Bass Pro plans to open Pyramid location in November, 2011

Artist's rendering of the Bass Pro Shops location at the Pyramid.
Artist's rendering of the Bass Pro Shops location at the Pyramid.

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Bass Pro Shops plans to open for business at the Pyramid in November of 2011, Mayor A C Wharton announced during the Memphis City Council's Executive Session on Tuesday.

"That is the date they have chosen," Wharton told council members.

For years, taxpayers have spent $1.5 million annually to maintain the empty arena.  After just half a year in office, Wharton's announcement Tuesday was a surprise to many.
"Let me make it clear I'm not jumping for joy, because as they say, there's many a slip between the cup and the lip," he said.

There may be a lot of green in between now and 2011, but the city has overcome many hurdles.

In a letter Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb sent to Bass Pro owners, he lines out how the city has purchased its share of the Pyramid from the county, verified the flood wall is safe, and obtained seismic standards.

Bass Pro Shops officials will come to Memphis on April 19, when the city presents the project to the State Building Commission.

Wharton said the project may not be over yet, but the goal is in sight.

"At least we've firmed that up and we know what we are working toward," he said. "We have a firm date that they have chosen."

Wharton will travel to Bass Pro headquarters on April 29, when they'll draft the final version of the lease, development and improvement agreements for the Pyramid Arena.

As the project moves forward, Bass Pro Shops will continue to pay the city $35,000 per month to lease the arena.

Bass Pro Shops plans to build an amusement attraction and superstore unlike any other location they maintain in the country.  The store is expected to draw more than two million people a year to the city of Memphis.

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