Mid-South Coliseum open to citizen led groups - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South Coliseum open to citizen led groups

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

The Mid-South Coliseum will soon re-open, but only for those who may want to renovate the long-shuttered arena.

It's been 40 years since hometown fans lined up to see Elvis perform at the Mid-South Coliseum and 50 years since The Beatles invaded what was then a brand new arena.

People have a lot of love for this old arena and have saved it from the wrecking ball, so for now the city wants legitimate ideas on how to re-use it.

"The building is not in as bad of shape as the skeptics and critics think it is," President of the Coliseum Coalition Mike McCarthy said.

McCarthy is committed to saving the Coliseum. So much so, that his son has created a Lego version.

"Sometimes they'll be somebody who says 'oh yeah, we definitely need to tear this down, I don't like it," John McCarthy said. "But, I mean, they already did that with Liberty Land."

The coalition was granted access to the arena this past Monday, and McCarthy said he spent about three and a half hours there.

The coalition said it is encouraged the city of Memphis will set aside a week next month for others to evaluate it for possible renovation.

"The citizens have spoken, they want to save the building. The city's listening," McCarthy said.

According to a news release, "The city of Memphis will allow citizen led groups with qualified experts (like architects) to gain access to the Mid-South Coliseum."

They'll get up to two four-hour blocks of time to inspect the building and imagine the possibilities.

"And, it's just a matter of getting third party reports of what it would take to reopen the building," McCarthy said.

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