EAST RIDGE, Tennessee (WDEF) – Governor Bill Lee joined Red Wolves owner Bob Martino and a dozen other leaders or the official groundbreaking on the $125 million dollar Soccer stadium and complex.
The Governor says projects like this are great for the local economy.
“One investment creates another one, so when this investment is made, then other surrounding retail and investment in other businesses will happen, jobs will be created, quality of life will be improved, so this is a stimulus to increase activity.”
East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams says this marks a big turning point for the city.
“Breaking ground on this stadium and development is turning over a new leaf for East Ridge. It’s a signal of greener days ahead, and we sincerely thank Bob and the Red Wolves, for their faith and confidence in our city.”
And Mayor Jim Coppinger is excited about the added tax revenue for the county.
“It’s going to bring about 6 to 7 million dollars in revenue per year, after the hundred and twenty-five million dollar investment, and it’s strategically located in my humble opinion, to Camp Jordan which is one of the gems of our county.”
Owner Bob Martino notes that the additional amenities will help draw a lot more people than just soccer fans.
“We’ve got hotels planned, even convention space, you know if you look at it there’s really not a lot of convention space in the area – being so close to the airport is fantastic, and so it’s going to bring a lot of – not only business, but you know visitors, as they commute from north to south for the winter.”
Even the team’s Goalkeeper sees the potential for building on the excitement of the recent World Cup Victory for women’s soccer, helping to build their fan base.
“If you look at the women’s world cup that just ended, the amount of girls that were watching that, and that have wanted to play soccer since, even just two days ago when the U. S. won, it’s – the support’s been great and I think that’s only going to drive what happens out here.”