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Crunch time for new Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark

We’re in the midst of crunch time for planning a new Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark, as final decisions on costs and features will determine the timing and scope of the Double-A Southern League ballpark.

We’re guessing it’s been an interesting end of 2023 for Lookouts owner Jason Freier and the investors behind the redevelopment of Chattanooga’s 141-acre Wheland Foundry/U.S. Pipe site, which will include a new $79.4 million ballpark. The team has been shooting for a 2025 opening to meet MiLB’s new facility standards and timeline.

That timeline may not be set in stone–more than one team is likely to end up opening new compliant ballparks in 2026–but that’s not stopping the Lookouts’ effort to open in 2025, but that will mean having some finalized budget numbers shortly and a relatively quick beginning of construction. The final budget leads to the next steps in the process, including construction and bonding.

The ballpark financial plan creates a 470-acre special tax district surrounding the eight-acre ballpark location, in a new South Broad District development. Increased tax revenues–state/local sales and property–generated by the development would be used to partially pay for the $79.4 million ballpark; the Lookouts would also pay $1 million annually in rent. A new entity, the Chattanooga Sports Authority, will own the ballpark and issue bonds for the project, with the Lookouts also committed to $45 million in future maintenance and other operational costs as well as booking events beyond the MiLB season.

The new ballpark would replace AT&T Field, a landlocked ballpark with limited development opportunities 

Rendering courtesy Chattanooga Lookouts.

RELATED STORIES: Financial planning continues on new Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark; New Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark renderings, site plan releasedLookouts tab two architecture consultants, local design firm for new Chattanooga ballpark designSite, design revealed for new Lookouts ballparkDevelopment announced for new Lookouts ballpark areaLookouts determining layout of new Chattanooga ballpark at foundry siteNew Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark approved, funded by countyMore specifics emerge on new Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark planDetails emerging on proposed new Chattanooga ballparkLookouts: Small AT&T Field Site Limits Potential UpgradesDetails on Chattanooga Lookouts Ballpark Plan UnveiledFreier: New Foundry-Area Ballpark Could Be Chattanooga “Game Changer”New Lookouts Ballpark Could be an Option for Foundry SiteFreier: New Lookouts Ballpark Could Be “Win, Win, Win”

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