Finley Stadium Records Largest Revenue Year Yet

  • Friday, June 21, 2024
  • Gail Perry

Executive Director of Finley Stadium Brian Wright, gave the board of directors an overview of operations at the stadium complex during the past year that have led to 2024 being the largest revenue year for the stadium, ever.  Included are the renovation of the old Stadium Club into The Ultra Club, an updated event space that has been complete for about a month. It is successfully  meeting the goals of helping to fully activate all available spaces in the stadium campus. In the first 30 days of operation, the club was booked for 19 events. 

Other updates include that it has been a big year for Chattanooga FC with revenue up 20 percent over the year before. The focus is now on group sales and the all-time biggest group sales have been made for a match on July 27. The new Ultra Club is a nice perk for groups, said Mr. Wright. A change this year is that catering is now being done in house, and renovations and repairs to the kitchen were needed. Finley Stadium also now has hired a professional public relations person, Robin Derryberry, partner at Derryberry Public Relations. This new support, said Mr. Wright, will help fundraising efforts that can be used to continue making capital improvements. This year has been the largest revenue year ever for the stadium, he said. 

Chairman Mike Davis said the facility is approaching 27 years old and “We have run out of Band-Aids.”  Facilities Manager Peter Turq is given much credit for keeping expenses on budget. One of the larger projects being done includes replacing the elevators. The work has been delayed until spring because of the unavailability of parts. A 25-year-old pizza oven has been reactivated and the quality of pizza has improved by it being done in house. In addition to planning and organizing big projects, the facilities team also does upkeep. 

Previously, lawn care was outsourced and it will now be done in house and plans are to hire a dedicated field and grounds manager. A new paint removing machine for the field has been bought and employees have been trained to use it so the field can be transitioned quickly from football to soccer. They have also been trained to make repairs to the Astroturf field, in house. Fire protection systems have been improved and lighting at the gates and pavilion parking lot are being replaced.

The existing Chatt Town Skate Park on the stadium campus is getting a total renovation. Chattanooga’s Director of Design for Parks and Outdoors Blythe Bailey, said it is one of the most used parks in the city by a wide variety of people. The design and style of skate parks has changed in the last 20 years since this park was built.  A study done in 2020-2021 recommended building an all new park there. All features located in the park will be rebuilt, the hockey rink, the dog park and the skate park. The security around it will also be improved with new lights in the parking lot, a commercial grade camera system and the ability to lock the gate at night since there will be no full-time attendant. New field lights are also being installed for $600,000 which is coming from the city of Chattanooga. They will meet TV requirements. When the work begins is dependent on when the Chattanooga City Council passes its budget. At that time the bidding process will start. Providing a space for food trucks to park is also planned. 

Kurt Faires, attorney for Finley Stadium, said he has served under five people in the executive director position that Brian Wright now occupies. In the old days, he said it was considered successful to break even each year. Now we are talking about a skate park, new elevators and the Ultra Club and the longest agreement with UTC in the history of the stadium. “It’s downright impressive. It’s amazing where were are today.”  Chairman Davis said that it is a good time to be a part of Finley Stadium—We’re on a roll now.”

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