Even those present at Memphis Heritage’s meeting to discuss the future of the Mid-South Coliseum admitted that nostalgia alone can’t save the 47-year-old building.
Indeed, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered. Including how much it will cost to bring the six years and running “moth-balled” facility up to par with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Some say the restoration can be done for $10 million. But Smart City Memphis is skeptical.
“Don’t believe it. Studies of the building dating back more than a decade show that the cost is three to four times higher. To put that in context, it’s at least 50% more than the city’s incentive for Electrolux, and that investment will create more than 3,000 jobs.”
An interesting point. The city and county mayors are each seeking $20 million from local government for public infrastructure, including roads into Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park, where Electrolux will build its $190 million manufacturing plant. It’s also about 68 times as big as the Coliseum and is expected to have a $47 million annual direct-employment benefit.
Do the odds justify the means? Only time will tell. Stay tuned.