What will happen to Pyramid's bricks, donor asks

Bricks were available for a $50 donation to MIFA.
Bricks were available for a $50 donation to MIFA.

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Nineteen years ago, the Pyramid Arena became the most prominent icon on Memphis' skyline.

But now, there are questions about what will happen to the statue at the heel of the arena when its new tenant moves in, as well as what will happen to the bricks at the statue's feet.

The statue in front of the arena depicts Ramesses, symbolizing the 11 Pharaohs of Memphis, Egypt that were laid to rest in pyramid tombs along the River Nile.

If you take a closer look, you'll see what sits at the statue's feet: engraved bricks, all carrying names or personal messages.

Angie Cabrera has one.

"We decided we'd put our initials on there, and the names of our cats," Cabrera said Wednesday.

After the Grizzlies and Tigers moved to FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee had its own empty tomb.  The arena sat empty for years, costing taxpayers more than half a million dollars each year in maintenance.

But last week, after five years of finagling, Bass Pro Shops President Jim Hagale signed a deal to lease the Pyramid.

"I think it's good for Memphis," Cabrera said.

As the city announced plans to turn the area surrounding the area into a Tourist Development Zone, Cabrera began to wonder what will happen to her brick.

"If they do dig up the bricks, I want mine," she said.

Cabrera is one of 2,000 people or organizations who donated $50 to MIFA in exchange for a brick. Even WMC has one. Cabrera says the memories on the bricks are too precious to let go.

"There's a lot of history over here," she said.

The city is now trying to figure out what to do with the bricks, while the fate of the 5,000 pound Ramesses statue remains up in the air.

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