Residents offer ideas for future of Memphis fairgrounds

Residents offer ideas for future of Memphis fairgrounds

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The debate over the future of Memphis fairgrounds is nearing an end.

Hundreds of community ideas were narrowed down to six main themes, one of which will bring a renaissance to the area.

After receiving all those ideas, the city simply wants to know: we heard what you want, now are we going in the right direction?

Life could soon be brought back to the 155-acre Fairgrounds. It's a decision that's been years in the making since the closing of the coliseum in 2007.

Of the more than 200 ideas submitted, youth and sports took center stage.

"I think it's just a great venue, a great place to have events for youth, for the world," said Memphis resident Troy Donald.

It's a space that Donald, a football a track and field official, says is missing from Memphis.

The city's idea would be to build a complex to house basketball, volleyball, and other indoor competitive sports. It would draw in tournaments while also providing a space for local teams to play and practice.

"Our children should be able to stay here and experience indoor track or a world-class swimming venue," Donald said.

The idea of a water park or amusement park is on the board, but to the city, those options don't seem doable without losing Tiger Lane and parking.

The Mid-South Coliseum once slated for demolition could see its doors reopen as the city tries to weave it into the master plan for the fairgrounds.

"It's a building that's going to have many memories to go with all those other memories," said Roy Barnes, President Coliseum Coalition.

But before crowds can fill the seats inside the coliseum, there's an estimated $37 million worth of work that needs to be done.

Modernizations of the venue will include making the building ADA compliant and removing seats.

"Part of the deal with the fairgrounds is what's already there, kind of weaving it together in a way that's more than something that's old," Barnes said.

The city still needs to work out exactly how much money it will have to work with for this revitalization.

The final plan will be presented on November 6.

In the meantime, you can still weigh in. Click here to voice your opinions on what you'd like to see at the fairgrounds.

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