Movie sets taken down at Chattanooga's Engel Stadium

Movie sets taken down at Chattanooga's Engel Stadium

July 31st, 2012 by Rachel Bunn in News

Nester Soto, left, and Alberto Noriega work Monday in the seating area of Engel Stadium. May Moeller Purcell Construction Co. will be restoring the stadium to its original condition. The stadium was recently used as a set for the film "42."

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

POLL: Is Engel Stadium worth saving?

Ebbets Field is being torn down -- again.

The green billboards that lined Chattanooga's Engel Stadium -- which acted as the Brooklyn, N.Y., field as well as other historic stadiums for the filming of the Jackie Robinson movie "42" this spring -- are being removed, and the stadium will be returned to its original appearance.

For the movie, production crews installed the green billboards around the stadium which allowed it to stand in for several historic baseball fields. The infield was altered to make it appear more like Ebbets Field in the 1940s. Dugouts and seating were also replaced as part of the set.

Engel Stadium is owned by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is under a four-year lease with the Engel Foundation. The Engel Foundation was formed in 2009 to preserve and restore the stadium.

Chuck Cantrell, associate vice chancellor for communications and marketing at UTC, said the majority of the work being done to the stadium is the removal of the green screens. The Engel Foundation is in charge of any additional updates to the stadium and field, and Cantrell said he was unsure of any future plans the foundation had. The university is making improvements in other areas on the property, however.

"The university is using other parts of the Engel property, like the parking lots and our athletic fields are over there," Cantrell said. "We'll be moving forward soon with the construction of a track."

Atlanta-based May Moeller Purcell Construction Co. has been contracted by the production company to remove the film set. The project is expected to be completed by Sept. 1.

The Chattanooga Lookouts played their final game in the stadium in 1999. Engel Stadium was previously used by Tennessee Temple University before UTC took ownership of the stadium and surrounding land in 2011.

Contact staff writer Rachel Bunn at rbunn@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.