Finley Stadium

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W. Max Finley Stadium
FinleyStadium
Finley Stadium, December 2009
Location1826 Carter Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408
OwnerCity of Chattanooga
Hamilton County
The Stadium Corporation
OperatorStadium Corporation
Capacity20,412
SurfaceAstroTurf Gameday Grass
Construction
Broke groundMarch 7, 1996[1]
OpenedOctober 18, 1997[1]
Construction cost$28.5 million
($45.4 million in 2019 dollars[2])
ArchitectEllerbe Becket
Derthick, Henly, & Wilkerson[1]
General contractorC&I Specialty[1]
Tenants
Chattanooga Mocs (NCAA)
Football (1997–present)
Women's soccer (2010–2018)

Chattanooga FC (NISA) (2009–present)
Tennessee Crush (former) (NDFL) (2009–?)

W. Max Finley Stadium (commonly called Finley Stadium) is the home stadium for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team and Chattanooga FC (NISA), a professional Division 3 soccer team.[3] The stadium also hosts various high school sports and musical concerts. It is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States. The stadium, which opened in 1997, has a current capacity of 20,412, 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.[4] 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 20,412-seat facility (original capacity: 20,668) is part of the city's Southside revitalization project.[4] 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.[1] 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.

In 2015, a new turf surface was installed to replace the old for $600,000 – with the ability to erase football lines or soccer lines depending on the event to be held.[5][6]

Features[edit]

The facility, designed by Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson and built by C&I Specialty, both of Chattanooga, contains 32 luxury sky boxes and 1,566 preferred seats with chairbacks.[1] 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. Prior to 2015, on either side of the pressbox was 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 Horizon Pavilion.[7] 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.

Notable Events[edit]

The U.S. Men's National soccer team played a friendly match vs. Jamaica on February 3, 2017 at Finley Stadium.[8] The U.S. defeated Jamaica 1–0.[9]


NCAA Division I Football Championship

Date (notes) Champion Score Runner-up Location Attendance Winning
head coach
December 20, 1997 Youngstown State (4) 10–9 McNeese State Chattanooga, TN 14,771 Jim Tressel (4)
December 19, 1998 UMass 55–43 Georgia Southern Chattanooga, TN 17,501 Mark Whipple
December 18, 1999 Georgia Southern (5) 59–24 Youngstown State Chattanooga, TN 20,052 Paul Johnson
December 16, 2000 Georgia Southern (6) 27–25 Montana Chattanooga, TN 17,156 Paul Johnson (2)
December 21, 2001 Montana (2) 13–6 Furman Chattanooga, TN 12,698 Joe Glenn
December 20, 2002 Western Kentucky 34–14 McNeese State Chattanooga, TN 12,360 Jack Harbaugh
December 19, 2003 Delaware 40–0 Colgate Chattanooga, TN 14,281 K. C. Keeler
December 17, 2004 James Madison 31–21 Montana Chattanooga, TN 16,771 Mickey Matthews
December 16, 2005 Appalachian State 21–16 Northern Iowa Chattanooga, TN 20,236 Jerry Moore
December 15, 2006 Appalachian State (2) 28–17 UMass Chattanooga, TN 22,808 Jerry Moore (2)
December 14, 2007 Appalachian State (3) 49–21 Delaware Chattanooga, TN 23,010 Jerry Moore (3)
December 19, 2008 Richmond 24–7 Montana Chattanooga, TN 17,823 Mike London
December 18, 2009 Villanova 23–21 Montana Chattanooga, TN 14,328 Andy Talley

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Chattanooga Athletics – Finley Stadium Davenport Field". gomocs.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Chattanooga Football Club". chattanoogafc.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  4. ^ a b "Chattanooga Mocs-Finley Stadium". championshipsubdivision.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  5. ^ "Finley Stadium getting new turf field". timesfreepress.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  6. ^ "New turf installation at Finley Stadium almost complete". timesfreepress.com. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  7. ^ "Tailgating at the First Tennessee Pavilion". gomocs.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  8. ^ "MNT To Make Chattanooga Debut in Friendly Match vs. Jamaica on Feb. 3". ussoccer.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  9. ^ "Relive the MNT's 1-0 win vs. Jamaica". ussoccer.com. Retrieved 2017-08-02.

External links[edit]

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

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