MATA documents suggest Grizzlies bulked at garage facility

Documents released by Memphis Area Transit Authority suggest that all of the entities involved in the deal to build FedExForum with an adjoining intermodal transfer facility, or bus terminal, were waiting for the Grizzlies to decide.

The documents don't answer every question, but they do show the city and MATA were ready to open the facility up, and hesitation to do so came from the Grizzlies.

In notes taken by MATA executive Tom Fox in April, after the Tennessee Department of Transportation began its audit, Fox wrote, "Specifically, the auditor asked if the center was open.  I said that we were waiting for the City and Grizzlies to work out differences in opinion about the lease."

Then Fox wrote, "he asked if we were ready to open if the Grizzlies gave permission.  I said yes."

According to files, MATA was apparently ready to open the bus terminal and had been for some time.  An announcement about an official opening that would have been sent out more than a year earlier is included in MATA files, saying riders could park in the FedExForum parking garage, ride a MATA bus, and pick up a parking waiver upon return.

Notes show that three days before that facility would have opened, the Grizzlies were balking, concerned about having already sold the parking spaces that would have been used, and the high cost of insurance.

No one Action News 5 contacted Monday, from the Grizzlies' attorney Stan Meadows, to the City Attorney, to the Mayor, would meet to talk.