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



PHOTOS: Lady Owls Drop Hardin Valley, 7-3

Dalton State Women Golfers Still #2; Men Sit At #3

Dalton State women golfers remain #2, while the men dropped one spot to #3 in the latest polls.   For the fourth time in a row, SCAD Savannah (Ga.) owns the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA Women's Golf Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced  Friday . The Bees captured 14 first-place votes and 465 total points. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Debating Future Of Mountain Center; Vice Mayor Gee Goes Off Council After Marrying And Moving Out Of Town Limits

A discussion regarding the Mountain Arts Community Center lease and memorandum of agreement with a non- profit organization that has been formed with a proposed to manage it took place at the Signal Mountain town council meeting Friday afternoon. City Manager Boyd Veal had created a document for the purpose of starting a discussion and to identify how the council would like to move ... (click for more)

Students OK After Bag Containing Meth Found At Nolan Elementary

Officials say students at Nolan Elementary School on Signal Mountain are okay after discovering a bag that contained meth. The incident happened on Friday afternoon during a reading fair.  Principal Dr. Shane Harwood sent this message to parents: "Good Afternoon Nolan Families - We wanted to share some information related to an event that has taken ... (click for more)

Food Trucks Steal From Property And Rent-Paying Eateries

According to minutes of the City Council’s  Economic Development Committee and several local news articles, Chattanooga’s City Attorney gave a food truck presentation. He explained to City Council that a new food truck ordinance was being drafted to allow use of mobile food trucks on public  property . He said Chattanooga’s current ordinance limited food trucks to parking ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

I don’t make much of a secret that I hated every single second of the short time I spent in college or that I never took a journalism class. Instead what I know about writing was taught by a far greater collection of experts than you can find on any college campus. Andy Rooney, for example, was a genius with a dry humor who lectured to me almost every Sunday night for about 30 years. ... (click for more)