UT takes steps toward razing Stokely Athletic Center

Stokely Athletics Center at the University of Tennessee, 1987. (KNS Archive)

Knoxville News Sentinel

Stokely Athletics Center at the University of Tennessee, 1987. (KNS Archive)

The storied Stokely Athletic Center — where the "Ernie and Bernie Show" drew sellout crowds in the mid-1970s, the Lady Vols played their first championship season in 1987, and Elvis Presley performed three months before his death — will move a step closer to demolition today.

University of Tennessee officials will ask the State Building Commission at its monthly meeting in Nashville for approval to raze the 54-year-old gymnasium, which would be replaced with a parking lot.

The earliest the building would come down would be next year, said Chris Cimino, vice chancellor for finance and administration. Athletic Department administration, ROTC programs and an alumni call center all still work in the building but will move out by Dec. 31, said Cimino.

1958 — Vols open the UT Armory-Fieldhouse with a 72-71 win over Wyoming on Dec. 2.

1966 — The venue undergoes a $2.6 million renovation, paid in part by William B. Stokely Jr., the gymnasium's new namesake. The Vols won their first 23 games in the building.

1969 — Janis Joplin plays on Nov. 8 to a sellout crowd at Stokely.

1972 — Elvis plays in Knoxville for the first time ever at venue, giving fans two shows in one day on April 8.

1974 — Elvis returns for a show at Stokely on March 15. Top-tier tickets sold for $10.

1974-1977 — The high-scoring Ernie Grunfield and Bernard King put on "The Ernie and Bernie Show," leading UT to some of its best seasons in history.

1977 — Three months before his death, on May 20, Elvis plays his final show in Knoxville.

1983 — Stokely hosts the famous NCAA "Dream Game," where rival Louisville beat Kentucky in the regional final of the tournament on March 26.

1987 — Tony White scores 51 points, the most ever by a Vol in a single game, against Auburn on Feb. 14.

1987 — The Lady Vols, coached by Pat Summitt, win their first national championship with the team's first three games played at Stokely.

"Once it's approved this week, we will enter into an agreement with a contractor to help us identify what that timeline is and what complications there might be — we know there's asbestos in the building, which will increase cost of demolition," Cimino said. "We still have quite a bit of planning to do."

The university has estimated the demolition at about $5.5 million, according to the agenda for today's commission meeting. Cimino, however, said those figures are preliminary and that the school still has to come up with the funding.

The state does not provide capital money for demolitions, he said.

Long-term plans for the 1.2 acres where Stokely sits, on the corner of Lake Loudon and Volunteer boulevards, include two academic buildings and possibly a parking garage. That plan could be as far as 15 to 20 years in the future, and the site will be turned into a parking lot in the meantime.

The university considered tearing down the buildings when the fire marshal determined in 2007 its safety systems were not up to code, including a lack of sprinklers, poor exit paths in case of a fire, guardrail safety concerns, and stairwell deficiencies, Cimino said.

At the time, it was estimated upgrades to bring the building to code would about $1 million, he said.

The university reached an agreement with the fire marshal to completely vacate the building by the end of 2012.

Stokely first opened in 1958 as the UT Armory-Fieldhouse, and it underwent a $2.6 million renovation in 1966, funded in part by William B. Stokely Jr.

Between 1967 and 1977, the men's basketball team won three SEC championships, including one with the help of star players Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King, No. 2 and No. 7 on UT's all-time leading scorers list, respectively.

Elvis played the venue in 1972, 1974 and shortly before his death in 1977. Stokely also hosted other big acts, including Janis Joplin and Kenny Rogers.

As it moves toward demolition, the university is considering how to preserve the building's history, Cimino said.

"It's always part of any building demolition we do — to look at any historical artifacts and or materials in the facility to see how might be able to re-purpose them," Cimino said, adding that the Athletic Department will play a role in the preservation.

"There's the gymnasium component of this, but also other things throughout building, whether they be photos, historical markings, plaques or otherwise, that are looked at for historical value kept for the university or held on to for auctions."

UT has sold parts of turf in Neyland Stadium and has offered other commemorative mementos during renovations, something the school will likely look at again, he said.

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Comments » 50

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

I want the part of Stokely where Big John Tate got knocked out cold to loose the World Title Belt for Knoxville. That was a pretty big event at Stokely.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

I want the part of Stokely where Big John Tate got knocked out cold to loose the World Title Belt for Knoxville. That was a pretty big event at Stokely.

Foreigner in your post.."Turn me LOOSE...." Big John Tate did 'lose' that WTB for ewe....I think there might be some sarcasm in your post...

luvmatersoup writes:

I've never been inside the building but have to admit, it's kind of sad anytime a building is demolished. Somehow makes me feel old? Go Vols!

MikeInTN writes:

As a student in the late 60's when I think of Stokely I can't help but think of Coach Mears, and Coach Aberdeen. Outstanding coaches!!

FWBVol writes:

Let me get this straight in 2007 it was estimated that it would cost $1 million to get Stokely up to code and in 2012 the cost for demolition is $5.5 million and then there's the cost associated with putting in a new parking lot and eventually the academic buildings. It seems the university would have been wiser to get the building up to code and make some other improvements to keep it servicable at a much cheaper price.

This is an example of why UT constantly needs to raise tutition.

littleb writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Let me get this straight in 2007 it was estimated that it would cost $1 million to get Stokely up to code and in 2012 the cost for demolition is $5.5 million and then there's the cost associated with putting in a new parking lot and eventually the academic buildings. It seems the university would have been wiser to get the building up to code and make some other improvements to keep it servicable at a much cheaper price.

This is an example of why UT constantly needs to raise tutition.

Agree 100%. They couldn't find the $1 million to bring it up to code, so they will raise tuition, etc. to come up with $5 million to turn it into a parking lot. Fabulous use of funds. Of course the demolition will cost $5 million, but the cost to pave the parking lot will be at least $10 million, just watch.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. This is what happens when the people making the decisions don't have any financial stake in the process. It's not their money, so who cares?

tensie2004 writes:

I have to many good memories of Stokely Athletic Center dating back to the mid-1960's. Please do not demonish it for to me it is a historic site. My wife and I spent part of our first date watching a basketball game there. This place means the world to alot of the older generation. I love this place.

spotty88 writes:

in response to littleb:

Agree 100%. They couldn't find the $1 million to bring it up to code, so they will raise tuition, etc. to come up with $5 million to turn it into a parking lot. Fabulous use of funds. Of course the demolition will cost $5 million, but the cost to pave the parking lot will be at least $10 million, just watch.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. This is what happens when the people making the decisions don't have any financial stake in the process. It's not their money, so who cares?

To what end? If they spend the $1 million, then are you going to complain because they will have to pay for upkeep, maintenance of the building, or do you think that happens magically and for free?
What exactly should they use the building for and I assume you'll base your answer on the fact that you have spent any amount of time in the building in the last 10 years?

NashvillePreds writes:

My memories of Stokely:
1.) Running into Bob Kesling outside at 1am... kind of strange
2.) Seeing Doug Dickey's car receive a parking ticket, and all his minons acting as if the world had ended
3.) Dance Marathon
4.) A 400 level business lab being held there each Tuesday morning one spring semester

One a side note, tuition is increasing as state funding decreases. Look at chart. If people don't like it, you can always be a blue raider, or apply for a job at the U of T, and make your desired changes... good luck

VolunteerLifer writes:

My memories of Stokely:

"Get some yummies for your tummies"

Smokey91 writes:

My Favorite Stokely Memories
1. Ray Mears in his orange blazer
2. Coach Stu getting a bunch of basketballs out and letting me and my friends go wild after a Kentucky win.
3. Jimmy England, Mike Edwards, and all the other great shooters that we had.
4. Watching Billy Hahn shut down Pistol Pete.
5. Rudy Kinard's game winning bomb from the corner to beat LSU (Gus Manning sold me and my friends standing room only tickets for a dollar and had the usher allow us to sit on the steps in the upped deck).
6. Walking around the hall before tip off to look at all the pictures in the Hall of Fame Walk Way.

Vol4EVA writes:

Hmmm…Let's see: Moody Blues, Crosby/Stills/Nash, The Police (Synchronicity Tour)...First Basketball game I saw my Freshman Year (1981-82), Vols put a beat down on a top ranked Kentucky team....that was the first of many great games I saw with Dale Ellis, Willie Burton, Tyron Beaman, Ed Littleton, Steve Ray, Dan Federmann...Coach Devoe was great...We used to pound the wooden chair backs with our pom pom sticks and it sounded like a machine gun when the visitors were shooting free throws...The history of walking the halls and looking at the All-Americas and championship teams...Stokely Center, what a great place…..and it was much larger than most think (was capacity 12,500?)

Since the old building must come down, I think it will much better served to expand the football practice field over (even close the street that runs between the current practice field and SAC)...The team needs the green space as the expanded football complex has really limited the current practice area…..

Those are my thoughts...

Go Big Orange! I'll hang up and listen to your comments...

orangesherbert writes:

That place rocked when Kentucky came calling-"SIT DOWN JOE B." Stu "Fieldhouse Rat" Aberdeen,shooting ball with Rodney Woods,going into the locker room after games when I was young and being in awe of Ernie Grunfeld,Bernard King and all the other great players I was fortunate to meet."We own Alabama" after a sweet win,games that went down to the wire and we iced them with free throws,the 11-6 win over Temple in Vol Classic,and the memories keep on keeping on...

FWBVol writes:

in response to spotty88:

To what end? If they spend the $1 million, then are you going to complain because they will have to pay for upkeep, maintenance of the building, or do you think that happens magically and for free?
What exactly should they use the building for and I assume you'll base your answer on the fact that you have spent any amount of time in the building in the last 10 years?

Whether it's a building, parking lot or some sort of green space there is going to be some sort of upkeep on the area. If SAC is structurely sound then it would seem to make more sense to rennovate an existing building than to tear it down and start from scratch. They rennovated the old Alumni Gym and gave it new life so I just wonder why that wasn't an option with SAC.

Caspian writes:

in response to Smokey91:

My Favorite Stokely Memories
1. Ray Mears in his orange blazer
2. Coach Stu getting a bunch of basketballs out and letting me and my friends go wild after a Kentucky win.
3. Jimmy England, Mike Edwards, and all the other great shooters that we had.
4. Watching Billy Hahn shut down Pistol Pete.
5. Rudy Kinard's game winning bomb from the corner to beat LSU (Gus Manning sold me and my friends standing room only tickets for a dollar and had the usher allow us to sit on the steps in the upped deck).
6. Walking around the hall before tip off to look at all the pictures in the Hall of Fame Walk Way.

That's a good list. I share many of those. Whenever I think of Jimmy England, I think of him with his sweaty bangs, laboriously dribbling the ball at the top of the key with his back to the basket looking over his shoulder to find the next pass.

One of my key memories of Stokely is standing on the arena floor at one of the many tables to get my first freshman registration packet, only to find out that the upperclassmen had top priority on all the good class section times, and I was stuck with 7:50 am English and 2 Saturday classes.

And then there were the Air Force ROTC drill practices in the Stokely parking lot on the west side, and getting razzed by some of the frat guys on their front porch.

And then there was the engineering class with Dr. Shobe in Ferris Hall followed by that same ROTC Thursday drill session at Stokely with only 15 minutes between classes to get all the way across campus and getting chewed out by an overly ambitious cadet upperclassman. To make matters worse, Shobe would always wait until the last 2 minutes of class to give us a 10 minute quiz. Dang! I hated that. But loved Stokely.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Saw a coupla uT/Ky games there. Great Ernie and Bernie shows.

Fondest memory ; went to one UT/KY game with wife and forgot my tickets! Talked to the head ticket man (well known employee but I forget his name). Explained the situation to him and he let us in, even with the packed house!! Great memories, sad to see it razed.

Caspian writes:

Stokely had pull-out sections of seating around the court. When things were rocking (especially against Kentucky or Alabama) everyone would stomp on the metal flooring and it would sound like thunder.

thevoice writes:

I'm in favor of keeping SAC and tearing down TBA

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

All of you make very excellent points. I do believe this however. When all this takes place, IMO it will be a horror show with regard to Volunteer Blvd. On football weekends currently, that entire block is no parking as a result of the construction across the street from Stokely. That I have never understood. Last season, for the 3 games I saw, there was no construction going on, and as badly as parking is needed, Knoxville did not allow people to park on that block. It would seem they might have certainly made an exception on football game days. I assume the construction is still in progress since I have not been back since last year.

How many even remember when you could double park in front of Stokely as well as all along Neyland Drive at the river?

Then, along came the tow away trucks and the luxury of having places to park became history. Those were the 'good old days.'

In other words, as far as sports are concerned, parking on campus leaves a lot to be desired............and that's even considering getting there very early to try to find a place to park.

There was even a wild rumor I heard years ago that they were considering building parking on the other side of the river with a pedestrian bridge thrown into the plan.

As we know, that plan did in fact get
'thrown into the river."

Go Vols

underthehill writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Let me get this straight in 2007 it was estimated that it would cost $1 million to get Stokely up to code and in 2012 the cost for demolition is $5.5 million and then there's the cost associated with putting in a new parking lot and eventually the academic buildings. It seems the university would have been wiser to get the building up to code and make some other improvements to keep it servicable at a much cheaper price.

This is an example of why UT constantly needs to raise tutition.

You make some very good points..but then..when have you seen any reasonable actions from the current administration at UT..name one...if possible..and see how it compares to the unreasonable ones..this is beyond ridiculous..bring it up to code..

lomas98 writes:

Was in school during TBA days and way after Stokley was used. However, I did frequent a lot during my time at school when intramurals were going on in HPER building and before the bubble was built, old Stokley was only place to go to play pickup basketball. Walking the hallways then seemed pretty neat with the old pictures. It was just cool playing in that arena. I seem to remember a merchandise store there as well when I was there that faced the street.

All old buildings seem to have to come down at some point. It is too bad for TN fans and some will always have memories or a story or 3 to tell, but things do change. Some younger current fans have no idea about Stokley and couldn't care less. Just one of those things like Sam and Andy's closing or Lap and Library shutting down or college conference realignment...nothing we can do about it.

McMinnVol writes:

in response to tensie2004:

I have to many good memories of Stokely Athletic Center dating back to the mid-1960's. Please do not demonish it for to me it is a historic site. My wife and I spent part of our first date watching a basketball game there. This place means the world to alot of the older generation. I love this place.

I had the exact same thoughts! My first date with my wife was the Dec 22, 1986 game vs. VMI. Final score was a 99-60 blow out. But that game has tremendous sentimental value to me. I saw my first UT sporting event as a kid there in 1971 in a basketball win over Bama. As a UT student in the Devoe era, I saw many classic games there. I realize the building is old, but I hope some kind of memorial can be left on the spot for old geezers like me!

Olcrow writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Foreigner in your post.."Turn me LOOSE...." Big John Tate did 'lose' that WTB for ewe....I think there might be some sarcasm in your post...

I reckon Henley was on the right track,belts are loosened and tightened. Big John just didn't have his tight enough.

Olcrow writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

My memories of Stokely:

"Get some yummies for your tummies"

That brings back memories,the same fellow sold gut bombs in Neyland too.Don't think I ever went there football or basketball and didn't see him.

voloffaith writes:

Oh the memories.....The Mears years....receiving my degree from UT there.....Meeting Tom Boerwinkle with Coach Aberdeen....all the memorabilia in the hallways.....Yes Joni Mitchell singing...."they tore down the" gym " and put up a parking lot."

underthehill writes:

in response to Olcrow:

That brings back memories,the same fellow sold gut bombs in Neyland too.Don't think I ever went there football or basketball and didn't see him.

He always had a smile and brought many to those around him..yummies for the tummies were not quite so expensive those days...as now

knoxarch writes:

"As it moves toward demolition, the university is considering how to preserve the building's history, Cimino said."

Blah, blah, blah. You could always just keep the building.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Whether it's a building, parking lot or some sort of green space there is going to be some sort of upkeep on the area. If SAC is structurely sound then it would seem to make more sense to rennovate an existing building than to tear it down and start from scratch. They rennovated the old Alumni Gym and gave it new life so I just wonder why that wasn't an option with SAC.

Not really fair to compare Alumni Gym with Stokely in terms of their worthiness for preservation. The old Alumni Gym was a masterpiece of a college gym in its prime. It was built solidly of high-quality materials; it was built to last. It would be modified to some extent, but it was recognizably a gym on the inside; it always embodied an era on the outside. Its look as of my last visit had less of the gym look about it, but it is still an integral part of The Hill and a place generations of Vol fans can be proud of.

Stokely was a pre-fab, open-structured place. No doubt it was a sound design capable of radical reconstruction as needs and capabilities required. Still, the multi-functionality of the facility almost required that it be undistinguished in appearance.

Believe me, my involvement with Stokely on many levels, literally and figuratively, for many years causes me to feel a certain angst at its impending destruction. However, I think it might be time to let the grand old barn die with dignity. TBA has to build the newer memories while carrying perhaps a bit of Stokely spirit into the future of the Vols.

voloffaith writes:

in response to underthehill:

He always had a smile and brought many to those around him..yummies for the tummies were not quite so expensive those days...as now

Was that Nick Zandy? He ran for mayor once....always seemed content with his place in life....

GOBIGO72 writes:

My neighbor would get me a student ticket during the Ernie and Bernie days. He was working on his PHD - 42 years old and bald - I was 17 and had hair halfway down my back - I'd use his student ID - put my thumb over the picture wait for a big crowd and walk right in - never failed. Imagine not too many of the ticket takers are still around but if you are - hat tip to u.

Couchdummy writes:

Memories--Dionne Warwick in concert.......Tom Boerwinkle playing BB......ROTC offices in Stokley when I was called on the carpet....Ketron High School in their first TSSAA regional BB game ~1964....

SevenT writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

volposter writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Whether it's a building, parking lot or some sort of green space there is going to be some sort of upkeep on the area. If SAC is structurely sound then it would seem to make more sense to rennovate an existing building than to tear it down and start from scratch. They rennovated the old Alumni Gym and gave it new life so I just wonder why that wasn't an option with SAC.

Agree. I was a freshman when it first opened and saw many games after that as a season ticket holder. Surely they can find a good use for it after a renovation to bring it up to standards and save money doing this. School administrators are simply getting too much into building new buildings to impress people, and spending money that could best be used elsewhere.

Fishpants writes:

I have fond memories of chanting "Sit, Joe, Sit!" to Joe B. Hall while we were beating Kentucky, and taunting that fat kid at Auburn, Charles Barkley, waving Dominos pizza boxes.

underthehill writes:

in response to SevenT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

..and when that happened Bernard stated ky would never beat UT as long as he was at UT..Bernard kept his word..CLASSIC..and with all the great players ky has had..none compared to Bernard K..

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Was that Nick Zandy? He ran for mayor once....always seemed content with his place in life....

Arnold Zandy

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to SevenT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The legitimate free throws Ernie took occurred in Memorial Gym. Apparently you need Kristen Saban to beat some sense into you.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

One of the realities of a campus that is trapped, is that sometimes older buildings have to come down to have somewhere to build new things that are needed. Sometimes even, building A needs to be replaced, so building B is torn down. Building A can then keep being used while its replacement is being build on the site where building B once stood.

Tennessee's campus has nowhere to expand. If there are plans to build a couple of new academic buildings in the future, where would they build them? My guess is that those two new academic buildings they are proposing in the future are to replace some existing building/buildings that are falling apart.

If they spent $1million to bring Stokely up to code, what would they use the building for? I had ROTC classes there in the 80's, and it was pretty much of a sh**hole then. Sure, they could bring it up to code, but mostly it would still be a sh**hole that met safety code. Awful offices. Awful classrooms. Awful bathroom. (They were awful back then.)

bk5uk1 writes:

1. 11-8 win over Temple when Grunfeld a freshman.
2. Being ten years old and hearing the whole arena screaming "go to hell, Marquette, go to hell" when Al McGuire was coach of Marquette.
3. Seeing Danny Ainge (BYU), Jim Valvano and Jeff Ruland (Iona), among others at the Vol Classic.
4. Cuonzo vs Grant Hill in an NCAA regional game.
5. The tartan floor.
6. The unicycle.
7. The striped warmup pants.
8. Sweet Georgia Brown.
9. Seeing John Ward in person standing under the basket before the game.
10. Bernard King. Every. trip. down. the floor.

voloffaith writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodberry:

Arnold Zandy

Thanks! Yes Nick didn't sound or look right.

volgrog#210164 writes:

Memories of Stokely:
1) I saw my first sporting event ever in Stokely when I was about 3 years old. We were on the top row.
2) I graduated high school in Stokely. We gave our principal marbles as we shook his hand. He ended up with about 700 marbles.
3) I graduated college in Stokely.
4) Ernie and Bernie.
5) Ray Mears and Don Devoe's teams running through the T.
6) Big John Tate for about 45 seconds. He went out like a light. I felt bad for him.

volboy81 writes:

I knew the day was coming, but its still sad. Lots of great memories in Stokely! Beach Boys concert, Big John Tate fight, watching the Vols and Lady Vols basketball games. It would get so loud in there that you could scream at the top of your lungs and couldnt hear yourself! NEVER saw UT lose to Kentucky there. It didnt matter how good they were, we still beat them! It would be nice to save it, but I think asbestos is the problem...I would think UT could think of something better to do with the land than an ugly parking lot!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to volboy81:

I knew the day was coming, but its still sad. Lots of great memories in Stokely! Beach Boys concert, Big John Tate fight, watching the Vols and Lady Vols basketball games. It would get so loud in there that you could scream at the top of your lungs and couldnt hear yourself! NEVER saw UT lose to Kentucky there. It didnt matter how good they were, we still beat them! It would be nice to save it, but I think asbestos is the problem...I would think UT could think of something better to do with the land than an ugly parking lot!!

Let's see...James Taylor, James Gang, Jethro Tull.....many an enjoyable bball game for the men.....gonna be hard to drive by and try to keep the Joni Mitchell song out of my head..." ..they put up a parking lot..."

trgclychip writes:

When I arrived at UT in fall of 74 to run cross country and track my dream was to be on the walls of Stokely with the other All-Americans. I'm proud to say I did, and our DMR national champions from 1979 have been up there ever since. I understand the current regime in the track office holds little regard for this tradition. I think that is a shame. It was powerful motivation to join the ranks of those on "the Walls of Stokely". Wonder what will become of those large photos??

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to underthehill:

You make some very good points..but then..when have you seen any reasonable actions from the current administration at UT..name one...if possible..and see how it compares to the unreasonable ones..this is beyond ridiculous..bring it up to code..

To what end? As a museum of memories? It was built to be an open arena building. If you bring it up to code it would still be an open arena building. There are two other like buildings on campus - Old Memorial Gym and the current basketball venue (A building so ugly it challenges all the other ugly buildings on our campus). So do we need a third? Can you cheaply convert this type of structure to one which will accommodate multiple floors of classrooms or offices? I doubt it.

I would hope the administration has compared total costs of demolition plus a complete new-build with the costs of conversion. I wouldn't be surprised if it is more expensive to convert Stokely than to demolish and build a different structure. And I hope that they will make their numbers public and justify their strategy.

And as for demolition well before being ready to rebuild, it is expensive to pay the contractor twice for mobilization. However, that inefficiency might still be cheaper than bringing the old girl up to code. Creating a surface parking lot in the meantime between demolition and re-building makes sense to me - a parking lot is only a temporary use of the site, and it is cheap to develop and demolish surface parking.

tturley#297658 writes:

Elton John - BK's first game - BK vs Leon Douglas - Orange stripe warmup pants - "bottom" - great '78 UK team - Bette Midler - running laps on the concourse in winter workouts - best: ring of honor pics

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

I attended all four of Elvis Presley sold out concerts at Stokely including both concerts in 1972 which were the best two but all were great. I saw several games there and concerts such as Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow, Bob Seger, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston to name a few. Some of the warm up acts were The Righteous Brothers, BJ Thomas, Jerry Reed, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and to many to name. I always loved Stokely more than Thompson Boling Arena. I sure am amazed it costs that much money to raise a building on little more than 1 acre and a building with out a lot of floors.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to MikeInTN:

As a student in the late 60's when I think of Stokely I can't help but think of Coach Mears, and Coach Aberdeen. Outstanding coaches!!

They may have been good coaches, but Coach Mears style of Basketball was as exciting as watching the tree's grow in Germany while I was in the Army during the cold war. The first really exciting Basketball at UT was when Bruce Pearl arrived and that's why I like him so much.

ktownddy writes:

Oh yah. Then there's the fact that we no longer have an indoor track... and of course there is no money to build a new one. Thanks Dave...

EMBuckles writes:

I first saw SAC in November of 1967 when my high school football team came to Knoxville to watch a UT football game. Sitting on the bus, I was impressed by the UT campus, when it came into view, but then I saw SAC, in the distance, and said, "WOW! What in the world is THAT?!" A coach told me, with a tone of reverence in his voice. I was amazed. Later, in the early '70s, I saw my first college basketball game in person at SAC - UT vs. Mississippi (UT won) and was in awe of that too. I'm sad to learn that SAC will be torn down. I think that is a huge waste, however, with the huge current basketball arena there, I guess that SAC is no longer needed. Seems like they ought to covert it to something else instead of just tearing it down, however.

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