Memphis pitches deal to buy Shelby Co.'s share of Pyramid Arena - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis pitches deal to buy Shelby Co.'s share of Pyramid Arena

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

The City of Memphis wants to buy Shelby County's share of the Pyramid Arena and possibly the Mid-South Coliseum.

Keith McGee, the city's CAO, recently sent a letter stating the plans to his counterpart in the county government. 

The $8.5 million deal would also include an investment in the Shelby County Health Department.
Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins says the plan is a win-win situation."The county is under financial strains right now. So, it's good government for us to help, but it's also good government for us to make sure the citizens of Memphis are getting something in return."

The city is now awaiting reaction from the Shelby County Commission.

"They (the city) greatly want to get control of the Pyramid, and I think they're under huge pressure from Bass Pro," said county commissioner Mike Ritz.

Outdoor retailer Bass Pro has plans to build a superstore inside the Pyramid, but Ritz says the city is attempting to keep the county from asking too many questions about the deal.

"If we could get the agreement that I suggested where they pay property taxes, it would be worth it to the county," he said.

But city council members aren't hiding their motives.

"If we secure the Pyramid by ourselves, then there is no red tape," said city councilman Harold Collins.
But Ritz says politics is an obvious factor.

"We have our mayor wanting to be their mayor," he said.

Ritz believes Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton will go along with the city's plan because of rumours Wharton plans to run for mayor of Memphis.

The deadline for the city's offer is April 22. 

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