As the in-state recruiting battles between the schools simmer, Tennessee is planning an on-field invasion deep into Vanderbilt’s backyard.
In concert with the Nashville Sports Council, the Vols confirmed Thursday that they will open the 2015 season in Nashville. UT will face the Conference USA’s UAB Blazers at LP Field, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
In a statement, UT athletic director Dave Hart acknowledged that recruiting played at least a part in the decision to move a home game to the home city of SEC rival Vandy.
“It is exciting to have this come to fruition, and we look forward to opening our season in front of a great crowd in Nashville,” Hart said.
“We have made the necessary adjustments to our 2015 football schedule in order for us to move our opening game against UAB to Nashville, which is a priority for us from the perspective of recruiting, our fans, and our alumni.”
Those adjustments specifically refer to suspending the home-and-home series with UConn, which was scheduled for 2015 and 2016. In 2016, the Vols will play a home game at Bristol Motor Speedway against Virginia Tech.
The game at LP Field will mark the program’s first in the NFL Stadium since the 2010 Music City Bowl. The Vols also played at the home of the Titans in 2002.
LP Field seats just under 69,000 fans. Neyland Stadium, on the other hand, holds in excess of 102,000.