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Plans To Save The Tennessee Amphitheater

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

A famed structure from the 1982 World's Fair still sits on the site, closed off from the public.
However, the signs of deterioration are very visible.
WVLT Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has more on the new plans to save the Tennessee Amphitheater.
In a November workshop, a few options were discussed to repair the Tennessee Amphitheater.
Among painting, paving and seating improvement needs, the main issue is the audience tent.
Although the city says a full renovation isn't in the works, they want to see the amphitheater used again.
For several years the amphitheater has been closed, and now with hopes of its revival its future has some options.
Bill Lyons, with the City of Knoxville says, "I think there's still a good bit sentiment on council to try to find a way to keep the roof because its the most distinctive element of the structure."
And keeping the roof means difficult renovations.
Renovations amphitheater designer Doug McCarty says will involve a crane.
"The crane will have to hold up the fabric structure while the new trusses are coming in to replace the trusses that are damaged."
Other options include completely wiping out the structure and making a park to taking off the roof and still using the stage for entertainment, all costing anywhere from 300 to 900 thousand dollars.
Although it would not start at the same time, the city says money could be saved by renovating a long side the sunsphere which is set to start after the first of the year.
Lyons says there was no good response out of council to tear the structure down and the designer agrees the memory and history of the world's fair is too important to the city.
"To have this important structure just being demolished and having no real amphitheater for the city of Knoxville would be a shame."
In the next few council meetings, a proposal will be made and more discussions will take place.
Even though there isn't a timeline, the city says they want to begin renovations reasonably soon.


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