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An interesting take on the Coliseum

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.


  1. robert30 says:

    I really doubt that it would take $10 million to bring the Coliseum up to ADA standards. The city has floated around some really high costs due to a agreement that was made with the justice department concerning ADA issues at the Liberty Bowl and Coliseum. I saw somewhere another building with similar issues was fixed for around $3 million.