenities in the stadium include theatre-style seating for all reserved seats and aluminum benches with chair backs in the general admission area. A playground for the kids is located atop the stands along the first base line. A party plaza is also found on the first base side of the stadium, complete with picnic tables.
The interior wall of Lindsey Nelson Stadium has a wall of fame featuring some of the outstanding players who have donned the white and orange uniforms of Vols baseball. In addition, the outfield wall padding is imprinted with the years the Vols have appeared in the College World Series and the SEC title years for the team.
Lindsey Nelson Stadium is in the athletic complex located on the University of Tennessee campus. Its neighbors include the Thompson-Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium. The campus is located high atop a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. It offers stunning views of the river and the nearby mountains.
The University of Tennessee is adjacent to the downtown area of Knoxville. This means that most of the attractions, dining and lodging options are within easy walking distance of Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Two attractions that you will want to check out are hard to miss and can be found by looking for unique architecture. World’s Fair Park is at the doorstep of the university. Built for the 1982 World’s Fair, the park offers a lake, waterfalls, picnic areas and the Sunsphere Tower. It is the most obvious structure on the Knoxville skyline. A second attraction is just east of the campus and can be identified by a two-story basketball on its exterior. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame salutes players, teams and coaches from the women’s side of the game in the hometown of legendary coach Pat Summitt.
Two restaurants to check out are Calhoun’s on the River. A longtime favorite of locals, the restaurant has great food and offers magnificent views of the Tennessee River just outside the windows. If you prefer a craft brew with your dinner, then head on over to the Downtown Grill and Brewery.
Two hotels near the Tennessee campus are the Hilton Garden Knoxville and the Tennessean Hotel. Leave your car at the hotel and just walk over to the campus.
Volunteer fans are not bashful about their support of the athletic programs of the university. Expect to see plenty of orange outfits and a rendition of “Rocky Top” every time the home team scores. You will also see Smokey, the Volunteer’s blue tick hound mascot roaming the stands, keeping both the kids and the adults entertained and fired up.
The SEC is a very powerful baseball conference and unfortunately the Vols typically finish in the lower half of the conference standings. This has impacted attendance, as Tennessee averages only about 1,800 per game in a 4,200 seat stadium. This has also hurt fundraising for improvements to Lindsey Nelson Stadium in order to keep up with the highly ranked baseball facilities at LSU, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi State.
The University of Tennessee and Lindsey Nelson Stadium are easily accessed via I-40. From I-40 East: Take I-40 East to Highway 129 South. Follow Highway 129 to Neyland Drive. Take Neyland Drive to Lake Loudon Boulevard and turn left. Turn left on Chamique Holdsclaw Drive to the stadium.
Parking for Vols baseball games is located along Todd Helton Drive. Visitors can park in the following lots: GF4, GF3, GF2 or the G16 Parking Deck. The stadium is just a block from these lots.
Once you arrive at the outside of the stadium, you will find plenty of gates available to enter through and should not experience any backup.
The outer concourse is rather tight, and you may experience some difficulty in navigating it, especially between innings when the concession stands get busy. This concourse also does not provide a view of the field, but there are TV monitors positioned over the concession areas.
Once you go through the portals into the seating bowl, you will notice that an inner concourse bisects the seating area. The seats above this concourse are located high enough that your view is not blocked by people walking by. This inner concourse keeps the flow of fans moving in a very smooth manner.
Return on Investment 4
Individual game tickets for Tennessee games are very reasonably priced at $8 for reserved seats and $5 for general admission tickets. Games on Tuesdays and Thursdays are only $2 for general admission seating. Parking for baseball games is available on campus for free along Todd Helton Drive, which runs behind the outfield walls. Those afraid of having a home run take out their windshield can park in the G-16 Parking Deck two blocks from the stadium at a cost of $10. The concession prices at Lindsey Nelson Stadium are quite reasonable.
The baseball stadium is named for Lindsey Nelson, a University of Tennessee graduate who went to be a Hall of Fame broadcaster. Nelson is enshrined the National Halls of Fame for Major League Baseball, the NFL and College Football. Among the events he called in his career are the World Series, the Davis Cup, the Masters, the Rose, Cotton and Sugar Bowls, the NFL Championship Game and the NBA Championships. He also served as the main announcer for the New York Mets for 17 years.
The Porch area offers a unique viewing area for visitors to Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The views of the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains form a beautiful backdrop beyond the outfield walls.
A trip to Knoxville and the University of Tennessee is well worth your time. Lindsey Nelson Stadium offers the tradition of Rocky Top and stunning views of the Tennessee River. The stadium has some of the closest seats in the SEC to the action and the unique porches behind the left field wall to enjoy the games. The city of Knoxville provides visitors with a wide variety of attractions and dining options.
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