McKenzie Arena Re-Seating Project Under Way

Monday, June 10, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

New lower level seating and new head coaches provide an air of excitement for the Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s and women’s basketball programs.

“With two new head basketball coaches in place and a great venue that needs a good facelift, this is the perfect time for a fresh start and to install all new seating in the blue and gold sections (lower level),” said new UTC athletics director David Blackburn.

“The bulk of our fans sit in the lower level seating (3,700 seats) and this re-seating project, which includes 440 padded seats on each side, will be a great face lift to an excellent home court for the Mocs and will provide our fans another good reason to come to the games.

This $1.8 million dollar project is the first major renovation to McKenzie Arena since it opened three decades ago (Dec. 1982) under the original name of UTC Arena.

With a completion date of early September, the arena will showcase new lower level seating for under  4,000 fans in the 10,000-plus seat facility.

UTC Hoops History: The women’s varsity program dates back to the early 1960s with games played in the “old gym”, Maclellan Gym and now McKenzie Arena.

The men’s program has had at least four home courts with the first games played on campus nearly a century ago (fall of 1915).

"Once completed, the new seating will lift the place up and give a better feel for what we want to do for the overall UTC basketball programs as we look at marketing and ticket sales ideas," said Blackburn.

McKenzie Arena Re-Seating Project

Arena: McKenzie Arena

Re-Seating: 3,700 new seats on the lower level

Project Cost: $1.8 million

Completion Date: early Sept. 2013

McKenzie Arena Dedicated: Dec. 1982

Original Building Cost: $15.5 million multipurpose complex … 210,000 square footage

Largest Crowd For Basketball

Men: Dec.4, 2007 … 11,221 vs. Tennessee (76-70 loss)

Women: Nov.19, 2004 – 10,051 vs. Tennessee (68-34 loss)

Current Head Coaches:

UTC Men - Will Wade

UTC Women - Jim Foster


contact B.B. Branton at



Randy Smith: Things I Am Thankful For

As my 64th Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I find myself being thankful for the same things over and over again. My beautiful wife, my two wonderful children, my four fabulous grandchildren, and all my extended family and friends. I have always been thankful for my career; I really wouldn't change much at all. So what's new that I can be thankful for this year? Well, I am very ... (click for more)

UTC's Lampe Named SoCon Wrestler Of The Week

Chattanooga senior John Lampe been named General Shale Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week for competition that was held Nov. 18-24, the league office announced Wednesday.   Lampe, who competes for UTC’s wrestling team, earned three wins on his way to the 184-pound championship at the Wolfpack Open on Sunday. The Fairdale, Ky., product notched a pin against ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and planning professional ... (click for more)

Commissioner Graham Chides Chairman Bankston For Shredding Arts Cigarette Tax Letter; Says Sunshine Law Violated

County Commissioner Joe Graham on Wednesday chided Chairman Chester Bankston for shredding a letter related to the proposed cigarette tax to aid the arts. "Have you shredded any other county legal documents?" he demanded. Chairman Bankston replied, "No, I have not done that." He said the letter did not get the necessary six signatures to forward to the Legislature. ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)