The Daily Memphian is reporting that a state panel has approved a proposal to renovate the city’s fairgrounds. The $150 million proposal would require $90 million from the city itself, and then seek another $60 million from private investors. The plan would see renovations made to the fairgrounds, the Liberty Bowl & the Mid-South Coliseum.
The Mid-South Coliseum was a major hub for the old Memphis wrestling territory, and was shut down in 2006. Over the past few years, many have taken up the cause of renovating the famed venue. The Coliseum Coalition is the main group calling for the arena to re-open. They took to social media to celebrate the big news, saying on Facebook:
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The passage of Memphis’ Fairgrounds Tourism Development Zone plan is great news for the Mid-South Coliseum.
First, the plan makes the preservation of the Mid-Coliseum officially part of the plan, stating “The Mid-South Coliseum and other historic buildings are preserved rather than demolished.”
THE COLISEUM IS OFFICIALLY SAVED!
Second, the plan provides Phase 3 TDZ (Tourism Development Zone) funding, in participation with private investment, to “achieve the reactivation, adaptive reuse, or redevelopment of the Mid-South Coliseum”
These are huge wins for the Coliseum, and big steps forward to a great Fairgrounds. We still have to make Phase 3 happen and get the Coliseum open, but like the rest of Memphis, the Coliseum and Fairgrounds have some strong winds in their sails.
We’d like to thank Mayor Jim Strickland, Chief Doug McGowen, Director Paul Young, and Mary Claire Borys for their hard work to make this happen! And we’d like to thank all the citizens of Memphis for your support of the great and beloved Mid-South Coliseum.
While the Coliseum is a long way from being opened, the group was very optimistic on Twitter, saying the Coliseum “is officially saved!!!”
The Mid-South Coliseum is officially saved!!!
— Coliseum Coalition (@coliseumforever) November 19, 2018
State approves TDZ for Fairgrounds redevelopment