|KNOX COUNTY PROFILE|
Recreation and Tourism:
Knox County has over 5,881 acres of park and recreation space, including 27 recreation centers, six senior citizen centers, two skateparks, 13 golf courses open to the public, and more than 60 miles of greenway and walking trails. Knoxville’s Zoological Gardens and Ijams Nature Center attract visitors both young and old. Nearby is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the country’s most visited, with over nine million guests in 2008. Visitors enjoy the natural beauty and leisure activities that can be found there and at the numerous other state parks, lakes and resorts which dot the area.
For sports fans, Knoxville has much to offer. Nationally-ranked University of Tennessee varsity teams draw thousands of enthusiasts to football, basketball, and many other NCAA events each year. The Tennessee Smokies provide AA minor league baseball in neighboring Sevier County, while the Knoxville Ice Bears bring minor league hockey to local fans. The city is also home to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Special seasonal events include the Dogwood Arts Festival and Rossini Festival in the spring, Sundown in the City concerts during summer months, Boomsday in the fall, and December’s celebration Christmas in the City. Knoxville supports an active tourism and convention trade with a 500,000-square foot convention center located downtown at World’s Fair Park. Other local facilities are a large civic coliseum/auditorium, two exhibition halls, and a 25,000-seat arena.