Looking at this stadium today, you might not believe it began as a modest sports field with only one grand stand for 3,200 people. that’s how it looked after half a year of works in 1921. Founded by Mr and Mrs Shields-Watkins, the stadium was named after them.
Later the name was limited to the field only as new icon rose in Tennessee football – Gen. Robert Neyland. It was this man who brought so much vision and development to local sport that ticket demand forced expansion a couple times every decade. So from one stand in 1921 the stadium went beyond 52,000 in 1962, as it was honoured with Neyland’s name.
At that point all stands were single-tiered and encircled the field. Later addition of upper decks began, first along the two sides, later also in the south. Northern grandstand was demolished and rebuilt as a curved section in 1980, later expanded with its own second tier (1996). This was the last major expansion and the northern upper tier is also the only one to be covered throughout the stadium.
The building underwent a thorough redevelopment in 2004-2010. The phased project didn’t interfere with existing structures, but brought completely new amenities for fans, new electronic systems and numerous other additions (corporate, media, new access plazas and outer walls) that are expected to last for the next 7 decades.
Tenant: Tennessee Volunteers (NCAA)