Approximately 4,000 people turned out to the Mid-South Coliseum at the fair grounds Saturday, May 23rd for the Roundhouse Revival, a daylong party full of of music, wrestling, basketball, food trucks and more. The event was designed to stir conversation about the redevelopment possibilities of the 52-year-old arena.
Planners want to demolish the coliseum as part of the master plan to turn a large portion of the fair grounds into an amateur sports complex and are controversely pursuing a Tourism Development Zone classification to help pay for the project.
A group called the Coliseum Coaltion has slowed the project, however, arguing the arena, which over its 43-year active life hosted concerts by the likes of Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, and the Beatles as well as too numerous to count professional wrestling events and University of Memphis basketball games.
At the Roundhosue Revival, organizers built support for trying to find an alternative use for the facility and a few independent group floated ideas to the general public. The Urban Land Institute is now spearheading a public conversation on the coliseum’s fate. Up next are a series of public meetings to solicit public input. The firtst meeting will be held June 1st at Airways Professional Building, 3385 Airways Boulevard. On June 2nd there will be three meetings, one each at Bert Ferguson Community Center, 8505 Trinity Road; the Memphis Kroc Center, 800 East Parkway South; and Cunningham Community Center, 3773 Old Allen Road. All meetings run 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
In addition, the public can give their opinions Facebook and Twitter using #Whatiloveaboutmemphis and #MemFairgrounds, text ideas to 901-730-7570, or post directly to http://memphisfairgrounds.org/whats-your-vision-memphis-fairgrounds.