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Students, businesses on Cumberland Avenue won't let construction stop the football celebration

Students and businesses are looking forward to game day on The Strip, even with construction.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The home opener for Tennessee against Austin Peay is sold out, so a lot of people are expected in the area.

A gameday tradition for many is to hang out on Cumberland Avenue, also known as 'The Strip.' But with construction on the road over the last few years, are fans still flocking to the area?

Riley Stanton, a junior at UT, thinks so.

"On gameday, I'll come here around like noonish if we're playing in the evening and there's a lot of people down here throughout the day going to restaurants, bars, etc.," said Stanton.

Stanton says he expects to still come out to Cumberland Avenue on game days. He says his favorite place to go is Literboard.

"The construction's caused a lot of traffic and people build up but yes, I will definitely be coming down here," said Stanton.

Cumberland Avenue has a plethora of restaurants to go to, but with the construction, there's a shift to the area becoming more residential.

Louie Albaba, the owner of Oscar's Restaurant, says things have changed in the 20 years since he opened his restaurant.

"It was really great on Cumberland, and then traffic was much smoother than, you know, we had two lanes," said Albaba. "But for the last few years, you know, a lot of construction was done. First of all, they changed the layout of Cumberland. And then instead of having two lanes on each side, now we have one lane on each side. And it makes traffic really bad. Plus, they turn in everything to apartments."

However, Albaba knows that the apartments are filling a need for UT.

"I understand UT, they're very short on, you know, all of the apartments where the students coming in," said Albaba. "But it's it's looking for the future, hopefully, it's going to be much better, you know, just having more people living on Cumberland."

He says he's still expecting a crowd for game days on Saturdays. He says it's when they get the most business.

"Looking forward to it. And that's our high season, you know, so yeah, we're gonna have a lot of students coming in," said Albaba. "We usually have more families during the day and students at night."

He plans to stay in his location for as long as he can. He says the only reason he would relocate is if the building is sold and scheduled for demolition.


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