This week, the US Women’s National Soccer team is headed to Chattanooga. This is a big deal folks, this puts us on the national map for something good!
Thousands of fans, some of them driving long distances, will visit our city this week. Just like the soccer team, these fans will see our beautiful scenery. The mountains, the river, and our many popular attractions.
Unfortunately, they'll also see this. Right in the heart of our downtown, this is the view from Highway 27. Overgrown, unsightly weeds, everywhere you look. This is the front yard to our city. Would you let your front yard look like this? Would the government allow you to?
But when they make it past the wilderness of weeds, they'll see the magnificent Finley Stadium. The well-maintained home of UTC football, and the Chattanooga Football Club, right across from the First Tennessee Pavilion, a great place to congregate and tailgate.
Too bad it's right next door to this: our city's biggest, ugliest eyesore, the Parkway Towers. Stadium officials say the most common question from visitors is, why don't you tear down this monstrosity.
Their answer: We would if we could. The building is privately owned, and has been offered for sale, with no serious takers. Ugly as it is, it's a well-built 100-year-old structure. Renovating it would be very expensive, and demolishing it would cost a fortune too.
The broken windows and graffiti-covered walls have spoiled the Southside view for years.
Whose fault is it? It depends on who you ask. The city has applied what pressure it can, condemning it and such. The owners say the Stadium committee has made impossible demands….and the stadium committee says the owners have been unreasonable.
Bottom line: it's not going away anytime soon. Unless I win the lottery, and then it's going down.
Until then, we'll hope the downtown weeds are cut before our guests get here..and we'll look away from Parkway Towers so we can enjoy the –sights- and –sounds- of Chattanooga's southside on game night.