(Editor's Note: The following report was written by the Chattanooga Football Club, and published first on their website.)
Chattanooga Football Club and The Stadium Corporation today agreed upon a three year deal that will keep the NPSL powerhouse in Chattanooga’s largest sports venue for years to come. During the club’s ten season history, over 338,000 people have come to Finley Stadium to watch Chattanooga FC play.
“Our supporters have made Chattanooga FC the envy of premier soccer clubs around the country, setting and breaking attendance records in Finley Stadium,” said Tim Kelly, Chairman of Chattanooga FC. “Records are made to be broken and there is no doubt that the best is yet to come.”
There have been great moments over the local club’s historic run in Finley Stadium. One of the most memorable for many Chattanoogans occurred on August 8, 2015, when 18,227 packed the stadium to watch the NPSL Final between Chattanooga FC and NY Cosmos. In 2017, MLS’ Atlanta United played its first ever match on a blustery day in Finley Stadium against Chattanooga FC, playing in front of 12,484 fans. Finley has also been the home of Chattanooga FC Women’s team for the last five seasons and hosted two US National Team games in the last three years.
“Finley has been the only home we’ve ever known,” said Sheldon Grizzle, General Manager for Chattanooga FC. “The biggest moments in our club’s history have happened here.”
“The Stadium Corporation, its board, management, and operations teams are delighted that the tradition of Chattanooga FC at ‘Fort Finley’ will continue,” said Gordon Davenport, Chairman of The Stadium Corporation. “For ten years, the club has been a strong part Finley’s calendar, and we’re all excited to see it continue to grow. I’m a Chattahooligan at heart and can’t wait for the 2019 season.”
Chattanooga FC is planning multiple non-conference games in March and April before the NPSL season gets under way in May. In August, the club will enter the inaugural Founders Cup with teams such as the New York Cosmos and Detroit City Football Club. The clubs will then square off in a nationwide league in 2020 with a full rosters of professional players.
Grizzle added, “We can’t wait to make new memories in Finley, particularly in 2019 with this transitional season as we go to the next level with the Founders Cup in August. Finley is an iconic part of Chattanooga’s Southside and we remain honored to play a role in the growth of our city.”
Fast Facts about Chattanooga FC and Finley Stadium:
- First Game: May 16, 2009 vs Atlanta FC; attendance 1,577.
- Total Chattanooga FC games played in Finley Stadium: 94
- Home record: 64 (W) - 19 (L) - 11 (T)
- Highest Attendance: 18,227 (NPSL Record)
- Chattanooga FC is only NPSL team to have single-game home attendance over 10,000 (4 times)
- Total Chattanooga FC Attendance: 338,334
- Total attendance of all soccer matches in Finley Stadium since 2009: more than 400,000