MUSIC BOOM: Finley Stadium open to hosting concerts

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The music industry continues to grow in Chattanooga. Now some of the bigger venues are getting in on the action.

Finley’s executive director Chris Thomas said they are actively working to get a big-name concert onto Davenport Field by 2019.

Chattanooga has long been known for its Riverbend Festival in June. But now, more people are heading to the Scenic City for other music festivals like Moon River on September 8 and 9.

Even bigger names like Jake Owen and Nelly are bringing their tours to the Lookouts’ AT&T Field in May.

“I think we’ve doubled the number of events and doubled the number of attendees over the last three years,” said Barry White, the president and CEO of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Bureau’s main target right now is the music industry and the tourism it brings.

“We’re focused on it. We’re dedicated and committed to it,” White said. “And in the great state of Tennessee, music is a huge draw. And we’re going to get a piece of that pie.”

Finley Stadium is also looking to slice into that entertainment industry.

“We’re open to having events on that same scale,” said Katie Nelson, the assistant executive director of Finley Stadium. “I hope that one day, maybe in the next few years, it would be very exciting to announce something like that.”

Finley currently holds 20,000 people in stands. With extra seating on the field, the venue can fit around 30,000 event-goers.

Now the next step is finding an act that can fill this big of a stadium.

“We don’t actually do any events necessarily ourselves here. So everything that’s done is through different event partners,” Nelson said. “So kind of being able to showcase what we do in the community. I think it would just be beneficial across the board.”

Chattanooga’s music scene is expanding, and so is its tourism.

“I think it’s just a truly exciting time here in Chattanooga.” White said. “And what we’re seeing is not only good for residents, but it’s also good for visitors because we’re seeing people from around the area travel into Chattanooga for these shows.”

The Moon River festival sold out in just eight days, and White says 60 percent of the ticket sales for the sold out were from out of town.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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