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These comments are from Harry Keiser at UT, who gives speeches about the city to incoming freshmen:
Culture: 40th40th in Performing Arts isn't too bad considering Knoxville's sizecompared to say Los Angeles or New York City. Still, Jay Leno, BillCosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Goo Goo Dolls, and Barenaked Ladieshave all done big shows within a few blocks of my Downtown Knoxville Loft in a one-year period...
Low-Impact Sports: 73rdSince the bulk of that count is Golf & Boating, it's no surprise.Arguably half of Knoxville's year is bad golfing weather, and better for swimming, hiking or the movies. And regardless of city planning and revenue, the Tennessee River/Loudon Lake, can't compete with the Sea, hahaha.
Popular entertainment (movie theaters, sports arenas, amusementparks): 79thThis one's really a head scratcher. Sports Illustrated says Knoxville is the #1 college football city in the world. We have the #1winningest college athletics team in history (Summit's Lady Vols). And we're the home of Regal Cinemas (their International Headquarters are in North Knoxville).
Not to mention our tributary Micropolitan area is home to a full-service Amusement Park. Dollywood might not rival Disney or Universal, but how many Metros have any amusement parks? 79th is almost shocking, because with all of those #1 national rankings, you'd think Knoxville would at least make the top 10 or 20...
Food and Drink: 82ndWhile I find Knoxville's restaurants to be great, I can understand not making the top 25. Somewhere between 25 and 82 might be more reasonable unless we're talking about diversity of choices. The Mexican & Chinese restaurants here are pretty bad (chain establishments not withstanding). But for an upper-middle American meal (steakhouses, etc.), you'd be hard-pressed to do better anywhere in America.
High-Impact Sports: 90thUnder scrutiny this is another confusing one. As the article says, we have the Smoky Mountains, the #1 most visited American National Park where hiking and a bit of rock-climbing & skiing are par for the course. Additionally, the Princeton Review says that Knoxville has the #5 Best Athletics facilities in America. How do we get a #90 ranking with the #1 National Park and the #5 Athletics Facilities?
Gambling: 92ndGambling's illegal here so I don't know why we wouldn't be laston the list. No racetracks, casinos, or bookies, as they're outlawed, so how did we beat out eight cities?
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