By Laura Milton
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/TheLoop) — The Chattanooga City Council voted to give UTC the right to use Engel Stadium until the University can officially purchase it in the next few months.
Most students may know of Engel Stadium as the lot where you can park, or play intramurals, but Engel Stadium has an interesting history that student may not know.
Engel was the home to the Chattanooga Lookouts until 1999, until the team moved to AT&T Field downtown.
Earlier this year the stadium was boarded up because of its unsafe conditions. Tennessee Temple University was the only team that has played on the field since the Lookouts left. However, TTU has had problems with the stadium since that time.
“I’d say it’s a permanent thing [to close it down] unless somebody comes up with a couple million dollars to fix it up,” Greg Bartley, the Tennessee Temple baseball coach said in a March 2011 Chattanooga Times Free Press article. But, because of UTC’s interest in buying the stadium it may just get that money it needs to benefit many people in the community.
In 2008, Hamilton County commissioners and the city of Chattanooga gave the UTC the “approval for the University to officially acquire the Engel Stadium property” while Tennessee Temple University sub-leased the stadium for its baseball program. UTC did not officially own it but they were allowed to improve its conditions for students, such as building an intramural field.
UTC has claimed Engel Stadium for many years, they even list it on the school website under their Administrative Services Buildings page, but now UTC can finally call Engel Stadium a part of the University.
Richard Brown’s soundbite offers a better explanation of the University’s interest and plans for the Stadium.
In the future we can look forward to UTC to improve Engel Stadium so it can continue to be an icon in Chattanooga.