Lookouts owner looks ahead to AT&T Field replacement; talks about stadium's 'design flaws'

Staff file photo / Chattanooga Lookouts mascot Looie watches as the Chattanooga Boys Choir sings the national anthem before the team's home opener at AT&T Field for the 2016 season on April 12 of that year. The stadium, built before the 2000 season, is the third-oldest in the Southern League.

After two seasons as the owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts, Jason Freier continues to look for ways to make AT&T Field as pleasant as possible, but he realizes the 6,340-seat facility has an expiration date.

The Lookouts will start their 18th season at AT&T in April.

"If you don't build a ballpark the right way, its shelf life is very short," Freier said this week. "The same year the ballpark opened in Chattanooga, a ballpark opened in Dayton, Ohio, with Chattanooga's park costing around $9 million and Dayton's costing around $25 million. Dayton's park cost more money and was more well-thought out, and it's going to be good for another 25 or 30 years at least, so they are going to get 50 years out of it.

"I don't see a world where we get 50 years out of Chattanooga's ballpark, because it was not built to the same standards."