Fans snapping up $20 flex tickets; more than 90,000 sold for Austin Peay opener

Butch Jones

Butch Jones demonstrates a point during a special teams drill on Aug. 28, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Dynamically priced tickets — which can fluctuate throughout the season based on market demand — have helped drive the Vols over 90,000 tickets sold for Saturday’s opener against Austin Peay.

The Vols have sold about 5,800 of the 6,700 south end zone seats allotted for flex pricing, senior associate athletic director Chris Fuller said. Some of the sales have been to groups.

The tickets, which are limited to the highest rows of the upper deck, are priced at $20 each for this game. Other games are priced considerably higher, but the cost could fluctuate over the coming weeks.

Fuller said the Vols have sold about 58,000 season tickets, down from 59,700 a year ago.

The Vols drew an announced crowd of 87,821 in last year’s home opener against Georgia State. Fuller said just over 90,000 have been sold so far for the Austin Peay game, which is Butch Jones’ first as UT head coach.

* Speaking of Jones, he was in message-sending form during Wednesday’s practice, getting up in the face of one veteran during stretching and yelling passionately at players (and one of his assistants) during a special teams drill. Today’s video may have to be heavily edited due to colorful language.

* Some freshman players who already lost their stripes — including starting receiver Josh Smith — now have black stripes on their helmet again. I thought this might be to a prove a point, but instead I think it’s merely an equipment issue in which players had to use a backup helmet for some reason. (We’ll investigate).

* One very simple receivers drill that we happened to be filming featured three consecutive dropped passes. It felt like spring again. Receivers coach Zach Azzanni briefly walked away in disgust.

* No real changes on the injury front . Linebacker Curt Maggitt was still in green, but presumably doing a lot more in practice than he was previously. I don’t expect him to play against Austin Peay. Receivers Ryan Jenkins and Johnathon Johnson were also in green. So was defensive back Michael F. Williams.