OBSERVATION DECK, 4TH LEVEL
** PLEASE NOTE: THE OBSERVATION DECK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE **
After years of little to no use, the Observation Deck was re-opened to the public as of Monday, May 5, 2014, 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 no admission charge to visit the Observation Deck and access is limited to the double elevators facing the lake at the base of the Sunsphere and at the Convention Center level.
EVENTS, 6TH & 8TH LEVELS
The 6th and 8th levels of the Sunsphere house event floors managed by Venue Works. For more information please call 865-922-8787Book Your Next Event
OBSERVATION DECK HOURS
Temporarily closed until further notice following CDC recommendations.
12/24, Christmas Eve: 9:00am – 3:00pm
12/25, Christmas Day: CLOSED
12/26, Day after Christmas: 9:00am – 3:00pm
*Hours of observation subject to change. There is no cost to visit the Observation Deck
HISTORY OF THE SUNSPHERE
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.
• No pets allowed.
Thank you in advance for helping us keep this facility safe, clean and enjoyable for everyone.