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 email@example.com