Wall at UTC’s Engel Stadium Collapses

The Loop Staff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — A wall at UTC’s historic Engel Stadium collapsed in Wednesday’s severe weather.

A portion of the left-field wall completely caved with the heavy winds and rain, tumbling debris onto 4th Street Wednesday morning. Workers cleaned the rubble out of the street but parts of the wall remain on the sidewalk.

The historic stadium that once housed the Chattanooga Lookouts from the days of the Great Depression had been condemned last month.

University of Tennessee of Chattanooga officials are working to transfer ownership of the stadium from the city of Chattanooga. To read more about the transfer of the stadium to UTC, click here.

 

UTC Takes Over Engel During Transfer

by Ben Campbell

george-b-campbell@utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, TN- Tuesday’s City Council meeting presented a good opportunity for UTC and Dr. Richard Brown, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations, to address the takeover of the  historic Engel Stadium during the transfer period.

The University of Tennessee acquired the permission to use stadium from the Chattanooga Parks and Recreation back in 2004. The specific question at this meeting was if UTC would be able to begin renovations and other upkeeps during the waiting period for the transfer to complete.Click here to hear Dr. Brown lay out UTC’s plans.

“There have been numerous bureaucratic issues to deal with over the last couple of years but just last week we sent the actual deeds to Knoxville to be processed through the State Building Commission and it is my thought it will take 60-90 days to work through that process,” said Dr. Brown.

Since 2000 Engel had been used by local baseball teams and also played role in hosting the TSSAA playoffs up until their relocation to Murfreesboro, TN. “I used to play at Engel Stadium when I went Notre Dame and I found myself wondering if there would ever be a renovation of the stadium. It just had so much history and promise for future baseball in the community,” said Chattanooga Junior Josh McCutcheon.

After UTC received permission to use the stadium  in 2004 there has been numerous developments. The university has put in 2 million dollars into the renovations and construction of the lacrosse and soccer fields in the areas surrounding the stadium.

Dr. Brown and UTC’s intentions are to keep the stadium intact because of its iconic history and importance to Chattanooga as a community. “The stadium will be used for inner-city baseball and other baseball services through the community,” said Brown. Also developments for new track and field facilities will begin in the coming months.

Engel Stadium has been a member of the Chattanooga baseball community since it’s opening in 1930, with legends like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron running its bases. As Dr. Brown stated in the Tuesday’s meeting, the university wants to restore Engel Stadium to its “old glory”.

The city council motioned to adopt this request, and grant UTC full access to Engel Stadium during the transfer period of the property. This topic was not supposed to be addressed till the coming week but Dr. Brown and UTC were ready to get the ball rolling.

Stadium That Once Housed Babe Ruth Gets 1st Step to UTC Renovation

By: Jennifer Pukenas

Jennifer-Pukenas@utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (UTC/TheLoop)- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga continues to move forward with owning and renovating Engel Stadium.

Dr. Richard Brown, Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations and Information Technology for UTC, attended the Chattanooga City Council meeting April 5th and spoke on Engel Stadium’s future.

Brown said the University has had numerous, bureaucratic issues with Engel that they have dealt with over the past few years, but they are now well on their way. Brown sent the deeds this week to be processed by the State Building Commission in Knoxville. These deeds, which Brown believes will take 60-90 days to be processed, will give the University management control of the facility and they can move forward with reducing liabilities.

The University has already invested two million dollars in the facility, which will go towards saving the old stadium, as well as constructing a soccer field and track and field facility.

Historic Engel Stadium

“We think that this is really an icon in the city of Chattanooga,” Brown said. “We are hoping to restore it to its old glory.” Dr. Richard Brown on Engel Stadium

The baseball field will be used for inner-city baseball as well as other baseball uses in the community.

Russell Thurmond, a former player on the UTC baseball team is excited about the renovation.

“I liked playing there a lot,” Thurmond said. “It was really interesting playing on an old field that still looks like it did when Babe Ruth played there.”

The Babe visited Engel Stadium in 1931 with the New York Yankees in an exhibition game against the Chattanooga Lookouts. Ruth is well known at Engel Stadium for striking out against a female pitcher, Jackie Mitchell, who played for the Lookouts.

After Brown spoke of the University’s intentions for the facility, the Council took a vote. The vote was unanimous and was approved by the City Council.

 

UTC gets the OK to purchase Engel Stadium

By Laura Milton

Laura-Milton@mocs.utc.edu

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.

Inside Engel Stadium Photo Courtesy of jacklail.com

Inside Engel Stadium Photo Courtesy of jacklail.com

“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, the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations at UTC, made an appearance at a city council meeting to discuss what the stadium will be used for in the future.

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.

 

http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/mar/30/engle-stadium-boarded/

http://www.utc.edu/Administration/ParkingServices/UTCbuildings.php#englestadium

http://blog.utc.edu/news/2008/12/university-acquires-engel-stadium-property/