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



Dalton State Women Lead After Day One Of Thomas Invitational

Valdosta, GA. – The No. 5 Dalton State women’s golf team has a seven stroke lead after the first day of the 36-hole Thomas University Fall Classic. The Roadrunners fired a 296 on Monday at the Par-72 Kinderlou Forest Golf Course. SCAD Savannah finished the round at 303. The University of the Cumberlands (KY.) was third with a 304. The hosts from Thomas University were a ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Ooltewah Marches Past White County In Region 5-3A

Planning Commission Votes 6-5 To Reject 7-Story Apartment Building On Cowart Street

After lengthy discussion on Monday before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, historical neighborhood advocates won a victory in the Southside area when the commission narrowly rejected a request to allow developers to build a seven-story apartment building on the 1200 block of Cowart Street.   The Belle Investment Co. & BYD Coward, ... (click for more)

Charges Upgraded Against Avery To Murder After Victim of Chair Leg Attack At Moccasin Bend Dies

Charges have been upgraded to murder against Leviticus Avery, 37, after a man he allegedly attacked with a chair leg has died. Avery initially was charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder in the incident last Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility. Kevin Green, 38, remained in critical condition until he died. He was struck in ... (click for more)

Ole Man River Just Keeps Rollin

Citizens are hearing yet another new chapter in Chattanooga’s 21st Century Riverfront concrete repair saga. It seems it will require more repair, more delays and more tax dollars to do it. When will it end? Construction of the Riverfront concrete structures began in 2003. Before it was finished, designers, engineers, contractors, Public Works officials, Mayor Littlefield and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Was Our Tool Shed

Some said the huge beams had been soaking in creosote for two or three years when the men finally stacked them to dry. They were long, about 20 feet each, and thick – maybe eight inches. I remember they were 14 inches wide but the biggest thing I remember was that it was the ugliest lumber I ever saw. They cured the beams for one entire hot summer in the Tool Shed, a huge building ... (click for more)