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Downtown Knoxville sunset photographed from the roof of Hotel Knoxville

Thompson-Boling Arena has been nominated for the Arena of the Year award by the Academy of Country Music. Located on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, it is Tennessee’s largest arena, the home of Tennessee basketball and Lady Vol basketball and volleyball, and the site of many of East Tennessee’s biggest events.

In 2022 alone, the arena hosted Paul McCartney, Elton John, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Alabama, and Kevin Hart, plus many family shows and community events.

Through a collaboration with venue management company OVG360, the arena has more than doubled its live entertainment calendar.

“Our fans continue to demonstrate that East Tennessee is a premier concert destination,” said Director Jason Pedone. “Being recognized by the ACM is an honor that is only made possible by the artists who choose to play and the support of our valued partners and dedicated team members. OVG360 has been pivotal in creating opportunities, and our promoting partners have demonstrated their faith in the market. We thank the academy for their recognition and congratulate all nominees.”

As the largest arena in a quickly growing region, Thompson-Boling has always been unique in that it was designed to be much more than the typical on-campus facility.

“UT is both honored and humbled to be nominated among such a prestigious group of entertainment venues,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Operations Brian Browning. “As the first major university-managed on-campus arena to ever receive a nomination, we remain committed to hosting shows for Knoxville and the region for years to come.”

Knoxville was recently recognized as a top overall concert market by Pollstar, which manages the live entertainment industry’s most comprehensive database of ticket sales.

Earlier this month Thompson-Boling hosted a concert by Lizzo, and in the coming weeks the arena will host major visits by WWE Smackdown, Stevie Nicks, Breaking Benjamin, Hank Williams Jr., Thomas Rhett, and The Chicks.


Lindsey Owen McBee (865-974-6375,