Officials say Bass Pro deal will take patience - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials say Bass Pro deal will take patience

Memphis has big plans to put a Bass Pro Shops retail store in the Pyramid, but some Shelby County Commissioners are concerned a contract with the Grizzlies will sink that idea.

If the deal is a fishing trip, Memphis has hooked a lunker, but that trophy fish is still a long way from the boat. However, Robert Lipscombe, the man leading the charge for the city, said like any good fisherman, the deal takes patience.

"This is a big project," Lipscombe said. "It's going to be over $100 million in investments, so its going to take a little while."

Tuesday, officials with Bass Pro Shops told Action News 5 that their deal with the city was still moving forward, and there was nothing new to announce. But Monday, Shelby County Commissioners expressed concerns about a clause in the contract with the Grizzlies to keep the Pyramid as a backup arena should the Fedex Forum incur damage from fire or other disaster.

Despite concerns of Commissioners, HOOPS attorney Stan Meadows said they are not standing in the way of the development a Bass Pro Shops in Memphis.

"We're not insisting The Pyramid be maintained as an alternative venue," Meadows said. "I think they're mis-interpreting the contract. They have no obligation to maintain the alternative venue. It's a non-issue."

Lipscomb agrees that if FedExForum is unusable because of a disaster, Memphis may have other things to worry about.

"I think if you look at the possibility of the FedExForum being destroyed, I don't think people are going to be looking at basketball in this town," he said. "I think the NBA is going to some other city."

The plan to put Bass Pro Shops in the Pyramid is not a done deal yet. Action News 5 will be there for every step of the negotiation process.

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