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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

CHI Memorial Stadium - Chattanooga Red Wolves


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

CHI Memorial Stadium 6198 North Mack Smith Rd East Ridge, TN 37412

Year Opened: 2020 Capacity: 5,500

 

The Red Wolves' New Den

The Chattanooga Red Wolves SC were founded in 2018 and began play in 2019. They play at the USL League One level. During their inaugural season they played at a private school stadium in Chattanooga. In 2020 they began a pandemic-shortened season at the partially completed CHI Memorial Stadium. The $60 million stadium has opened in stages over the past two years, with the 2022 season being its first completely -finished season.

The stadium has a capacity of 5,500 and includes several hospitality areas, both Sky Suites and Field Level Suites, a team store, and a beer garden. The grandstands line the west side of the field and feature the silver, red and purple colors of the Red Wolves kit. No seat in the stadium is more than 150 feet from the pitch. Due to heavy usage, the stadium has an artificial turf pitch.

The north end of the pitch is enclosed, with bleacher seating for the supporter’s section. The south end is open and has a children’s play area atop a berm. The open end of the stadium also features a 33’ X 62’ Jumbotron that has both a statistical section and a large screen capable of showing highlights and replays. There are also digital field runners along the sidelines.

Food & Beverage 4

CHI Memorial Stadium has a wide selection of food and beverage selections with items appropriate for both children and adults. Concession areas are located under the grandstand and in a Food Truck Alley located at the north end of the stadium.

The main concession items include hamburgers ($10), hot dogs ($6), chicken sandwiches ($12), nachos ($7), cheese sticks ($8) fries ($3) chicken fingers ($8), cheesesteaks ($8) and corn dogs ($5). Desserts include cookies ($3), cotton candy ($2) and popcorn ($3). Drinks include Pepsi brand sodas ($5), and lemonade ($5) are available to fans of all ages.

Alcoholic drinks include draft beers for $2, craft beers for $6, wine for $6 and Jack and Coke for $13.

Foot Truck Alley has a rotating set of trucks from the Chattanooga area. The night we attended the items available included sandwiches (Club, Italian or Cuban) for $8, chicken salad ($9), bowls of chili ($5.50), quesadillas (chicken, buffalo, veggie or chipotle) for $10, BBQ Pork sandwiches ($8) and wings ($7). Sides and snacks included Frito pies ($9), chips ($1.50) and frozen dessert bars ($1.50).

Atmosphere 4

Matches at CHI Memorial Stadium are family friendly, as they have heavily marketed the team to youth soccer organizations, have specially designated seating areas for families and offer plenty of activities throughout the game. However, adults can enjoy matches apart from the children’s areas, in the lounge or in one of the suites atop the bleachers on the west side of the pitch. They also can enjoy the matches at pitch level in a special high top table area that offers bar service.

The supporter group continues to grow, with a designated seating area directly behind the goal at the north end of the stadium. They have developed some great cheers and are known for their witty tifos.

The intermission typically features local youth soccer teams, a local celebrity, or a salute to a local charity from the community.

While everyone is welcome to have a good time, the stadium reminds fans to show respect for the opposing teams and their supporters. The Red Wolves organization will not tolerate any hooliganism.


Neighborhood 3

CHI Memorial Stadium is located in East Ridge, Tennessee, a southern suburb of Chattanooga. It is located just north of the Tennessee/Georgia state line at Exit 1 (Ringgold Road). There are several hotels and fast-food locations along Ringgold Road, which is the main street in the area.

Two sites worth visiting in the area are the Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield Park in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA and the Tennessee Aquarium located along the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga. The Chattanooga area is filled with great restaurants and more interesting attractions than we can list here. For more detailed visitor information, go to www.visitchattanooga.com.

Fans 4

The Red Wolves team was well marketed before the team ever took the field. They have focused on youth soccer organizations which are extremely popular in the Chattanooga area. Each game features a salute to a different organization. It is not unusual to see a rainbow of different colored jerseys amongst the younger fans.

However, the dominant color favored by the fans is the bright red kit of the Red Wolves. Fans bring and wear the Red Wolves scarves even on a hot and humid night. The supporters’ group for the Red Wolves is known as The Pack. They create wonderful tifos for each match and are constantly either doing a chant or singing a group anthem. They have a specially designated area in the north bleachers and stand throughout the match.

Access 4

CHI Memorial Stadium is easily accessed via I-75. It is located at Exit 1 (Ringgold Road) which is the first exit in Tennessee, just north of the state line with Georgia. Head west on Ringgold Road until you reach North Mack Smith Road. Turn right onto North Mack Brown Road and continue past the Cracker Barrel and follow it until you reach the South parking lot for CHI Memorial Stadium. (The stadium is quite visible from I-75).


Return on Investment 4

Ticket prices run from $15 to $28 per seat depending on location. $15 seats are general admission behind the goals. This also serves as the section for the supporter groups. Parking is $10 per game or $105 for a season parking pass. Packages for the premium seating areas (Sky Suites & Field Level Suites are sold out for the season.) All tickets must be pre-purchased at the team’s website, as tickets are not marketed at the stadium.

The concessions prices are quite reasonable.

Extras 5

CHI Memorial Stadium puts on terrific postgame fireworks show once a month following a Saturday night game.

The Red Wolves are known for heart stopping endings to their games. In 2021 Chattanooga scored eleven goals in the 85th minute or later. In last year’s playoffs they scored in the 113th minute to move onto the semifinal round.

CHI Memorial Stadium is the first element in a development that will include condominiums, apartments, retail stores and restaurants.

The stadium also hosts Chattanooga Lady Red Wolves games in the Women’s Premiere Soccer League and the Dalton Red Wolves SC games at the USL League Two level.

In 2023 and 2024 the stadium will be the site of the semifinal and championship matches for both the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Championship and the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championship.


Final Thoughts

The Chattanooga Red Wolves and their affiliates have gotten off to a solid start in just their first few years and have begun solid rivalries with other USL clubs in the area (namely Atlanta United 2). CHI Memorial Stadium has taken longer than planned to complete due to the pandemic and supply chain delays but is sizing up to be one of the nicer venues at this level of the USL. The premium seating areas are already sold out for the season, and the other seating options are also drawing well. The Red Wolves are another attractive addition to the Chattanooga sports scene.




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