After years of little to no use, the Observation Deck was re-opened to the public as of Tuesday, February 22, 2022, with a new look and feel thanks to the efforts of Visit Knoxville, in partnership with the City of Knoxville and the Public Building Authority, to renovate the information features.

The 4th level of the Sunsphere houses the Observation Deck. It offers a 360-degree view of the original 1982 World's Fair site (now World's Fair Park), downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee River, the University of Tennessee, and the Smoky Mountains.

There is a $5 admission charge, children 12 and under are $1 with a paying adult. Please click here to purchase tickets to visit the Observation Deck. Access is limited to the double elevators facing the lake at the base of the Sunsphere and at the Convention Center level.


The 6th and 8th levels of the Sunsphere house event floors managed by Venue Works.
For more information please call 865-922-8787
Book Your Next Event


Monday through Friday - 10:00AM-1:30PM & 2:30PM-5:00PM
Saturday - 9:00AM-1:30PM & 2:30PM-5:00PM
Sunday - 12:00PM-4:00PM

General Inquiries: (865) 314-0660
To purchase tickets or for more information please click here.

hOLIDAY hOURS: 9:00AM-3:00PM

On the following Holidays:
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- July 4th
Labor Day
- Friday after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve
- Day After Christmas
- New Years Eve 

- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day

*Hours of observation subject to change.


The Sunsphere was constructed for the 1982 World's Fair and during that time, it served as the symbol to the Fair. It was also home to a full service restaurant and the Observation Deck, which used to cost $2.00 for the elevator ride up to visit. The Sunsphere closed to the public with the Fair's end and remained vacant or underutilized for most of its post-fair life. The Sunsphere and the Tennessee Amphitheater are the only structures that remain from the 1982 World's Fair.

The city briefly reopened the Observation Deck sometime in 1999, but reclosed it so that the Public Building Authority could use the space for offices to oversee the construction of the Knoxville Convention Center. The Convention Center was complete in 2001, but the Observation Deck remained closed following its completion.

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. In early 2008, privately-owned businesses took up residence on the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth levels of the Sunsphere.


• Please dispose of trash and food at the base of the Sunsphere.
• Do not leave children unattended while on the Observation Deck.
• No one is permitted beyond the glass railing.
• World’s Fair Park is pet friendly, but only service animals are allowed in the Sunsphere

Thank you in advance for helping us keep this facility safe, clean and enjoyable for everyone.

Park Rules

• Electric scooters must be ridden in the streets and are not allowed on sidewalks, lawns, or greenways
• No skateboarding
• Keep pets on leashes and clean up after pet
• No littering
• No objects that could do harm
• Vending, solicitation or use of alcoholic beverages without proper permits is prohibited
• No swimming or wading in the lake
• Glass containers are prohibited in the fountain area only
• Use of charcoal grills is prohibited in the park
• Cleats/spikes are not allowed on the lawn
• Vehicles are not allowed on the lawns/sidewalks without permission (865) 254-1534


PARK PATROL: (865) 215-2246

The park is staffed by Park Patrol officers at all times. Emergency phones are located throughout the park. All visitors are subject to video monitoring while on these premises.


Eleventh Street, Clinch Avenue and World’s Fair Park Drive provide direct vehicular access to numerous parking areas:

Fort Kid Lot (78 spaces)
WFP North Lot (100 car spaces and four bus spaces)
Blackstock Lot (364 spaces)
Locust Street Garage (642 spaces)
Visit PBA Parking for More Information
Please note that the World's Fair Park & Volunteer Landing Event Office does not handle any event inquiries, bookings, or delivery notifications for the businesses at the 5th and 6th levels of the Sunsphere. The World's Fair Park & Volunteer Landing Event Office only handles the events and activities associated with the ground-level of the Park.
Copyright © The Public Building Authority of Knox County and Knoxville Tennessee. All Rights Reserved. Design & Marketing: Forty-Second Street, Inc.