Contract Conflict - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Contract Conflict

In light of the Grizzlies' Fed Ex Forum non-compete clause, it was a rare night when the Forum and Coliseum had head-to-head events Saturday.

Still, the hot issue is not losing any steam.

Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham says the Grizzlies should not have the power to keep competing events from the Coliseum. "As far as I'm concerned, the city of Memphis and the county of Shelby have been hijacked," said Willingham.

At the same time, Michael Anderson of AMS Productions managed to get clearance to hold the 1st Annual Holiday Jam Concert the same night the Grizzlies are playing Phoenix. "I find them to always be most cooperative with me when I'm trying to do events. Particularly an event that's going to have a benefit to someone less fortunate," said Anderson.

The concert benefits the Memphis International Food Association. The non-compete contract also includes the Pyramid, which led county commissioners to call for the courts to resolve the conflict back in April. "The lawyers, both the city and the county are dragging their feet. And certainly the Grizzlies are dragging their feet," Willingham said.

The non-compete has potential investors questioning if the Coliseum is worth buying and the Pyramid sits empty most days, but Anderson says you have to pay to play. "You have to pay a price to get an arena like the Fed Ex Forum here, which has done a lot for the city of Memphis and the downtown area," he said.

No matter how this tug-of-war ends, he hopes his benefit concert becomes a Memphis tradition.

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