Lipscomb and Ericson make Pyramid pitches to commissioners - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Lipscomb and Ericson make Pyramid pitches to commissioners

Rendering of the possible Bass Pro Shops location at the Pyramid. Rendering of the possible Bass Pro Shops location at the Pyramid.
Rendering of the Ericson Group's proposed Pyramid amusement park. Rendering of the Ericson Group's proposed Pyramid amusement park.
The Pyramid in Memphis. The Pyramid in Memphis.

It was a marathon meeting where sparks flew and the information shared created more questions than answers.

Wednesday, Memphis Economic Development Director Robert Lipscomb was visibly frustrated as he presented Bass Pro Shops' bid to rent the Pyramid Arena to Shelby County Commissioners.

"There's been too much rancor about this, too much personality, too much hearsay. It's just, let's just look at the facts," Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb shared the same pitch with commissioners as he did with the Memphis City Council a day earlier, saying the Pyramid Re-Use Committee found Bass Pro to be the best fit for the arena.

Commissioner Mike Ritz had some issues with the bid.

"They're not paying us a dime worth of rent in this deal.  Ever, ever, ever!" Ritz said.

Unlike the City Council presentation, County Commissioners allowed Greg Ericson, whose firm is competing with Bass Pro to take over the Pyramid, to speak.   Ericson also got an earful from Ritz.

"I don't want to use your project or their project or a third project to fund the proposal to try to do something with the Convention Center," Ritz said.

After two and a half hours of questions and answers, the information shared by Lipscomb and Ericson was extremely conflicting.

Ericson made it clear he was willing to pull the Mud Island part of his concept out of the project and just build on Pyramid land.

Commissioners asked for a study to compare the Bass Pro and Ericson proposals.  They will hold a special meeting to present the findings and invite each side to make their case.


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