Engel Stadium to become intramural complex for UTC students

Becky Browder, with the Engel Foundation, announces a partnership with the foundation, UTC, the city of Chattanooga, Hamilton county and others to bring new life to the Historic Engel Stadium as an intramural facility while at the ballpark.
photo Becky Browder, with the Engel Foundation, speaks at a news conference about bringing new life to the historic Engel Stadium as an intramural facility in this file photo.

The former home of the Chattanooga Lookouts will be a future home for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students.

Engel Stadium and UTC announced a partnership today in which the historic facility built in 1930 will be transformed into an intramural complex. The stadium and its parking areas comprise 27 landlocked acres, according to UTC chancellor Steve Angle.

"This should be an asset for this community," Angle said at a late morning news conference. "This will be a work in progress. We do not have this figured out yet."

The Lookouts last played games at Engel Stadium during the 1999 season, but the facility built by Joe Engel was used in 2012 for the filming of the movie "42," which was released in 2013. Last summer, it housed the Southern League home run derby won by touted Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant.

Becky Browder, the chair of the Engel Stadium Foundation, said that more than $500,000 in capital improvements have been made to the facility since the filming through the foundation, UTC, and the city and county.

"Joe Engel's dream will take on a new meaning for UTC students, the community and visitors who come to town," Browder said.

Richard Brown, UTC's executive vice chancellor overseeing finance and operations, opened the news conference with his memories of the stadium and called it a "cultural, recreational asset for the city."

For more information, read Tuesday's Times Free Press.