Pyramid remains shared by both city and county

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Commission will hold on to its share of the Pyramid Arena for a little while longer, despite a $5 million resolution on the table.

During a meeting Monday, commissioners discussed bowing out of an ongoing real estate struggle by selling off Shelby County's stake in the local landmark.

"Do we keep holding onto it and hoping that it gets better, or do we try to get into a position to move forward and stop the bleeding?" Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism asked.  "Where I am is stop the bleeding."

The Pyramid was built in the early 90's. From its heyday as the Tomb of Doom to its doomsday as an empty tomb, the building has belonged to both Shelby County and the city of Memphis.

There were three separate resolutions on the agenda at Monday's commission meeting. Each would have sold the county's part of the Pyramid to the city for $5 million, but commissioners put off a vote on all three.

The proposed sale would cover the county's debt, and city officials argue single ownership is the only way to finalize a deal with Bass Pro. But not everyone is sold on the sale.

"I think it's important that we add another level of scrutiny to this Bass Pro deal by having the County Commission look at the deal - look at it closely along with the City Council - and vote it up or down," Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter said.

The potential deal would also include the county's stake in the Mid-South Coliseum and the Liberty Bowl.  County officials plan to discuss the issue further at a Pyramid meeting scheduled for sometime next week.

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