Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena

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The Tenesse State Fairground Sports Arena is the nickname given to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena (officially, the Nick Gulas Sports Arena) in Nashville, Tennessee that housed Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) for two-and-a-half years in the early 2000s.


After taping their initial shows in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, then moving their next few to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, TNA moved their weekly pay per view events to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena in July 2002. It was about that time that the Sports Arena was nicknamed the TNA Asylum in honor of the wrestling that occurred in the arena. The name the Asylum was first used during the ninth weekly pay-per-view by Ron Killings. The Asylum also served as the home of TNA Xplosion, TNA's weekly syndicated television show, from its inception till October 2004.

After debuting TNA Impact! out of Soundstage 21 at Universal Studios Florida, TNA decided that they would eventually shut down their weekly pay per view operations in favor of switching to a monthly pay-per-view format. Shortly after, they held their final weekly pay-per-view event (on September 8, 2004) before permanently departing from the Asylum in favor of running their shows exclusively out of Universal Soundstage 21.

The building was constructed in 1922, by a band of carpetbaggers from South Dakota. The building was originally a flea market. It was operated throughout the 1960s and 1970s by promoter Nick Gulas as a professional wrestling venue.

On October 6, 2009 it was announced that the Nashville Mayor Karl Dean would be closing down the Tennessee State Fairgrounds at the end of June 2010. [1]

On November 12, 2010, TNA Wrestling returned to the Asylum for a one last live event, headlined by Jeff Hardy defending the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against D'Angelo Dinero, before the supposed demolition of the building.[2] However, on January 18, 2011, the Nashville City Council voted to keep the arena open through 2012.[3] The vote on a referendum issue on the ballot for the August, 2011 Metro Nashville-Davidson County election made it much harder legally for the municipality either to dispose of or severely alter the operation of the Fairgrounds, and most of the facilities there remain in at least limited operation as of 2013.

In 2012, Crossfire Entertainment used the Sports Arena for their live events. They hosted "Tribute to the Fairgrounds" events before the supposed demolition, but later used it as a primary location for their shows.

On August 4, 2012, Crossfire Wrestling announced TV production would return to the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena, thanks to Paramount Pictures, as they were to be hosting HD/3D TV Tapings there. To add on to this, Crossfire was to be the first professional wrestling organization to be shot in 3D. On February 17, 2013, Crossfire Wrestling announced that they had shuttered operations, leaving the former TNA Asylum empty for the time being.

On September 6, 2013, TCW Wrestling's "Tennessee Takeover" was held at the TNA Asylum.

On June 22, 2014, the first live pay-per-view of Ring of Honor Best in the World 2014 will be held in this arena.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mayor's statement puts an end to State Fair". The City Paper. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  2. ^ Goodman, Larry (2010-11-13). "TNA house show report 11-12 Nashville". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (2011-01-23). "Former TNA Asylum to Be Kept Open". 411Mania. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 

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