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: Hixson Outlasts Central For 6-AA Title

Dalton State Soccer Advances To #19 Ranking

The first-year Dalton State men’s soccer team is receiving national attention.   After winning the first two conference games of their inaugural season, the Roadrunners (9-2-1 overall, 2-0 SSAC) are ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released Tuesday by the national office. “I’m excited to see our name nationally ranked,” said Coach Kerem Daser. ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)