Memphis announces major sports facility plan, requiring some state money
Joining Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville requesting funds for new stadiums
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (WDEF) – Memphis is the latest Tennessee city to ask the state to kick in money for new sports facilities.
Nashville announced their plans for a new Titans stadium on Monday.
Both Chattanooga and Knoxville are also building new minor league baseball facilities.
On Tuesday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced a $684 million plan to renovate four professional and college sports facilities.
Memphis is asking the state to kick in just over half of the money.
It includes improvements to the FedExForum (NBA Memphis Grizzlies) and a new standalone soccer stadium (8-10,000 seats) to be built at the long-vacant Mid-South Coliseum at Liberty Park.
Mayor Strickland says investing in sports facilities helps make a city be considered a major city.
The plan also includes renovations of Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium (home for Memphis Tigers football and the Liberty Bowl.)
Plus a slight renovation of the Memphis Redbirds baseball and 901 FC soccer teams.
The FedExForum upgrade will be a major push.
The Mayor says it still looks good but does not measure up to current NBA facilities.
The Grizzlies are bound to the city through 2029, but he says the improvements will be key to keeping them in Memphis.
The plan must first be approved by the Memphis City Council and then get funding and taxing approval from the Tennessee legislature.