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Chattanooga FC has big goals for 2013
by Staff Report
Sunday, March 31, 2013    |   
Chattanooga FC's Nick Chase (right) fights for control of the ball with a Rocket City United player in action at Finley Stadium Saturday.
Chattanooga FC's Nick Chase (right) fights for control of the ball with a Rocket City United player in action at Finley Stadium Saturday.
Photo by Robin Rudd.

Come watch

Noteworthy athletic events:

• April 4: Lookouts opening day, www.lookouts.com

• May 2-6: Gulf South Conference baseball tournament, www.gulfsouthconference.org

• May 11: Chattanooga Football Club home opener, chattanoogafc.com

• May 25 & 27: USA Pro Championships cycling event, www.usacycling.org

• Aug. 29: UTC home football opener, www.gomocs.com

• Aug. 31: UT football opener, www.utsports.com

• Oct. 4-13: RiverRocks festival, www.riverrockschattanooga.com

• Nov. 2-3: Head of the Hooch rowing event, www.headofthehooch.org

Entering its fifth season, the Chattanooga Football Club has become a summer mainstay in the city’s sporting scene. It’s just one of many sporting events in town that draws a crowd.

An amateur club that plays in the National Premier Soccer League, Chattanooga FC has averaged more than 1,000 fans a game since its inaugural season in 2009. The club, which has played for the NPSL championship twice in the past three seasons, is thinking big in 2013, with a goal of averaging 5,000 fans a game.

The season begins on May 11 with a NPSL South Conference matchup against Rocket City United at Finley Stadium. Along with its league schedule, Chattanooga also will be participating in the U.S. Open Cup tournament and could host a game or two in May.

As always, the spring sporting schedule in Chattanooga begins with opening day for the Class AA Lookouts minor-league baseball team. The 70-game home schedule starts at AT&T Field on April 4.

Also at AT&T Field this spring is a newcomer to Chattanooga sports, the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference baseball tournament, which begins May 2.

From August to late spring or early summer, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sports programs are a constant on the sporting calendar. The UTC football program opens the 2013 season with a game against UT-Martin on Aug. 29 at Finley Stadium. The Mocs have six home games in their 12-game schedule.

In the winter, the UTC men’s and women’s basketball programs are in action at McKenzie Arena, while the UTC softball team plays at Frost Stadium in the spring.

Fall weekends are usually reserved for college football in the South, but Chattanooga always makes room for a couple of major outdoor events: the RiverRocks festival and the annual Head of the Hooch rowing races on the Tennessee River.

RiverRocks, a 10-day event Oct. 4-13, features numerous outdoor activities including kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running and much, much more.

The Head of the Hooch course winds through downtown and draws big crowds of spectators who are able to line the shore and take in the action.

The 2013 Hooch runs Nov. 2-3 and will attract thousands of participants, from high school rowers to college teams and club teams from across the country.