Finley Stadium expects to turn profit for first time in recent memory
Some good news for the home of the Mocs, Finley Stadium expects to make money for the first time in recent memory. It's more or less a lot of small reasons and one big one. Stadium Director Merrill Eckstein said they're making a profit because of careful planning and a lot of help from a team that keeps drawing in fans.
"I think I'd be safe in telling you I don't think the stadium has ever finished an operating year in the black.>
Eckstein says that has no reflection on previous stadium operators, "Circumstance has brought us a better opportunity, and the principle circumstance is a winning football team at UTC."
Eckstein says, by next June the stadium should be $10,000 in the positive. That may not sound like much, but Eckstein says the goal here is to keep your head above water.
"Whether it's $2,000, $10,000, or $50,000. The more the better because that allows you to build a reserve fund," says Eckstein.
A reserve fund is important for a stadium like Finley, at 13 years old, repairs will need to be made, just not this year.
Now factor in the Chattanooga Football Club. Before them, it was hard to make money in the summer. CFC who finished runner up in the nation, averaged almost 5,000 fans each home game.
Eckstein says, "where we generate our revenue is concessions and parking, the key is having people actually attend events so when attendance is good, our revenues go up."
Local Lebron Bush has seen Finley Stadium from day one, in fact he helped build it. Bush says the Mocs success has not only lit a fire at Finley, but the community as well.
Bush added, "success is bringing more entertainment to the Chattanooga area, I hope them the best, that they're successful and win the Southern Conference Championship."
Eckstien also said, the city and the county both contribute to Finley Stadium. They give about 17 percent of what it costs to run Finley. The annual cost of running Finley is just under $700,000.
Bottom line is if these seats stay full, Finley stays out of trouble.