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University of Tennessee exploring ‘Neyland Entertainment District’ project

Interesting concept.

Alabama v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

In a potential plan that was announced on Wednesday afternoon, parts of the University of Tennessee campus could soon be changing. In particular, the area between Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena.

The announcement details a “first-in-class entertainment district spanning the Tennessee River waterfront near historic Neyland Stadium.” A hotel, for-sale condos, event space, restaurants and retail space would all be included in the project. The exterior of Neyland Stadium would also receive a facelift.

“Innovation is at the forefront of everything we do,” Tennessee athletics director 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. We’re eager to see what world-class developers dream up to creatively maximize this extraordinary market opportunity. We have the capacity for constructing an entertainment ecosystem that doesn’t presently exist anywhere across the collegiate landscape.”

The district would obviously change the look and feel of gamedays on both the football and basketball side, but it would also be a year-round attraction, placed directly on the Tennessee river. From the sound of it, it has the feel of the surroundings of Truist Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves.

“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 says they have filed a formal Request for Information (RFI) on the potential development. Expect more news on this project over the next year or so.