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Tennessee Athletics photo / There will be no packed houses at Thompson-Boling Arena this basketball season to watch Santiago Vescovi and the Tennessee Volunteers.

The University of Tennessee announced Thursday that men's and women's basketball games this season at Thompson-Boling Arena will have capacity capped at approximately 4,000 due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

That's roughly 18% of the 21,678-seat facility.

"Despite having gone through a similar process for football earlier this fall, the reality that we will be unable to welcome all of our ticket holders into Thompson-Boling Arena this basketball season remains saddening," athletic director Phillip Fulmer said through a released statement. "There is no easy way to adjust to the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we've been thoughtful and deliberate in attempting to offer attendance opportunities to as many of our season-ticket holders as possible while also maintaining the safest arena environment possible."

Tennessee football games this season have transpired inside a Neyland Stadium at closer to 23% capacity, with the Volunteers' 48-17 loss to Alabama on Oct. 24 occurring before an announced season-high crowd of 23,394.

Face coverings will be required inside Thompson-Boling Arena and must be maintained at all times unless actively eating or drinking. Tennessee's obvious hope is these limitations and guidelines will be for the 2020-21 season only.

Tennessee has a men's basketball home schedule that includes nine Southeastern Conference games and a matchup with Kansas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Lady Vols have eight SEC home games and a Hall of Fame Revival Series clash against Connecticut.

Both programs also will have nonconference contests in November and December that have yet to be revealed.

Tickets for Vols and Lady Vols games will be offered as season passes, with priority based on the Tennessee Fund annual gift amount and rank order.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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