World's Fair Park Amphitheater
History of the Tennessee Amphitheater
The Tennessee Amphitheater was constructed during the 1982 World’s Fair and during that time, it was home to both country music and classical music concerts. The Sunsphere and the Tennessee Amphitheater are the only structures that remain from the 1982 World’s Fair. After the Fair’s close, the Amphitheater continued to be used for various activities until it was closed in 1998 for construction of the new Convention Center and renovation of the World’s Fair site. Once these projects were complete, the Amphitheater reopened briefly until it was closed again in 2002 due to structural problems.
However, in 2005, Mayor Bill Haslam announced that the Sunsphere and Tennessee Amphitheater would be renovated for public use. In 2007 he announced that they would be renovated without use of taxpayer’s money. Later that year, the Sunsphere’s Observation Deck reopened to the public free of charge and Mayor Haslam held his Inaugural Address, for his second term in office, in the Amphitheater. This was the first event to be held in the structure after being closed and empty for years.
The Amphitheater is available for special events. For more information on how to lease the space, please visit the Events & Amenities page.