KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Thompson-Boling Arena at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has been nominated for the 2023 Arena of the Year award by the Academy of Country Music.

Home to the University of Tennessee basketball and volleyball programs, the arena has become a frequent destination for major musical acts since the university began alcohol sales at campus venues in 2019.

With a capacity of more than 21,000, it is the third-largest on-campus basketball arena in the country.

The arena hosted stars like Paul McCartney, Elton John, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Alabama, Kevin Hart, and most recently, Lizzo.

“UT is both honored and humbled to be nominated among such a prestigious group of entertainment venues,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Operations Brian Browning. “As the first major university-managed on-campus arena to ever receive a nomination, we remain committed to hosting shows for Knoxville and the region for years to come.”

Hank Williams Jr., Guns N’ Roses and KISS are all scheduled to perform at the arena this year.

The arena will host the WWE Smackdown on May 12. This will be the first WWE event in Knoxville since Monday Night RAW hit Thompson-Boling Arena last year.

Knoxville was recently recognized as a top U.S. concert market by Pollstar. The live music trade publication rated the city at No. 41 on their 2023 Concert Market Rankings, up 56 spots from the previous year.

“Our fans continue to demonstrate that East Tennessee is a premier concert destination,” said Director Jason Pedone. “Being recognized by the ACM is an honor that is only made possible by the artists who choose to play and the support of our valued partners and dedicated team members. OVG360 has been pivotal in creating opportunities, and our promoting partners have demonstrated their faith in the market. We thank the academy for their recognition and congratulate all nominees.”