Save the Mid-South Coliseum, online petition asks

Save the Mid-South Coliseum, online petition asks
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - City of Memphis crews are boarding up the Mid-South Coliseum after a lot of vandalism and even homeless people making the vacant building their shelter.

Meanwhile, a group of Mid-Southerners is working to save the Coliseum.

The Coliseum has been on the fairgrounds for five decades and was once known as the "Entertainment Capital of the Mid-South." Now,  City of Memphis is looking at a possible redevelopment and demolition. Those who say it's a part of Memphis history say they won't let it go without a fight.

The Mid-South Coliseum has also been a part of American Pop Culture since 1964.

In 2012, WMC Action News 5 reported that plans were underway by the city to demolish and redevelop the Coliseum.

"And it's going to be in sync with what we're doing with Graceland. We're trying to re-do Overton Square. We're doing the Pyramid. I mean, so it's all to make Memphis a major tourist destination site," Director of Memphis Housing Authority Robert Lipscomb said.

Parts of the Coliseum plans were delayed and are, two years later, being revisited with an estimated price tag of $134 million.

A Mid-South resident, Scott Shaffer, is the author of an online petition to put a block on the city's efforts.

"I know that it would cost less to renovate and repurpose this building, especially if there were some private investors behind it," he said. "I think the citizens of Memphis need to demand a closer look."

With more than 2,000 Facebook supporters and more than 500 signatures online, Shaffer says petition supporters want the city to reconsider giving the arena new life rather than pulling the plug.

"Lets see what it would cost to repurpose the Coliseum as opposed to tearing it down and building something else," Shaffer.

WMC Action News 5 viewers voted on the Memphis' biggest eyesores, and the Coliseum was among those in a poll. Click here to see a photo gallery of the results.

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