2019 Chattanooga Lookouts Preview
The Chattanooga Lookouts begin their quest for a Southern League Championship this Thursday at AT&T Stadium. 2019 marks the twentieth season at the "Ball Park on the Hill."
"It's the twentieth year on top of the hill," says Lookouts President, Rich Mozingo. "Everyone keeps referring to it as the new stadium and I actually find myself doing that now and gain also. But twenty years on top of the hill, it's been a really good run."
Chattanooga joined the original Southern League when it formed in 1885. The location of Chattanooga's original baseball field was located on the fields of the Stanton House, one of the premier hotels in the Scenic City. The sight was picked due to its, "favorable location midway between the city and the Fifth Ward", according to an 1885 article from the Chattanooga Times. The trolleys increased their daily stops at the fields during baseball season. This location sits near the modern day Main and Market Street intersection. The hotel and fields were razed in the early 1900s to make room for the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.
From the Stanton Field, the Lookouts moved to historic Engel Stadium from the years 1930 through 1999. Then the team made the trek across town to AT&T Stadium.
Of course, the baseball is important, but for both minor and major league teams, the activity around the diamond is just as important.
"For us, it's all about everything else," explains Mozingo. "The baseball is gonna happen, but it's about the other things that we can do to entertain people and entertain families, so we really focus on that side. It's the fan experience every single night that we try to drive forward."
The Lookouts will once again host a bevy of entertainment options in 2019 like firework shows, used-car night, and other events like Peppa the Pig.
Another thing fans can look forward to is the return to the Cincinnati Reds organization.
"When we were a Dodgers affiliate, you couldn't see those guys til 10:30 any given night," said Mozingo. "I don't know about you but I'm not up at 10:30 anymore. The ability to follow these guys, to track their careers a little bit...their two other minor league affiliates are within four hours of here. It just gives us a little southeastern feel and really it is a homecoming for the Reds, they were here for twenty straight years, so it's nice to have them back."
The Lookouts hope to continue the family atmosphere at AT&T and the city of Chattanooga.
"One of the big things we worry about is being a burden upon people, upon families. We're gonna make it affordable for everyone, make it family-friendly for everyone. And time and time again people keep telling me that it's the best opportunity to go out and spend the night with your family in Chattanooga. Hopefully, we're gonna continue to do that."