Finley Stadium

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For other uses, see Finley Stadium (disambiguation).
Davenport Field at Finley Stadium
FinleyStadium
Finley Stadium, December 2009
Location 1826 Carter Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408
Owner City of Chattanooga
Hamilton County
The Stadium Corporation
Operator Merrill Eckstein
Capacity 20,668
Surface AstroTurf Gameday Grass
Construction
Broke ground March 7, 1996[1]
Opened October 18, 1997[1]
Construction cost $28.5 million
($41.9 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Derthick, Henly, & Wilkerson[1]
General contractor C&I Specialty[1]
Tenants
Chattanooga Mocs Football (NCAA) (1997-present)
NCAA Division I Football Championship (1997–2009)
Chattanooga FC (2009–present)
Tennessee Crush (2009-present)
Chattanooga Mocs Women's Soccer (NCAA) (2010-present)

Finley Stadium Davenport Field (commonly called Finley Stadium) is the home stadium for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team, UTC soccer, Chattanooga FC semi-professional soccer team,[3] various high school sports, and musical concerts. It is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The stadium, which opened in 1997, has a current capacity of 20,668, and hosted the NCAA Division I National Championship Game from its opening season through 2009, after which the game moved to Pizza Hut Park in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas.

The stadium is named in honor of W. Max Finley, former chairman of the Rock Tenn Corporation, who was an alumnus and active supporter of the University of Tennessee system. The playing field is named in honor of Gordon Lee Davenport, the president and CEO of the Krystal company from 1975 to 1985 who served as Chairman of the Stadium Corporation and Campaign and worked endlessly and tirelessly in the planning and actual development of the facility. Bronze busts of both Finley and Davenport adorn the main entryway to the stadium.

History[edit]

In 1997, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program stopped using Chamberlain Field and started using Finley-Davenport. On Oct. 18, 1997, the Mocs opened up their new home, Finley Stadium Davenport Field, as an overflow crowd of 22,646 watched UTC defeat Tennessee State 28-7.

The 20,668-seat facility is part of the city's Southside revitalization project. A stadium project for UTC and Chattanooga had been talked about by city leaders for quite some time before it came to fruition. Chamberlain Field on the UTC campus, which opened in 1908, had the distinction of being the second-oldest on-campus stadium in the nation. Officials agreed that something needed to be done.

The $28.5 million project needed supporters to become a reality and got plenty of them. Donations from the private sector ranged anywhere from a 10 dollar bill to $1 million. In fact, nearly 40 percent, or $10.2 million of the project, came from private donations. The City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County contributed $13 million, the State of Tennessee gave $3.5 million, and the University donated $2.9 million.

Ground breaking on the site that was once the Rock Tenn plant was held March 7, 1996. Seven months later, the Stadium Corporation named the facility Finley Stadium Davenport Field.

The facility, designed by Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson and built by C&I Specialty, both of Chattanooga, contains 32 luxury sky boxes and 3,465 preferred seats with chairbacks. The $350,000 scoreboard includes a giant matrix screen and the Stadium Club can hold 250 for pregame or postgame functions. The press box can hold 60 media representatives, has three radio booths, and a television broadcast booth. On either side of the pressbox is the stadium's "Wall of Champions", featuring a plaque celebrating each of the 13 NCAA Division I FCS teams to have won a championship here. Identical home and visitors locker rooms contain a separate training area and coaches locker room, as well as an extensive player locker area.

Adjacent to the stadium is the First Tennessee Pavilion. The old Ross-Meehan Foundry has been renovated into an open-air pavilion which has become a favorite for tailgaters, complete with food and beverage concessions and a children's area. The pavilion offers tailgaters a perfect atmosphere around the stadium while providing protection from the weather without being indoors.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Finley Stadium Davenport Field - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ [1] Chattanooga FC official homepage.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Marshall University Stadium
Host of the NCAA Division I Football Championship
1997–2009
Succeeded by
Pizza Hut Park

Coordinates: 35°02′11″N 85°18′57″W / 35.036374°N 85.315762°W / 35.036374; -85.315762