The future of Engel Stadium looms
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The filming of the movie "42" is finished and now the dirty work of tearing down utility poles and green board is next on the to-do list at Engel Stadium.
This phase is part of the agreement from the film company to give the historic stadium a much needed makeover.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga spokesperson Chuck Cantrell says, "If you look at the history of this facility, there is a lot of love and passion for it. But there has been a lot of neglect."
Much of the cleanup is more than a month from being finished and the leftover lumber will be recycled.
UTC took over Engel's property in recent years, but maintaining the stadium has been a financial strain.
"Honestly, it is not built into our budget so that is why the work of the foundation is so critical," says Cantrell.
So what happens now?
Engel was built in the 1920s and needs upgrades that could cost millions. That's where the Engel Foundation comes in.
Director Janna Jahn says the community will soon have a say in Engel's future.
"To the extent the community comes out and supports that then I think Engel will be here to stay."
Jahn is eyeing throw back Lookouts games, sports camps, and even a ball park restaurant.
She says tomorrow's Engel Stadium will follow yesteryear's principles.
"Joe Engel's philosophy was we need to give people more than a game," Jahn says. "We need to entertain people and lift spirits."
It won't come easy. Donations and grants will be one source of funding.
The challenge will be finding events people want to attend.
Jahn says, "I think it'll find events that will fit here that won't fit anywhere else, and I don't think it will be much of a competition."
Cleanup crews tell Channel 3 they want to have everything removed by September.
Jahn says the Engel Foundation hopes to make an announcement at that time.