Locals question if the Pyramid is worth saving - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Locals question if the Pyramid is worth saving

As city and county leaders debate the future of the Pyramid, some are asking if the empty arena would be worth more if it was scrapped.

Some of County Commissioner Deidre Malone's constituents have what they think is the best plan for the Pyramid.

"There's some people who believe that we need to just start over, because you know, maybe push it in the Mississippi River because its such valuable property," Malone said in an interview Thursday.

Tearing down the Tomb of Doom is not on the short list of options.  But if it came tumbling down, some of it's contents and construction could be salvaged and sold.

Steve Williamson is owner of Memphis Wrecking a company that's wiped out countless buildings in Memphis.

"What we'd save in the Pyramid, if we were to do it, would be steel, possibly the seats, electrical, any copper that might be there- if its there when we get there," he said.

But Williamson says profits from what's salvage would offset a tiny fraction of the cost to tear it down.

"In all, it would only be like five percent of the project," he said.

According to Malone, the current committee studying the future of the Pyramid has not discussed demolition as an option.  However, Malone said, she is open to any idea as long as its financially feasible and it means a bright future for the Memphis and Shelby County economy.

"Not going back to the original committee, I believe that they probably went through all of those, and I've not sure our charge is to reinvent the wheel," she said.

Malone said she may suggest that accounting firms be paid to study the Bass Pro deal to include demolition in their study.

"That's a good question for me to ask the commission," she said. "Since we're paying for this, that could be a very viable option."

The Pyramid negotiating team met Wednesday to discuss Greg Ericson's decision to pull his theme park plan out of the mix, and how to go about hiring two accounting firms to look at the financial viability of Bass Pro's proposal. 

Malone said she will take that information to the Shelby County Commission for review on Monday.

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