AT&T Field – Chattanooga Lookouts
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
AT&T Field 201 Power Alley Chattanooga, TN 37402
Year Opened: 2000
The Lookouts’ Post
The Chattanooga Lookouts are one of the oldest minor league teams in the country. They began play in 1885. The Lookouts play at the AA level as a minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The name “Lookouts” is derived from the nearby Lookout Mountain and the use of the mountains overlooking Chattanooga as lookout positions for the two armies.
AT& T Field, the Lookout’s home Field, takes the name seriously, as it is located on top of a steep bluff above downtown Chattanooga. It opened in 2000 and seats 6,100 fans. It features a no-frills exterior of steel, brick, and concrete, with a single AT&T Field sign as the only decorative touch.
The interior of the park is equally spartan, with the seating bowl running only out to the foul poles. There is only a small group seating area along the outfield walls. The outfield walls are reminiscent of a bygone era as they are covered with advertising for local businesses. The scoreboard/videoboard is located behind the left field walls. Unfortunately, the no-frills approach is evident throughout the ballpark. There are serious negotiations underway to build a new ballpark in the downtown area that is currently undergoing redevelopment.
Food & Beverage 4
AT&T Field serves a wide variety of foods at its four concession stands located along the concourse. Three of the stands serve the usual ballpark menu, while one stand, the Lookout Grill, cooks the food on demand. It serves cheesesteaks, chicken cheesesteaks, and a sausage cheese plate.
The generic stands are located behind the plate behind the first baseline and the third baseline along the concourse. They serve an extensive menu including hot dogs, brats, chicken wraps, veggie wraps, pizza slices, nachos, peanuts, cracker jacks, pretzels, popcorn, and chips. Dessert items include cotton candy, ice cream, and candy.
Beer is sold at separate stands and is strictly regulated. Fans planning to drink beer and other alcoholic drinks must go through a separate line upon entering the stadium and receive a wristband identifying them as being of legal drinking age. Draft beers sold at these stands cost $4.50 for a 16 oz cup or $5.75 for a 20 oz cup.
Big River Brewery brand drinks go for $5 for a 16 oz cup and $6.25 for a 20 oz serving. There are two drinking areas located in the seating bowl along the third baseline. The Big River Brewing Company Beer Garden serves Big River craft brews for $6, while the Budweiser Beer Garden sells Budweiser products for $5.75. Oddly enough, the family seating area of the stadium is located next to the two beer gardens.
The no-frills exterior is carried over to the interior of the park. The concourse runs only to first base and third base. This area includes the three concession stands and the team store. What is missing is a sense of what team plays in the stadium, with the only reference to the Lookouts being the signs denoting the seating sections.
The concourse is dominated by advertising for businesses located in Chattanooga. This is a shame, as the Lookout’s history extends back to 1885. It would have been nice to have some space devoted to the team's accomplishments, the names of Lookout players who have gone on to play in the big leagues, and other historical information about the club.
The seating bowl inside the park goes only to third base along one foul line and to the foul pole in right field. The Big River Grille and Brewing Works Beer Garden and the Budweiser Party Deck are located beyond third base along the foul line. There are no suites evident at the ballpark.
The Lookouts do keep the fans entertained during breaks in the action. An in-game emcee conducts quizzes, games, and skits between each inning. This includes on-field competitions or questions posted on the video board.
The greater Chattanooga area has become a moderately priced tour mecca over the last 20 years. The Tennessee Riverfront offers several notable tourist attractions, including the Tennessee Aquarium, the Bluff View Art District, a 20-mile-long Tennessee Riverwalk, and the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge that connects the downtown area to the Northshore area.
The world-famous Chattanooga Choo Choo is also found in the downtown area. Two Chattanooga-related food shops you will want to check out feature Goo Goo bars and Moon Pies, which were both invented in the Chattanooga area. Warehouse Row offers some great shopping options
The downtown area features some excellent dining options. The Big River Grille features great food and a wide number of craft brews. Other eateries to check out include the Alleia and Edley’s BBQ.
Accommodations at every price point are available to fans. Two hotels, the Hilton Garden Inn, and the Hampton Inn are located at the base of the bluff that AT&T Field is located on. All you would need to do to get to the game is to ride the escalator up the hill.
For a complete listing of Chattanooga attractions, dining, and lodging accommodations, go to www.chattanoogafun.com.
The Lookouts have been a presence in Chattanoogan’s lives for well over a century, and a quick look at their fanbase bears this out. It is not unusual to see three generations of a family sitting together for a weekend afternoon game at AT&T Field. The stadium even has a family-friendly section set aside in the stands.
You’ll find Lookout fans to be very friendly and they are very welcoming to fans from the opposing team. They are very likely to share their memories of current Reds players when they were working their way up to the majors with a stopover in Chattanooga at some point in their careers.
Some nights are skewed towards a more specific age group depending on the team promotion for that evening. Thirsty Thursdays tend to bring in the college crowd from UT-Chattanooga in large numbers, while other nights honor youth groups, church organizations, or supporters of a local charity that is being honored by the team.
AT&T Field is easily reached via I-24 and US 27 North. This is less than a two-hour drive from Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta, or Birmingham. From I-24, take the US Highway 24 North exit (Downtown Chattanooga). Exit Highway 27 North at 4th Street (Exit 1C) Take a left on Chestnut and left on 3rd Street.
If you are staying at a downtown hotel, the Lookouts have a free shuttle bus that circulates through the downtown area to pick up fans before the games and deliver them back after the game. AT&T Field does not have its own designated parking, so this helps you avoid an expensive parking fee at a nearby attraction’s parking deck.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to Lookout games range from $9 to $14. Concessions at AT&T Field are reasonably priced. Chattanooga offers lodging options at every price point. If you are staying at a downtown hotel, the Lookouts free shuttle bus will pick you up before the game and return you after it. This spares you the parking expense.
The downtown Chattanooga area is filled with dozens of attractions to enjoy, with a separate free shuttle connecting you to the various sites from your hotel. A weekend in Chattanooga can add lots of value for you, as entertainment, dining, and lodging options are all moderately priced compared to larger cities.
Chattanooga is famous for the Chattanooga Choo Choo. A miniature train comes out from behind the outfield walls along a short piece of track to celebrate a Lookouts home run or victory.
The Chattanooga Lookouts downtown shuttle bus is a nice extra. Another extra goes to the many downtown attractions available for pregame or postgame entertainment. The country’s only exterior escalator outside of a ballpark is an extra… and a necessity!
Chattanooga, Tennessee, and AT&T Field can provide you with a moderately priced getaway weekend. The stadium is located near all the main attractions in the downtown area, including the Chattanooga Choo Choo, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Riverwalk along the Tennessee River.