Time is running out to redevelop Mid-South Fairgrounds

Time is running out to redevelop Mid-South Fairgrounds

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis and Shelby County leaders have to beat the clock if they want to get renovations and improvements at the Mid-South Fairgrounds approved.

State legislatures put an end to Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) applications. TDZs are designated areas where sales tax can be taken and used for tourism-related projects.

So, if the city doesn't submit a plan to redevelop the Mid-South Fairgrounds in time, funding for the project could be more difficult to secure.

City Council heard the final plan for the fairgrounds area during a session Tuesday afternoon.

One of the most notable changes from November's wish list for the area is dropping the price tag from $160 million to $100 million.

The $100 million would be spent on building a youth sports facility and a new parking garage. The money would also be used to make improvements to the Pipkin and Creative Arts buildings, as well as the Liberty Bowl.

TDZ revenue would bring in nearly half of the funding for the project.

"It's a game-changing opportunity for us to take an underutilized asset and activate it to a way that it has a one billion dollar impact on its local economy. I think everyone would see that as a win," Housing and Community Development Director Paul Young said.

The city estimates the youth sports complex would have a $1 billion economic impact on the Memphis economy in the first 30 years.

As for the Mid-South Coliseum Young said it will still sit unused.

A final vote on the project could come as early as July 24.

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