US football club Chattanooga Red Wolves has revealed plans for a $125m (£96.9m/€112.2m) mixed-use development, which will be anchored by a new 5,000-seat stadium for the USL League One team.
The Red Wolves are currently engaged in their inaugural season having only been founded in August. Team owner Bob Martino has now presented renderings and the layout for the development, which will include the stadium, housing, retail, restaurants, a hotel and significant greenspaces in East Ridge, Tennessee.
“I am laying out a vision for a community focused soccer and entertainment destination for our region,” said Martino. “The Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club was founded with the ultimate goal of strengthening our community through soccer, and this investment doubles down on my commitment to the region, our players and the soccer community. People will be able to live, dine and play here, and experiencing professional soccer in a unique setting is at the heart of this development.”
Martino’s privately funded plan includes 400 apartment and condominium units, 375 hotel rooms, 475,000 square feet of commercial space including the stadium and a network of walking and nature trails. Over the next three to five years, the stadium and surrounding development is expected to create 1,200 new jobs, not including construction and other businesses.
The soccer specific stadium will aim to provide an up-close experience for fans, as well as added amenities including concessions, merchandise, VIP boxes and special areas for families. The stadium, which is expected to cost $6m, will also house staff offices, lockers and multiple spaces for the team to meet, review film and train.
The entire development will complement the team’s training centre, which is being built at Camp Jordan. A trail running under Interstate 75 will connect the two areas. The stadium will be available to host non-sporting activities such as concerts and other events. Construction will start within the coming month with the goal of completion in time for the 2020 season of USL League One, the third tier of US football.
“Weather-permitting and along with the permits we need to secure, we could still get the stadium ready in time for next season,” Martino said, according to the Times Free Press newspaper. “We need to get going on it in the next month or so if it’s going to be achievable.”
The 100-acre property, which is within the city limits of East Ridge and Chattanooga, is expected to generate between $6m and $7m in tax revenue each year.
“East Ridge has never experienced an investment on this level that benefits our community in so many ways,” said Mayor Brian Williams in a statement. “Bob Martino could have put this stadium and development wherever he wanted, but he chose our community, and we are so appreciative.”
The Red Wolves’ project is set to be the latest soccer-specific stadium developed in Tennessee. Nashville SC last month announced it will develop the largest soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer (MLS), but said it will delay its plans to move into the venue as a result.
Images: Chattanooga Red Wolves