Mayor interested in building new Convention Center - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Mayor interested in building new Convention Center

Mayor Willie Herenton announced Tuesday afternoon that expanding this Convention Center or building a new one entirely is a better investment for Memphis than building a new football stadium.

He said it is one that would help Memphis compete for the millions of dollars that conventions bring in.

Herenton unveiled plans Tuesday to enter that arms race by first appointing a committee to look into either expanding the Cook Convention Center or building a new one.

"We don't want to start real estate speculation but we have located some great sites," Herenton said.

The Mayor hinted that the sites are downtown near the FedExForum.

"Global development plan surrounds Beale street and FedExForum going to be astonishingly great," Herenton said.

The Mayor pointed out that expanding the Cook Convention Center could be difficult because it is landlocked on every side.

The Mayor said the old Convention Center would be converted into "other uses" but could not answer what those "other uses" might be.

"It requires a lot of smart people sitting at a table that's what committee is going to do," Herenton said.
Since the Cook Convention Center's renovation five years ago, the Convention Center's General Manager says it's revenues doubled.

City Council Chairman Scott McCormick said the Mayor peaked his interest.

"Show figures that it will attract visitors and dollars it's worth considering," McCormick said.

The Mayor said in 60 days the team studying how to expand Memphis' convention space will reveal their plans, including, costs, and locations.

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