Memphis city officials want state money to upgrade local sports facilities | Newstalk Florida


The city wants to renovate the Memphis Grizzlies NBA arena,

Memphis, Tennessee Mayor Jim Strickland Asks State Officials What About Me? Why do Nashville and Knoxville get state money for an NFL facility in Nashville and a minor league ballpark in Knoxville and why doesn’t Memphis get money for sports venues? At least for now. Strickland and Memphis elected officials want about $350 million from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to make major renovations to the city’s arena that is home to the National Basketball Association’s Grizzlies, as well as upgrades to the stadium in football town that was once home to a World Football League team in the mid-1970s and a United States Football League franchise in the early 1980s. Strickland wants money to renovate the baseball park in the city. local minor league and tear down the Mid-South Coliseum, which has been closed since 2006. Strickland wants to build a football stadium to house United Soccer League’s 901 FC on the property. Sports projects are expected to cost $684 million.

Strickland, apparently, couldn’t justify the athletic spending except to say it was important to Memphis. “It’s really not just about business or entertainment or the culture of the city. It’s not just about raising taxes or having an economic impact. It’s all that and more. Your city’s identity is tied to sports teams. Memphis is home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland and rock and roll may have started in the city at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio. Internationally, more people know Memphis for Elvis and Sam Phillips than for Memphis Grizzlies basketball or the Liberty Bowl. Strickland says Memphis is a great sports city, but Strickland knows that if the city wants to remain an NBA city, it had better turn its arena into a state-of-the-art NBA facility by the end of the decade. In sport, public money speaks.

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