Bass Pro Shops ready to move forward with Pyramid plan - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bass Pro Shops ready to move forward with Pyramid plan

Officials with Bass Pro Shops are ready to move forward with a plan to turn the Pyramid into the company's latest retail store. Officials with Bass Pro Shops are ready to move forward with a plan to turn the Pyramid into the company's latest retail store.
Rendering of future Pyramid location. Rendering of future Pyramid location.
A giant video screen would be placed on one side of the building. A giant video screen would be placed on one side of the building.

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Officials with Bass Pro Shops are ready to move forward with a plan to turn the Pyramid into the company's latest retail store.

Even with its dull exterior in need of a good cleaning, and with weed growing in once packed parking lots, the Pyramid arena stands as an iconic structure.  It could soon recapture its luster, many are convinced, if Bass Pro Shops movies in.

During a teleconference with a Memphis City Council committee, Bass Pro Shops president Jim Hagale asserted his company's renewed commitment to redevelopment the arena into a Bass Pro megastore.

He also stuck by a deadline to try and seal the deal by the end of the year.

"I think a lot of it now is putting clarity around the funding sources," Hagale said.

New conceptual renderings were part of Tuesday's status report. For the first time, company officials displayed a rendered that depicted a huge TV screen on the side of The Pyramid.

One person said it would mimic the feeling one might get in New York City's Times Square.  The screen sparked quick debate among Council members.

"I don't like video billboards, and this is a billboard on steroids," Council member Jim Strickland said.

"I see it as an enhancement, and we agree to disagree on that," Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware countered.

Hagale admitted to Council members the Pyramid redevelopment process has been long and tedious.

"We think there's a lot of water and time over the dam here, and everybody's fatigued, so we're ready for this thing to come to conclusion," Hagale said.

The biggest hurdle at this point remains money. It could take up to $20 million dollars to bring arena up to building and seismic codes, but officials hope much of that can come from a mix of grants.

There could be something in front of the City Council, on which it can vote, as soon as January.

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