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Chattanooga’s South Broad Stadium Development Faces Uncertainty with CALEB’s Withdrawal

Abandoned stadium concept art.

Chattanooga’s South Broad Stadium’s Groundbreaking Uncertain as CALEB Withdraws

In a recent turn of events, the much-anticipated South Broad Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is facing roadblocks in its development. The community organization Chattanoogans for Love, Equality, and Benevolence (CALEB) have officially pulled out of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) negotiations. This move may significantly impact the groundbreaking timeline of the stadium.

Details of the Withdrawal

The Chattanooga Sports Authority Board made the announcement regarding the CBA on a Thursday morning. Geoffery Merdahl, a representative for CALEB, reflected on the organization’s role, stating, “It was never about the CBA per se for us, it was about the concrete benefits that was enclosed inside of the CBA.”

CALEB’s primary concerns revolved around demands for affordable housing, local employment for construction workers, funding for the Howard School, and enhanced public transportation services, among others. Despite agreement on several items, including a proposed $10 million for the Howard School from Hamilton County, Merdahl confirmed that the terms weren’t satisfactory.

Developers and City’s Response

In response to CALEB’s withdrawal, the project’s developers expressed disappointment and commitment. In their statement, they reiterated their intent of revitalizing the overlooked part of Chattanooga. Additionally, they assured the community, stakeholders, and Chattanooga City Council of their dedication to ensuring sustainable economic growth, irrespective of a formal CBA.

Affects on Groundbreaking and Construction

The construction work at the Wheland Foundry site, which is the proposed location for the South Broad Stadium, has seen some activity with the installation of utility lines. However, the formal construction of the stadium is restricted due to pending approval on several crucial documents. The groundbreaking for the stadium continues to shift while awaiting the necessary approvals.

South Broad Street Traffic Study

In parallel with this development, there is an ongoing traffic study of South Broad Street and adjacent areas by La Bella Associates. The study aims to analyze traffic counts at peak times along South Broad to establish a baseline traffic count prior to the ballpark construction. While the data analysis is still ongoing, no major changes based on this study are expected in the project.

What’s in Store for the Future?

As per sources, even though CALEB has officially withdrawn from the CBA negotiations, they will continue to monitor the process. The next few weeks are crucial for the South Broad Stadium project as the stakeholders hope to get several of the pending documents to the Sports Authority Board for approval.

This series of events marks a significant chapter in the envisioned South Broad Stadium project. While the repercussions of CALEB’s withdrawal on the project’s timeline are yet to unfold, the commitment and dedication demonstrated by the project’s developers are telling signs that they are invested in proceeding with the project for the benefit of the community.

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