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Lookouts determining layout of new Chattanooga ballpark at foundry site

The Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A; Southern League) are determining the layout of a new Chattanooga ballpark on a former industrial site and may include old foundry buildings in the plan.

The new Chattanooga ballpark would be part of a 141-acre Wheland Foundry/U.S. Pipe site in the South Broad District development. At a meeting of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Sports Authority, team owner Jason Freier said the team was looking at incorporating some of the old foundry building into the overall ballpark design:

Lookouts Chief Executive Jason Freier said at a meeting of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Sports Authority that he’d like to include some of the old existing foundry structures into the stadium itself.

“It would be amazing, unique,” he said in an interview about the design of the planned $79.4 million facility in the South Broad District. “The big question is where the stadium will fit.”

This should not be a surprise whatsoever if you recall the last new ballpark Freier opened, Segra Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies (Single-A; Carolina League). Segra Park was the centerpiece of the planned redevelopment of the 181-acre Bull Street site formerly housing the South Carolina state hospital for the mentally ill. The ballpark is surrounded by several buildings from the state-hospital usage, including the main Babcock Building, a laundry, a bakery, an electrical plant, a mattress factory, a morgue and more.  That morgue was incorporated into the ballpark’s first-base-side Ensor Building, nestled into the new construction showed below.

Segra Park

The goal is still to open the new ballpark for the 2025 season; once a specific location is determined, more work can be done on budgeting, a lease and a construction schedule.

The foundry site was identified by Freier and investors several years ago, but with 2023 looming–when MiLB teams need to have a plan in place to meet the new MiLB facility guidelines imposed by MLB–there’s now a sense of urgency to get a deal done. The team’s current home, 22-year-old AT&T Field in downtown Chattanooga, isn’t a great candidate for investment to meet the new standards for a variety of reasons: it’s landlocked on a small site.

Rendering courtesy South Broad District.

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