Historic Markers Across Tennessee

UT RecSports Complex

Marker ID:  
Location: on Sutherland Ave, Knoxville, TN
County: Knox
Coordinates: N 35° 56.779    W 083° 58.796
  35.94631666    -83.97993333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


UT RecSports Complex

Although no permanent villages or campsites were located on this site prior to the arrival of settlers, this property was part of the tribal lands of the Cherokee Nation.

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, this property was used as pasture for grazing cattle.
In the 1920’s, a small residential development known as “Slatey” occupied the eastern portion of this site. The Slatey community housed a mix of African-Americans and white families residing in approximately 15 “shotgun” houses. Remnants of Slatey remained occupied through the early 1960’s. The entrance to this Recsports Complex occupies the same location as the residential access to Slatey formerly provided via Mann Avenue.

For decades beginning in the late 1920’s, the runway of McGhee Tyson Airport paralleled Sutherland Avenue (formerly Sprankle Avenue). The runway extended from the area now serving as parking for this RecSports Complex east to Tobler Avenue that currently provides access to West High School. The airport was relocated near Alcoa in the late 1930’s.

In the late 1940’s, following the return of soldiers serving in WWII, the eastern half of this site was quickly developed by UT (trailers and barracks) to accommodate the influx of veteran and their families.

In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, a golf driving range occupied the area where fields 2 and 3 are now located.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, two apartment complexes were developed on this site for married and graduate UT students; Golf Range on the west half and Sutherland on the east.

Those properties continued to house married and graduate UT students until 2010.

The property was redeveloped as a RecSports Complex for UT students that opened in the summer of 2013.

Archaeological Research Laboratory of the UT Department of Anthropology.