I am a Knoxville native. I have lived in or near Knoxville for all but two of my 61 years. I can remember Mom and Dad taking me downtown as a kid and marveling at how busy it was. I say this because I feel that I have the right to talk about my town.
Knoxville has a long history of killing popular festivals. Usually, they get moved to the World's Fair site before finally dying. One particular one I remember was the Jazz and Blues fest. The first year was fantastic with bands on Gay Street and even down in the Old City. I think it might have survived one more year before it was moved to the World's Fair site and now nobody hears of it anymore. It's as if downtown Knoxville can't stand it if someone might have a good time.
I've wondered about this over the years and never found an answer. So, if I am surprised at the Rossini move, it's only because I'm surprised that it didn't get shuffled off to the World's Fair Park where everybody has to buy tokens to get anything to eat or drink. That's the next step when there are too many complaints about closing Henley Street.