University of Tennessee eyeing entertainment district around Neyland and Thompson-Boling

Major developments could be coming to the University of Tennessee in the form of a new entertainment district near Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee Athletics explores plans to install a tabletop retail and entertainment district on...
Tennessee Athletics explores plans to install a tabletop retail and entertainment district on the University of Tennessee campus.(Tennessee Athletics)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 2:18 PM CDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The University of Tennessee is eyeing an entertainment district near Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena, spanning the Tennessee River waterfront, officials with the university’s athletics department announced Wednesday.

The project is in extremely early stages but would include an overhaul of Neyland’s exterior and a “tabletop” above G10 garage to support tailgating, restaurants retail and entertainment.

“Innovation is at the forefront of everything we do,” Athletics Director Danny White said. “The ideation of this new Neyland Entertainment District exemplifies that mindset. This is a massive project that has the potential to positively impact our entire city. This is a year-round destination that not only enhances our gamedays but also elevates the everyday academic experience of our entire student body and campus community year-round.”

The university has put in a formal Request for Information (RFI) to gauge input and interest from developers.

“Neyland Stadium has always been known for having one of the best gameday environments in college football,” Chancellor Donde Plowman said. “We love to welcome Vol Nation to campus on Saturdays in the fall. This project has the potential to create a year-round destination that engages the Tennessee River waterfront and enhances the campus and our community.”

The university also said it’s partnering with Brailsford & Dunlavey for the early stages of the project.

“This public-private partnership opportunity will enhance the look and atmosphere of Neyland Stadium and the Knoxville campus while creating an additional destination for the city of Knoxville, all without state funding,” University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd said.