Renovations for Liberty Bowl could cost more than 10,000 seats

Results of the most recent study on the Liberty Bowl aren't due in for a few more weeks. But early indications suggest more bad news for the future of the Bowl.

It's a big stadium with even bigger problems.

"You remember when the mayor came out in January saying we need a new stadium he was basing that on the fact that its going to cost $50 million for ADA plus other upgrades," said city Chief Financial Officer Robert Lipscomb.

A study due out next month is expected to confirm something else the mayor was anticipating. Renovations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act is expected to result in the loss of 12 -14,000 stadium seats.

"I guarantee the tenants aren't going to be very happy about that," said Lipscomb.

He's talking about tenants like the Southern heritage Classic and the University of Memphis.

"If you lose that many prime seats then if I'm a tenant like the U of M well it's a no brainer for me I'm going to say I want to look into a new stadium," he said.

But some city council members aren't ready to commit.

"I have to have the information the data before I can make any kind of decision," said Councilman Dedrick Brittenum.

Earlier this week council members voted against additional funding in next year's budget to pay for additional stadium studies.

"At this point its totally up to the administration to find some money in order to pay for it," he said.

Until the final results of a consultant's recommendations are in, some consider it wise to weigh both options. But when it comes to any playing field, improving the old and building the new share a common obstacle, they both cost money.

Results of the ADA compliance study are due out June 1st. Councilman Brittenum says even if in the final analysis if it looks like a new stadium is needed then it's still an issue of where it would go.

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