"Creating this atmosphere for our soccer community is very special." - Red Wolves owner Bob Martino
The Chattanooga Red Wolves soccer team continues to aim for the upcoming season to open its new stadium as the team Thursday unveiled features including an executive club, beer garden and youth area.
"The goal is to get in for this upcoming season," said team spokesman Mitch Martino about the East Ridge stadium that's under construction near the Interstate 75/24 split. "It's 100% on schedule."
The season for the USL League One club is slated to start in late March 2020, he said.
Site work is underway at the formerly wooded tract that will hold the planned 5,500-seat facility. The new stadium is part of a complex that is to include an array of restaurants, apartments, hotels, condominiums and stores in an estimated $150 million project built out over the next three to five years, team officials have said.
"They're working quick," said Martino. "They're really starting to crank."
On Thursday, the team revealed a spate of amenities the stadium will hold.
"We are proud to create the same professional soccer experience found in major cities in our own cities of East Ridge and Chattanooga," said Bob Martino, the team owner. "Creating this atmosphere for our soccer community is very special."
The executive club will include VIP seating and a large social gathering space, according to the team. The fully catered club will include a bar, elevated dining options, premium stadium entry, televisions and preferred parking.
Executive club members will have premium game seating within the club or reserved luxury stadium seating immediately outside of the club. Season ticket holders are now able to purchase executive club packages, the team said.
Also, the covered beer garden overlooking the goal line is designed to accommodate hundreds of soccer fans over the age of 21. It will include a self-serve tap wall with rotating beers from local and regional breweries, the club said. The beer garden will hold a large social gathering space with elevated pub seating overlooking the supporters' section directly in front of the field, and it will be book-ended by dining options and seating.
In addition, the children's area will sit adjacent to the family seating section and include gathering space for parents to enjoy the game and socialize while remaining in immediate proximity to their youngsters. The field-level zone will include inflatables, games and a playground, according to the Red Wolves. The area will also be shaded to provide relief from the heat during summer matchups.
Amenities to be complete for the team's second season will include sky suites, concessions, merchandise, staff offices, locker rooms and space for the team to meet.
The player area will include five locker rooms, a film room, cryotherapy, satellite gym, physical therapy and recovery room, coaching offices and a dining hall, the club said.
Sean McDaniel, president and general manager of the team, said that while the vision for the stadium's surrounding development will take time to complete, all of the elements needed for soccer play will be ready by next season.
"We'll have a field, seats and players," he said. "We'll have the heart of our club, our fans. We look forward to sharing this experience with them for many years to come."
In August, construction of the project, which is the biggest development in East Ridge history, was temporarily halted after work on the site began construction without a permit. But the developer's engineers on the project, ASA Engineering, successfully challenged the state's stop-work order and construction resumed in late this summer.
The site eventually is expected to generate between $6 and $7 million in tax revenue each year once the stadium and the nearby restaurants, shops, hotels and housing projects are built. When complete, developers said the complex will include not only commercial and residential facilities but also community and event spaces, green areas and walking trails.
"We are in contact with several hospitality groups that are interested in being part of our soccer community," said Bob Martino.
When not in use by the Chattanooga Red Wolves, Dalton Red Wolves, Lady Red Wolves or Academy teams, the stadium will act as a venue for specialty sporting events and other events such as concerts and festivals, according to officials.
Contact Mike Pare at [email protected] or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.