KNOXVILLE – An orange-hued image, located at the four corners on the exterior of Thompson-Boling Arena, is the new logo for UT’s basketball arena. The image represents a view of the arena as seen at an angle slightly above the roof.
Michael Cate, a UT facilities planning associate architect, said that because the arena is so massive, the designer’s intent was to break up the large surfaces with graphics and letters to give the arena more visual interest, identity and human scale.
“I believe they were successful on all counts,” Cate said. “We looked at many options to enhance the arena exterior. The graphic solution was inexpensive and also brought identity to the arena.”
Thompson-Boling Arena was named for the late B. Ray Thompson and former UT President Dr. Edward J. Boling. In the fall of 2008, the UT Athletics Department unveiled Phase 1 of a two-phase renovation project for the arena, the first major renovation since it opened in 1987. The $15 million project included new seats for the entire arena, a center-hung scoreboard and concourse refurbishments, such as graphics and other amenities. It also included new luxury suites and loge seating.
With all the enhancements to the interior of the basketball arena, said Arena Director Tim Reese, it is only suiting the exterior receive the same treatment. “I think the new logo adds a new exciting dimension to the exterior of the building that relates to all the new upgrades that have occurred inside,” said Reese.
Cate said the main comment he hears from people about the graphic logo is “why UT did not do this update 20 years ago.”
The designer of the new logo also developed a similar logo for UT Basketball used in the Pratt Pavilion.