KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee announced Monday that rather than traveling to Utah for their 2023 season opener, the Vols will now kick off the season in Nashville.

Tennessee will return to Music City to open the 2023 college football season against Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 2 in Nissan Stadium. The game will replace the previously-scheduled opening game which would have seen Tennessee travel to Provo, Utah to take on BYU.

It will be the third time in history that Tennessee will open a season at Nissan Stadium in Nashville after kicking off the 2015 season with a win over Bowling Green and beating Wyoming in 2002. The Vols will look to rectify their last game at the home of the Titans when they lost 45-48 to Purdue in overtime of the 2021 TransPerfect Music City Bowl.

“Pivoting to play a marquee non-conference opponent in Nashville made sense for multiple reasons,” Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White said. “This is a more accessible game for our fanbase. I expect that we will have a much larger contingent of fans in Nashville than would have been able to travel to Utah. Our fans also have heard me talk about the importance of finding new revenue to grow our operating budget, and playing Virginia at Nissan Stadium is an opportunity for a net-positive revenue game. I appreciate Virginia AD Carla Williams and the Nashville Sports Council for working with us to make this attractive matchup happen.”

The 2023 season opener will be the first matchup between Tennessee and Virginia since 1991. The Vols lead the all-time series, 3-1.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Vols and Cavaliers to Nashville on opening weekend of the 2023 college football season,” Nashville Sports Council President and CEO Scott Ramsey said. “Both programs have a place in Nashville Sports history, having both played in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. We look forward to hosting them along with their loyal fanbases and once again showcasing Nashville on a national stage.”

Tennessee has been designated the home team for the 2023 opener. Ticket information and a kickoff time will be announced at a later date.