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Weekend edition February 09, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

A ‘WICKED’ economic impact report in Knoxville

More than 25,000 people came to the Tennessee Theatre to see the 'Popular' Broadway musical.

It’s been a couple of weeks since WICKED had its last show at the Tennessee Theatre. It was the first time the show had come to Knoxville, and it was a huge hit, economically speaking.

The show ran from January 10 until the 21st and welcomed more than 25,ooo attendees. According to the Knoxville Chamber, more than 7,000 of those people came from outside of Knox County – and represented 32 states!

“Broadway’s presence at the Tennessee Theatre continues to grow annually, captivating thousands of loyal and new audiences alike and this season we were thrilled to bring WICKED to Knoxville’s Grand Entertainment Palace for the first time,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock told the Chamber.

The show’s popularity had a direct effect on the downtown business economy. Many people went for dinner, drinks or a stroll downtown before and after the showings. Some businesses on Gay Street said WICKED helped curb a historically slow season for restaurants downtown. Some businesses, including Emilia and Bliss & Tori Mason Shoes, said they even hit some all-time sales records.

The economic impact of the two-week engagement of WICKED is generated by locals’ and visitors’ spending at hotels, restaurants, parking and more. Additionally, a large stage production such as WICKED employs nearly 100 local stagehands, local musicians, and hair and wardrobe professionals.

Check out more upcoming shows at the Tennessee Theatre.

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