Who was it that decided to make TBA a dungeon from the tv viewing perspective?

#2

Volprofch05

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#2
A great atmosphere such as LSU game is pretty much undetectable when watching TN games on tv because of the lack of lighting on the crowd. Whereas Auburn, UK, and a ton of other programs have arena lighting showing fans, ours does the opposite.
It may be because our fans are firmly planted in their seats...
 
#9

vol94

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#9
Yeah it’s def the lighting and black seats. The students are further away, too, but the lighting and black seats are poor optics on a tv broadcast. It looks like the game is being played at a theater.
 
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#12

tbones0711

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#12
Well I can't answer your question as to who decided but the architects were probably focused on the court itself in terms of lighting. In watching games on TV at TBA the lighting appears adequate and you can see fans in the lower rows and behind both baskets pretty well. If for some reason the cameraman does decide to scan up into the higher seats you do have to look or refocus your gaze to make things out due to the darkness. My guess is the point you bring up was never considered during construction.
 
#13

TartanTurff

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#13
The Auburn Arena is less than half the size and capacity of Thompson Boling, seating 9,121 at full capacity, such that when full a similar size crowd shows in Knoxville it would be an embarrassment, the excitement of the crowd is directly related to the enthusiasm of the team, the entertainment on the floor and the ability to knock down wins against top teams. It happens in Knoxville from time to time.

Under the new ticket pricing arrangement at Thompson Boling, student seating will be in both end zones behind the baskets, the old arena donors on the sidelines will have to pony up significant dollars to stay where they are, but there are still 5,000 bad seats in the upper enclaves of Thompson Boling, courtesy of Doug Dickey's ego in the big 80s in that the arena had to seat more than Rupp Arena, regardless of the demand for seating in the 300 level or the sight distances involved from the lofty perches. The renovations to the arena have helped, the black cloth seats look better on television than the plastic orange ones, but the arena is hard to get to as an on campus arena, poorly configured from a parking location perspective and is routinely scratched from hosting NCAA regional events given the distance and disconnect from the existing hotels and city dining and entertainment amenities. Some of us remember black curtains in the upper deck sealing off and hiding the thousands of unsold seats not so long ago.

A nice tight 17,500 seat arena comparable to the Walton at Arkansas would have looked good on the old worlds Fair site connecting downtown Knoxville to the eastern edges of campus, but TBA is what it is, a bigger house to fill and a harder environment to turn rauccus and roudy given the cavernous spaces in a big box arena which is a bit too big and misplaced for its own good.
 
#14

b_gann

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#14
The Auburn Arena is less than half the size and capacity of Thompson Boling, seating 9,121 at full capacity, such that when full a similar size crowd shows in Knoxville it would be an embarrassment, the excitement of the crowd is directly related to the enthusiasm of the team, the entertainment on the floor and the ability to knock down wins against top teams. It happens in Knoxville from time to time.

Under the new ticket pricing arrangement at Thompson Boling, student seating will be in both end zones behind the baskets, the old arena donors on the sidelines will have to pony up significant dollars to stay where they are, but there are still 5,000 bad seats in the upper enclaves of Thompson Boling, courtesy of Doug Dickey's ego in the big 80s in that the arena had to seat more than Rupp Arena, regardless of the demand for seating in the 300 level or the sight distances involved from the lofty perches. The renovations to the arena have helped, the black cloth seats look better on television than the plastic orange ones, but the arena is hard to get to as an on campus arena, poorly configured from a parking location perspective and is routinely scratched from hosting NCAA regional events given the distance and disconnect from the existing hotels and city dining and entertainment amenities. Some of us remember black curtains in the upper deck sealing off and hiding the thousands of unsold seats not so long ago.

A nice tight 17,500 seat arena comparable to the Walton at Arkansas would have looked good on the old worlds Fair site connecting downtown Knoxville to the eastern edges of campus, but TBA is what it is, a bigger house to fill and a harder environment to turn rauccus and roudy given the cavernous spaces in a big box arena which is a bit too big and misplaced for its own good.
Great post. It's sad that the atmosphere at TBA seems to be lacking more times than not given overall quality of the team since around 2005ish. Anything above Row 4-5 in the uppers is a waste of time for basketball IMO. I'd rather watch on TV. With that said, I actually like the lighting. Gives it a Madison Square Garden type feel and the black seats are much much better than the orange ones. I remember those looking so odd when an even like WWE would come to town.
 
#16
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#16
The Auburn Arena is less than half the size and capacity of Thompson Boling, seating 9,121 at full capacity, such that when full a similar size crowd shows in Knoxville it would be an embarrassment, the excitement of the crowd is directly related to the enthusiasm of the team, the entertainment on the floor and the ability to knock down wins against top teams. It happens in Knoxville from time to time.

Under the new ticket pricing arrangement at Thompson Boling, student seating will be in both end zones behind the baskets, the old arena donors on the sidelines will have to pony up significant dollars to stay where they are, but there are still 5,000 bad seats in the upper enclaves of Thompson Boling, courtesy of Doug Dickey's ego in the big 80s in that the arena had to seat more than Rupp Arena, regardless of the demand for seating in the 300 level or the sight distances involved from the lofty perches. The renovations to the arena have helped, the black cloth seats look better on television than the plastic orange ones, but the arena is hard to get to as an on campus arena, poorly configured from a parking location perspective and is routinely scratched from hosting NCAA regional events given the distance and disconnect from the existing hotels and city dining and entertainment amenities. Some of us remember black curtains in the upper deck sealing off and hiding the thousands of unsold seats not so long ago.

A nice tight 17,500 seat arena comparable to the Walton at Arkansas would have looked good on the old worlds Fair site connecting downtown Knoxville to the eastern edges of campus, but TBA is what it is, a bigger house to fill and a harder environment to turn rauccus and roudy given the cavernous spaces in a big box arena which is a bit too big and misplaced for its own good.
Doug Dickey didn’t really have anything to do with the planning of Thompson-Boling Arena. Ray Mears left after the 1976-77 season and there were options being considered while he was still the HC. One idea considered was to put the court on the turf at the south end of Neyland Stadium with seating constructed at the north end that would be rolled across the field to court side at the opposite end. That idea didn’t get much traction.

Thompson-Boling was pretty much settled on by 1981. There was a lot of financial matters to hammer out. Creating a nearly 20% entertainment tax was part of the package. It drove concerts out of Knoxville for several years. The Jackson’s Victory Tour in 1984 worked out a deal, but most touring acts bypassed Knoxville for the Tri-Cities or Charlotte. I remember seeing a model of the planned TBA in the A&A Building in 1982. Dickey’s first year as AD in waiting was 1985. Woodruff retired around the end of the 1985 football season or calendar year. The TBA opened on December 3, 1987 (actually a day or two earlier for a Lady Vols game). There were significant delays during construction. Construction began in 1983.

Building a 17,500 seat facility wasn’t really practical. Stokely already held 12,700 and demand for tickets was much greater.
 
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#17

turbovol

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#17
Agreed. Bad optics on TV. A little dark, and all I see courtside is media, and fat people sitting on their a$$es. Need our students there in place of media and fat, old fans.
Too blunt?
Not too blunt: Cracker Barrel---"could I get a little more gravy?"---is a thing.

Black seats? Who paints their seats black (besides us)?
 
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#18

savannahfan

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#18
A great atmosphere such as LSU game is pretty much undetectable when watching TN games on tv because of the lack of lighting on the crowd. Whereas Auburn, UK, and a ton of other programs have arena lighting showing fans, ours does the opposite.
Who wants to see the fans? I hope the players have enough input from the noise fans provide. There is no need to have the distraction of "seeing" fans as a player. I, as a TV watcher, could care less for the ridiculous shots of fans showing off for TV. (they usually can't decide which tp look at, the camera or themselves on the "big screen or monitor).
 
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#20

TartanTurff

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#20
I love the TBA lighting. Looks like the garden or (formerly) staples center. It’s actually much brighter than it appears on TV in person and still has a great college game atmosphere.
The floor on Stokely was similarly lit, house lights stayed down for the game, lights were up during pregame, halftime and post game. For the one or two televised games each year, additional lighting had to be brought in and strung on the east and west side of the old scoreboard to give the floor adequate light for the old color television cameras even with the house lights up.

The lighting is a nice reminder of how it used to be and does lend a unique aura about the place watching from the arena. They finally got rid of the horns on the scoreboards in favor of an old "buzzer" that was a hallmark of Stokely, not sure it is the same old buzzer or manufacturer, but it sounds much like the old buzzer from Stokely, which usually preceeded an informational announcement from Haywood Harris regarding a substitution or a foul. Sports Illustrated mounted their own flash lighting in the rafters and on the balconies in Stokely when they were here for the Alabama game and the Ernie and Bernie cover. And despite the hip hop flash bang pyrotechnic player introductions we have now, with the house lights down, the more things change the more they stay the same.
 
#21

rdk4121

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#21
Yeah it's definitely a Madison Square garden type feel with the lighting. Obviously they could just turn the lights on, but that's not what they are going for.

As for the environment, it gets loud when there's a reason to get loud. As much as I like Barnes, he's not a showman like Bruce was. Bruce got the crowd engaged with his antics. Barnes always keeps a calm demeanor with the occasional outbreak directed at the officials. It still is a great home court advantage when we play well and are playing good teams. The Arizona game was pretty fun, maybe not super loud, but certainly pretty darn good overall.
 
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#23

EverythingOrange

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#23
It all started when UT decided to make things more "professional" for boosters - and less focused on fans. TBA has always been dimly lit any way. But they pulled out the Orange seats and installed Black ones - which made it even darker. Then built a bunch of sky-boxes for the big-wigs who never stand up except to go to the bath-room. Kind of like they are doing at Neyland Stadium right now. -- Ripped out a large amount of seats for the terrace. And now they are doing the same thing again for a booster's "party deck" (That should be a real blast for everyone.....)
 
#25

cardvolfan

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#25
I love the TBA lighting. Looks like the garden or (formerly) staples center. It’s actually much brighter than it appears on TV in person and still has a great college game atmosphere.
It’s actually a gorgeous arena on the inside. I like that it’s on-campus, and we have had good attendance, and a few crowds have been absolutely electric. The outer shell is a bit drab, but that was never its strong point. I don’t know anywhere that an on-campus arena would have trouble-free parking, especially the large arenas. The Auburn atmosphere is good because they are winning, and a 9,000 seat arena is right for them because they couldn’t come close to our attendance when both teams are winning on equal terms.
 

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