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Liberty Park | Mid-South Fairgrounds mixed-use redevelopment

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Since the Fairgrounds redevelopment is an ongoing saga (years and years in the making), I think it's worthy of its own thread.

Liberty Park Memphis

Liberty Park website: https://www.libertyparkmemphis.com/

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Fairgrounds becomes ‘Liberty Park’ in latest post-pandemic plan

https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/16141/fairgrounds-liberty-park-development-liberty-bowl-libertyland

Quote

 

The Fairgrounds will become Liberty Park, with an indoor sports complex and hotels, under the city’s latest push to redevelop the 168-acre public property while emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rebrand, announced Thursday, Aug. 13, has a 2022 target date for opening of the first phases. A letter of intent from Capstone Development of Washington D.C. calls for developing two hotels of about 200 rooms total.

“There are a lot of people who don’t even know it is a park — park land operated by the parks division,” said Mary Claire Borys, manager of strategic initiatives for the city’s Housing and Community Development division. “As we started to think about new names, we realized that was kind of a flaw that needed to be corrected.”

Liberty Park is a nod to the old Libertyland theme park once located in the southwest corner of the property. The site is now to become the 277,000-square-foot Memphis Sports and Events Center that would be for public use and the use of youth sports tournaments.

 

New Renderings:

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Sports Complex Renderings:

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Edited by VSRJ
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This looks amazing and I hope it gets built. I wonder why they're planning on keeping the Mid South Coliseum if they're building an indoor sportsplex? They should transfer the building to the University of Memphis if they're just going to add tarps to it. I'm sure the university can find something innovative to do with it.  Also, what is going to happen with parking and tailgating for football games at LBMS? 

That being said, this is a wonderful development.  If they ever modernize LBMS in conjunction with this development the city and university will have something to be incredibly proud of.

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17 hours ago, 21jump said:

This looks amazing and I hope it gets built. I wonder why they're planning on keeping the Mid South Coliseum if they're building an indoor sportsplex? They should transfer the building to the University of Memphis if they're just going to add tarps to it. I'm sure the university can find something innovative to do with it.  Also, what is going to happen with parking and tailgating for football games at LBMS? 

That being said, this is a wonderful development.  If they ever modernize LBMS in conjunction with this development the city and university will have something to be incredibly proud of.

The Coliseum has been closed and not used since 2006.   It's a very hot issue in Memphis, many want it renovated in some form and many have been in favor of tearing it down.   It is not ADA compliant (part of the reason it shut down-  the other reason is a non-complete clause with the FedExForum having concert events over 5000-6000, some number in that range).   In the past few years there have been groups that have cleaned it and shown it to potential investors for something to happen down the line.    I'm sure something will come of it eventually, especially if everything around it in this project gets built.

 

The large area in the middle between the Coliseum and Central Avenue that is west of the Liberty Bowl was built in 2010 on the site of where the Fair was always held.  "Tiger Lane"-  it's the main tailgating area for football games.   That is staying as is.   A lot of parking has been lost but there is still some close to the Stadium.  I originally heard there was supposed to be parking garages built somewhere around for stadium events, not sure about that according to these plans though.  And a lot of renovations have gone into the Liberty Bowl itself the past 5 years or so-  new seats, new scoreboards and things like that.  If this gets built I think it would be great for restaurant/bar options close by as well as hotels for big events like the Liberty Bowl game etc.

Edited by DRG901

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26 minutes ago, DRG901 said:

The Coliseum has been closed and not used since 2006.   It's a very hot issue in Memphis, many want it renovated in some form and many have been in favor of tearing it down.   It is not ADA compliant (part of the reason it shut down-  the other reason is a non-complete clause with the FedExForum having concert events over 5000-6000, some number in that range).   In the past few years there have been groups that have cleaned it and shown it to potential investors for something to happen down the line.    I'm sure something will come of it eventually, especially if everything around it in this project gets built.

 

The large area in the middle between the Coliseum and Central Avenue that is west of the Liberty Bowl was built in 2010 on the site of where the Fair was always held.  "Tiger Lane"-  it's the main tailgating area for football games.   That is staying as is.   A lot of parking has been lost but there is still some close to the Stadium.  I originally heard there was supposed to be parking garages built somewhere around for stadium events, not sure about that according to these plans though.  And a lot of renovations have gone into the Liberty Bowl itself the past 5 years or so-  new seats, new scoreboards and things like that.  If this gets built I think it would be great for restaurant/bar options close by as well as hotels for big events like the Liberty Bowl game etc.

The non-compete just stipulates that facilities that are publicly funded by the city can't have concerts over 5,000 people.  If it were sold to a private entity, then they could do with it what they want, but would likely not receive tax incentives, as this is the issue that Graceland is fighting.  There are other options in that it could be used for Wrestling, Boxing, or MMA events or even a minor league hockey team.  It would be cool if they built a Memphis Wrestling HOF/Museum there.  

I wonder if the other buildings will be incorporated into the plans such as the Pipkin building and Creative Arts building.  I'm not sure how much they are being used anymore.  I know they were doing Roller Derby there.   

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26 minutes ago, MDC26 said:

The non-compete just stipulates that facilities that are publicly funded by the city can't have concerts over 5,000 people.  If it were sold to a private entity, then they could do with it what they want, but would likely not receive tax incentives, as this is the issue that Graceland is fighting.  There are other options in that it could be used for Wrestling, Boxing, or MMA events or even a minor league hockey team.  It would be cool if they built a Memphis Wrestling HOF/Museum there.  

I wonder if the other buildings will be incorporated into the plans such as the Pipkin building and Creative Arts building.  I'm not sure how much they are being used anymore.  I know they were doing Roller Derby there.   

 

Ah gotcha.  I couldn't remember all the details.   And last year I went into one of those buildings during a festival on Tiger Lane and they had a flea market going on at the same time where I bought some old vinyls and concert posters, ha.   Not sure what else goes on there at the moment.   

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1 hour ago, MDC26 said:

The non-compete just stipulates that facilities that are publicly funded by the city can't have concerts over 5,000 people.  If it were sold to a private entity, then they could do with it what they want, but would likely not receive tax incentives, as this is the issue that Graceland is fighting.  There are other options in that it could be used for Wrestling, Boxing, or MMA events or even a minor league hockey team.  It would be cool if they built a Memphis Wrestling HOF/Museum there.  

I wonder if the other buildings will be incorporated into the plans such as the Pipkin building and Creative Arts building.  I'm not sure how much they are being used anymore.  I know they were doing Roller Derby there.   

These are all the buildings/facilities that will be incorporated: https://www.libertyparkmemphis.com/venues

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4 hours ago, DRG901 said:

The Coliseum has been closed and not used since 2006.   It's a very hot issue in Memphis, many want it renovated in some form and many have been in favor of tearing it down.   It is not ADA compliant (part of the reason it shut down-  the other reason is a non-complete clause with the FedExForum having concert events over 5000-6000, some number in that range).   In the past few years there have been groups that have cleaned it and shown it to potential investors for something to happen down the line.    I'm sure something will come of it eventually, especially if everything around it in this project gets built.

 

The large area in the middle between the Coliseum and Central Avenue that is west of the Liberty Bowl was built in 2010 on the site of where the Fair was always held.  "Tiger Lane"-  it's the main tailgating area for football games.   That is staying as is.   A lot of parking has been lost but there is still some close to the Stadium.  I originally heard there was supposed to be parking garages built somewhere around for stadium events, not sure about that according to these plans though.  And a lot of renovations have gone into the Liberty Bowl itself the past 5 years or so-  new seats, new scoreboards and things like that.  If this gets built I think it would be great for restaurant/bar options close by as well as hotels for big events like the Liberty Bowl game etc.

Thanks, I graduated from UofM almost 10 years ago so I knew most of that. My thing is if they're going to build a special events center they could just renovate to coliseum instead and use it for that purpose. I did not know that it once hosted hockey and I've wanted UofM to have a hockey team for a few years but that's not a possibility right now with schools cutting sports left and right.

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1 hour ago, 21jump said:

Thanks, I graduated from UofM almost 10 years ago so I knew most of that. My thing is if they're going to build a special events center they could just renovate to coliseum instead and use it for that purpose. I did not know that it once hosted hockey and I've wanted UofM to have a hockey team for a few years but that's not a possibility right now with schools cutting sports left and right.

I believe the group trying to save the Coliseum tried to pitch ideas to incorporate it into this with basketball courts etc if I recall correctly but the city turned it down to keep it with their own plan.   I went to a lot of hockey games there as a kid.  If it gets renovated would love to see that again (the Riverkings have left Southaven recently so no local team).  Also I would think it would make sense to move the Hustle of the NBA G League to the Coliseum from Southaven if it ever becomes possible.   Who knows what'll happen though.  I was originally one for tearing it down thinking it's not needed but if all of this pans out I'd love to see it back to active use.

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5 hours ago, 21jump said:

Thanks, I graduated from UofM almost 10 years ago so I knew most of that. My thing is if they're going to build a special events center they could just renovate to coliseum instead and use it for that purpose. I did not know that it once hosted hockey and I've wanted UofM to have a hockey team for a few years but that's not a possibility right now with schools cutting sports left and right.

The Coliseum is way too small and outdated for that purpose. They wouldn’t be able to attract any kinds of events that the Special Events Center could. 

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On 8/14/2020 at 1:22 PM, DRG901 said:

I believe the group trying to save the Coliseum tried to pitch ideas to incorporate it into this with basketball courts etc if I recall correctly but the city turned it down to keep it with their own plan.   I went to a lot of hockey games there as a kid.  If it gets renovated would love to see that again (the Riverkings have left Southaven recently so no local team).  Also I would think it would make sense to move the Hustle of the NBA G League to the Coliseum from Southaven if it ever becomes possible.   Who knows what'll happen though.  I was originally one for tearing it down thinking it's not needed but if all of this pans out I'd love to see it back to active use.

I personally would rather the Hustle stay in Mississippi or move to Nashville. I think it'll be great for both cities if the Preds minor league team played in Memphis and the Gizz minor league team played in Nashville. It would be a great opportunity to market the teams within the state and give people the opportunity to get to know some of the young players on each team.

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53 minutes ago, 21jump said:

I personally would rather the Hustle stay in Mississippi or move to Nashville. I think it'll be great for both cities if the Preds minor league team played in Memphis and the Gizz minor league team played in Nashville. It would be a great opportunity to market the teams within the state and give people the opportunity to get to know some of the young players on each team.

Yeah, I think the Hustle are better being in Southaven as opposed to the Mid-South Coliseum.  There's no love lost between Memphis and Nashville sports teams, so I don't know how well minor league teams would be supported in the opposite city.  The RiverKings played in the Southern Professional Hockey League, which is the third tier below the NHL, and is not affiliated with any NHL teams.  The American Hockey League is the top tier and the East Coast Hockey League is 2nd tier, both are affiliated with NHL teams.  Nashville's AHL and ECHL teams are in Milwaukee and the Cape Coral - Fort Myers area.  All NHL teams have an AHL affiliate, but there are 6 NHL teams that do not have an ECHL affiliate (Ducks, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Kings, Canadiens, and Sharks.)  It would be nice if the Coliseum could be renovated, and Memphis get an ECHL team affiliated with one of those NHL teams.   I think they are likely to draw better at an updated Mid-South Coliseum than the Landers Center.  

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2 hours ago, MDC26 said:

Yeah, I think the Hustle are better being in Southaven as opposed to the Mid-South Coliseum.  There's no love lost between Memphis and Nashville sports teams, so I don't know how well minor league teams would be supported in the opposite city.  The RiverKings played in the Southern Professional Hockey League, which is the third tier below the NHL, and is not affiliated with any NHL teams.  The American Hockey League is the top tier and the East Coast Hockey League is 2nd tier, both are affiliated with NHL teams.  Nashville's AHL and ECHL teams are in Milwaukee and the Cape Coral - Fort Myers area.  All NHL teams have an AHL affiliate, but there are 6 NHL teams that do not have an ECHL affiliate (Ducks, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Kings, Canadiens, and Sharks.)  It would be nice if the Coliseum could be renovated, and Memphis get an ECHL team affiliated with one of those NHL teams.   I think they are likely to draw better at an updated Mid-South Coliseum than the Landers Center.  

Like the idea of a hockey team at a renovated MSC. That would be cool

On 8/13/2020 at 4:29 PM, 21jump said:

This looks amazing and I hope it gets built. I wonder why they're planning on keeping the Mid South Coliseum if they're building an indoor sportsplex? They should transfer the building to the University of Memphis if they're just going to add tarps to it. I'm sure the university can find something innovative to do with it.  Also, what is going to happen with parking and tailgating for football games at LBMS? 

That being said, this is a wonderful development.  If they ever modernize LBMS in conjunction with this development the city and university will have something to be incredibly proud of.

The Coca Cola building next door to  lbms is available 18 acres there. They should consider building a new stadium there. And tear down LB for parking and additional tailgating. Just my thoughts 

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14 hours ago, Memphisborn said:

Like the idea of a hockey team at a renovated MSC. That would be cool

The Coca Cola building next door to  lbms is available 18 acres there. They should consider building a new stadium there. And tear down LB for parking and additional tailgating. Just my thoughts 

I doubt that would even be feasible.  The stadium needs to be more centralized in the park as opposed to tucked into a corner, hemmed in by two sets of railroad tracks.  They could incorporate that area into the park somehow, or even use it for parking, but I don't think it would be a good spot for a stadium.  

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