Mayor scraps new stadium idea in favor of renovating Liberty Bowl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Mayor scraps new stadium idea in favor of renovating Liberty Bowl

Saying he had listened to popular public sentiment, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced Tuesday he was dropping his plan to build a new football stadium in Memphis, in favor of renovating the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

"I have heard you. To build a new stadium is not in best interest according to sentiments," Herenton said.

To a round of applause, Herenton told members of the Memphis Rotary club he now plans to upgrade the existing Liberty Bowl.

The announcement ended a year-long debate that started on New Year's Day last year, when Herenton announced plans to tear down the Liberty Bowl and build a new stadium.

Associate Executive Director of the Liberty Bowl Harold Graeter said he is thankful the debate is finally over.

"We have conference partners with SEC and Conference USA and they have questions about the Liberty Bowl and how it will impact the bowl game, now we have some answers," Graeter said.
Grater said one of his priorities for the stadium was to not loose any of its capacity while becoming compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Herenton said renovations would include improvements to locker rooms, an upgraded media center, and better restrooms.

"We want to create a gateway into renovated stadium you can all be proud of," Herenton said.

No timetable was given for when the improvments would be made.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.

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