SBD/August 28, 2012/Facilities

Memphis Planners Propose $148M Sports Complex Across From Liberty Bowl

Memphis city planners are “hoping a sports-based attraction at the Mid-South Fairgrounds could draw thousands of athletes” to the Midtown site across from Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, according to Amos Maki of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. The plan now under study by Memphis Housing & Community Development Division Dir Robert Lipscomb and O.T. Marshall Architects “would raze the Mid-South Coliseum and replace it with ‘tournament level’ baseball diamonds and a new multipurpose indoor facility in a parklike setting.” The planners predict that the people “who use the proposed sports complex would support an ‘urban village’ with retail stores, restaurants and possibly a hotel or convention space.” The plan calls for the $148M project “to be financed by sales taxes generated from a Tourist Development Zone -- along with sponsorships, naming rights and land leases from the retail development.” Lipscomb will present “detailed plans for the Fairgrounds to the Memphis City Council in September.” The council is “scheduled to vote Sept. 4 on a resolution accepting the donation of Shelby County's interest in the Coliseum and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.” Lipscomb said that the “promise of activity created by the sports complex and possible tournaments could make the retail portion more attractive to developers” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/28).
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