Chattanooga Lookouts lift capacity restrictions at AT&T Field for remainder of the season

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Fans enjoy the game between the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Rocket City Trash Pandas at AT&T Field on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tenn. After having their 2020 season cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and having their opening day game postponed due to weather the previous day, the Chattanooga Lookouts hosted the River City Trash Pandas for their first home game in over 600 days.

The Chattanooga Lookouts no longer have capacity restrictions at AT&T Field.

Beginning with Tuesday night's game against the visiting Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Lookouts will make all 6,340 seats available at the facility that opened before the 2000 season. Chattanooga's Class AA franchise had a 40% capacity for the first three homestands of this season due to the coronavirus pandemic and played the past three homestands with a 70% limit.

The Lookouts have four six-game homestands remaining in their 120-game schedule.

"As much as we would love to think that we're going to do way bigger numbers, historically, as school gets geared up, we tend to slow down a little bit," Lookouts president Rich Mozingo said. "To get to 6,300 right now may be a stretch, but we've done it in the past. We're so dependent on the weather, and it's been such a weird summer, so if we could get that 80-degree Saturday, we could get there."

The lifting of capacity limitations at AT&T Field is coming at a time when COVID numbers are on the rise again, and Mozingo is well aware of that and planning accordingly.

"We need things to go the right direction, and we're going to do our very best to keep things safe," he said. "That's going to be the most important thing regardless. There are concerns, for sure, but there is nothing that is pointing us to think that we're going to do anything different for the next 24 games."

Playing to full capacity at AT&T Field was the eventual hope of the Lookouts, who intentionally staggered three ticket sales phases several weeks before the start of the season. The first three homestands contained crowds that topped out at just 2,500, while the 70% capacity allowed for healthier audiences of 4,500.

The Lookouts recorded multiple sellouts in late June and throughout July with the 70% limit, including twice in the last homestand.

"We're basically going to run things like we've run them all year long," Mozingo said. "The numbers have been a little bit down because of COVID restrictions, but two out of the last three games were sellouts for us, and I would hope to see us in that 4,500 range on Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of the year."

This week's schedule is again busy, with Friday containing "Chattanooga Zoo Night" and fireworks, and with Saturday housing "Agriculture Night" and another used car giveaway.

"If you want to see animals at the ballpark, this is your weekend," Mozingo said.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.