Janna Jahn, director of the foundation that oversees historic Engel Stadium, said it is possible that the set for the movie "42" that transformed the old park to Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn could stay in place for some months.
She said she is in talks with the movie's production company on the issue. She said, "Since they have a significant investment in the set, they would like for us to leave it until they get into post-production in case they decide they have to come back to re-shoot a scene."
The production company on the film that brought famed actor Harrison Ford to Chattanooga has moved on to Macon, Ga., after three weeks of filming involving hundreds of Chattanooga "extras."
Ms. Jahn said there has been considerable interest in those who would like to tour the set at the stadium. She said that might be worked out later and those taking part would be asked for a donation.
She said, "Leaving the set offers some unique opportunities. A lot of people are curious to see what it looks like inside."
But she said eventually "Engel will be Engel again." She said the tall walls will come down and the base and mound configuration of the old stadium as well as its dugout-style will be restored. That cost will be borne by the production company.
Ms. Jahn said even if the set stays up for some months that events can still be held at the stadium, including baseball. She said there is interest in holding a concert, and she said a Knothole Gang reunion may be held in September.
She said the interest stirred up by the filming of the major motion picture brought local officials to combine on paying for improvements to the stadium's roof, plumbing and electricity.
"All in all we came out of this with a much-improved stadium. Obviously, the movie was the catalyst for that," she said.
Ms. Jahn said it's possible that Engel could be the site of a future baseball film. She said, "We have talked to the state film commission and we're on the radar screen. It's an additional asset that Tennessee can offer to the film industry."
She said the Lyndhurst Foundation has provided a grant for the study of future use of Engel Stadium, and she said the public will be involved in the planning process.
She stated, "Baseball will always be the main focus, but there are a lot of other possible uses for Engel Stadium."