Chattanooga Red Wolves SC welcomed Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and numerous local dignitaries as it broke ground on its new $125 million stadium complex on Tuesday morning. | Photo courtesy Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and other elected officials joined Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club owner Bob Martino in East Ridge on Tuesday morning to break ground on the USL League One club’s future stadium and the surrounding mixed-use development. The event signaled the beginning of a $125 million investment in East Ridge and Chattanooga that will make a significant economic impact on the county, region and state.
“The groundbreaking of this innovative facility is an exciting step forward for sports fans across the state and the city of Chattanooga,” said Governor Bill Lee. “Chattanooga is already a world-class destination for tourism and business, and this new growth will only add to the city’s attractive destinations and economy. We commend Bob Martino and the Red Wolves Soccer Club for choosing to invest in Tennessee.”
The area in East Ridge along Interstate 75 South will feature a state-of-the-art, soccer-specific stadium, housing, shops, restaurants, a hotel and expansive greenspaces and trails.
“From my first day in Chattanooga, I have been looking for an opportunity to unite my passion for sports and real estate, and today I’m seeing a dream come to life for a community centered around sports. This development will be here for a long time, and generations of families and fans will create lasting memories here,” said Martino. “People want to live in an area offering a great quality of life, and by providing live, work and play opportunities, we are creating an unparalleled experience for people in East Ridge, Chattanooga and beyond.”
With the idea in mind of creating an experience around soccer, Martino’s plans include apartments and condominiums so people can live nearby the stadium, walk to events and enjoy dining and shopping in the neighborhood. To that end, the plan features 400 apartment and condominium units.
“Today we are turning over dirt and turning over a new leaf in East Ridge,” said Mayor Brian Williams. “For years, this area has remained dormant, and we are thankful to Bob and the team for breathing new life into this property and committing to creating hundreds of jobs for our people in East Ridge.”
The plans also include 375 hotel rooms and 475,000 square feet of commercial space. The economic impact will span the region with the creation 1,200 new jobs, not including construction and other businesses.
“For all of the people of East Ridge who have witnessed the course of our community over the past few decades, today is a rallying point for our future,” said East Ridge Vice Mayor and Tennessee State Rep. Esther Helton. “Bob’s investment in East Ridge is a boon for our town and state and will continue to attract new businesses and job growth to improve our local economy.”
Built out over the next three to five years, the property is expected to generate between $6 and $7 million in tax revenue each year. The 100-acre property is within the city limits of East Ridge and Chattanooga.
“This is an exciting time in East Ridge and Hamilton County and a historic investment for this town,” said Mayor Jim Coppinger. “We’re encouraged by the activity and interest in this corner of Hamilton County, and we know this investment will be felt throughout our county as people travel here to attend games, shop and dine.”
Martino has plans for a trail running under Interstate 75 to connect the stadium and the team’s training center at Camp Jordan, which will also increase connections for people in the area.
Because the stadium layout is soccer specific, it will offer an incredible, up-close experience with amenities like concessions, merchandise, VIP boxes and special areas for fans and families. The stadium will house staff offices, lockers and spaces for the team to meet, review film and train.
When not in use by the Chattanooga Red Wolves, Dalton Red Wolves or Lady Red Wolves, the stadium will act as a venue for non-sports events, including concerts.