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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Memphis’ $684M Plan to Keep Sports Teams

  • Memphis wants to renovate FedExForum, Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, and AutoZone Park.
  • The city also wants to build a new soccer-specific stadium for Memphis 901 FC.
Memphis
Memphis 901 FC

Memphis is ramping up its sports investments with a $684 million project.

The city wants to renovate FedExForum, Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, and AutoZone Park, as well as build a new soccer-specific stadium for USL Championship club Memphis 901 FC.

Mayor Jim Strickland is proposing that Tennessee contribute $350 million of the total figure.

The goal of the project is reportedly to keep professional teams in the city and boost the University of Memphis’ position when it comes to conference realignment

  • The NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team play at FedExForum, which cost $250 million to build. The Grizzlies’ contract expires in 2029.
  • The Memphis Tigers football team plays at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.
  • The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, play at AutoZone Park — as does Memphis 901 FC. 
  • Strickland said having both the Redbirds and Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park has damaged the field.

Strickland’s plan referenced more than $21 billion in economic activity over 15 years. It also listed “necessary state legislative action,” including a 5% hotel/motel tax.

901 Construction

The proposed stadium​​ for Memphis 901 FC would take the place of the Mid-South Coliseum — though the new project would incorporate it in the design — and is planned to open in time for the 2025 season with 7,500-10,000 fixed seats.

The facility is being designed by Odell Sports & Entertainment Group.

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