Commissioners debate fate of Liberty Bowl, Coliseum - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Commissioners debate fate of Liberty Bowl, Coliseum

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The fate of the Mid-South Coliseum and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium was a hot topic with the Shelby County Commission at a meeting Wednesday.

While commissioners recently voted for the county to keep its share of the Pyramid Arena, Wednesday they talked about turning over the Liberty Bowl and Mid-South Coliseum to the city of Memphis.

While the Liberty Bowl is still home to a few large events each year, the Pyramid and Coliseum are vacant, and costing taxpayers millions.

Commissioner Sydney Chism wants the county to just give all three properties to the city of Memphis, calling it a waste of money.  But Commissioner Steve Mulroy said he's not prepared to just "give" anything away, saying the facilities have value.

Commissioners said they plan to ride out the Pyramid deal with Bass Pro, but asked the County Attorney's office to draw up a resolution so they can vote whether or not to give or sell the Mid-South Coliseum and Liberty Bowl to Memphis.

Commissioner Diedre Malone asked county administrators to reach out to the Memphis City Council.
"Ask the administration to at least broach the subject with the City Council in terms of whether or not they'd be willing to accept those two properties," she said.

Commissioner Mike Ritz alleged the city has made changes to the Pyramid development agreement with Bass Pro, and said Mayor A C Wharton cannot sign the agreement unless every word stays intact.

Commissioners will vote on the Mid-South Coliseum and Liberty Bowl resolution at their next meeting.

Ritz also wants to get a last look at the final Bass Pro development agreement, to make sure there are no changes before the mayor signs it.

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