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TennBear

Planning for a New Football Stadium

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Below is the link to the MDN editorial on the call for plans to build a new stadium at the Fairgrounds. I would like to hear some viewpoints. I looks like the mayor is really trying to push this issue. My thoughts match Harold Byrd in that if it is for the Memphis Tigers, it should be at the school. My thoughts are that it should be explored as to what the purpose is for. Is it to act as starting point to rebuild the fairgrounds/Orange Mound area, is it for a new pro-team expansion, is it for the Liberty Bowl? What is it's purpose. I say that if it's for the University of Memphis, then it should be on campus. If it is for a new pro team or the Liberty Bowl that it should be downtown. If the purpose is to help rebuild the fairgrounds, why isn't it just as good to spend the $50M to upgrade the current stadium to meet the disablities act and upgrade facilities. It would take much less time and be less of an impact on the city and the environment. I think that the populace should just say NO to an idea that I don't think has come. Your views>>>>

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/Editorial/...d.aspx?id=96829

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My only concern pertaining to building the stadium on campus is one thing: space. There's not enough room on both the Main Campus and the South Campus to build a new football stadium. Sure the stadium itself probably wouldn't take much space, but then you also have to consider availability of parking on site.

I believe the only way I can see an on-campus football stadium ever happening at the University of Memphis is if they commit eminent domain and acquire hundreds of houses to make that happen. If that's the case, then you can expect homeowners to kill the issue at state.

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My only concern pertaining to building the stadium on campus is one thing: space. There's not enough room on both the Main Campus and the South Campus to build a new football stadium. Sure the stadium itself probably wouldn't take much space, but then you also have to consider availability of parking on site.

I believe the only way I can see an on-campus football stadium ever happening at the University of Memphis is if they commit eminent domain and acquire hundreds of houses to make that happen. If that's the case, then you can expect homeowners to kill the issue at state.

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The south campus would be a great location... its located in the heart of the city and has all the athletic facilties. The main campus is already to full. I would hate to see them put it in the fairgrounds because its such a dying area. I would really like the see it go downtown over in the pinch area or even by the forum. But if memphis ever wants a shot to get into a major confrence, then building it on one of the campus is their best shot.

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Okay, I had to pull up a map of the South Campus on Google Earth, and this is pretty much what I got:

universityofmemphis-southcampus.jpg

To build a new football stadium would most likely require razing the buildings on the north side of the complex, and would take up pretty much half of the campus footprint (parking included), but that's just my two cents from an estimation standpoint.

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The south campus would be a great location... its located in the heart of the city and has all the athletic facilties. The main campus is already to full. I would hate to see them put it in the fairgrounds because its such a dying area. I would really like the see it go downtown over in the pinch area or even by the forum. But if memphis ever wants a shot to get into a major confrence, then building it on one of the campus is their best shot.

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Honestly, I don't think the location (downtown, fairgrounds or university) is going to affect whether Memphis gets into a major conference. It's more newness, size (needs to be 60K, not 50K), and the university's pursuit of excellence in football. Downtown offers so many more advantages than the university, imo.

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A reconfigured and renovated Fairgrounds would be a fine place for a new stadium. South Campus is cramped and way too residential for a major football stadium and Park/Cherry/Rhodes/Getwell don't have enough traffic capacity for gamedays. Not that Hollywood, Southern, Central, and Parkway are great, but they do have more capacity to get lots of cars to/from games and are on a rail line that :::could::: be a future light rail link.

Wherever it's built, it needs to be built with consideration for a future NFL franchise: chairback seats, high-intensity lighting, high-capacity concourses, and room to expand to 75,000 seats and 120+ suites. That may cost a bit more initially, but given the likelihood that an NFL franchise might move in the next 20 years (high), we should at least be ready for the possibility. Otherwise we get into a Pyramid vs. Forum issue again if an NFL owner gets a hankerin' to move.

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A reconfigured and renovated Fairgrounds would be a fine place for a new stadium. South Campus is cramped and way too residential for a major football stadium and Park/Cherry/Rhodes/Getwell don't have enough traffic capacity for gamedays. Not that Hollywood, Southern, Central, and Parkway are great, but they do have more capacity to get lots of cars to/from games and are on a rail line that :::could::: be a future light rail link.

Wherever it's built, it needs to be built with consideration for a future NFL franchise: chairback seats, high-intensity lighting, high-capacity concourses, and room to expand to 75,000 seats and 120+ suites. That may cost a bit more initially, but given the likelihood that an NFL franchise might move in the next 20 years (high), we should at least be ready for the possibility. Otherwise we get into a Pyramid vs. Forum issue again if an NFL owner gets a hankerin' to move.

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I think the stadium is a massive diversion for Memphis. It's bad enough that Memphis and its money may be diverted towards building something that gives us nothing that we don't already have, the debate might drive the University of Memphis in that direction as well. If the university is to become something great, then they need to stop spending organizational and financial resources on athletics and start spending them on teaching, research and students (like devoting resources to create crosswalks and underpasses so students can walk safely to classes across Central and Southern.)

At this point, I would still bet that the stadium idea won't go anywhere, but I think Memphis or the University can be lulled into doing it. Just look at the differences between this board's previous stadium thread (where the debate centered on whether we should do it) with this thread (where the debate's been primarily how we should do it) to see how the lull might happen.

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Honestly, I don't think the location (downtown, fairgrounds or university) is going to affect whether Memphis gets into a major conference. It's more newness, size (needs to be 60K, not 50K), and the university's pursuit of excellence in football. Downtown offers so many more advantages than the university, imo.

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The stadium should be downtown period. That way city, state, county, federal and any other funds could be used and no one can be mad or protest. You can also get the same plan that the FEF got by building by the Pyramid side.

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I was wondering where would an on campus stadium go? If they put it in that parking lot on the south side of the stadium, can you imagine how cramped it would be? If you guys want an on campus stadium, the only way I see it happening is if they give the fairgrounds to the U of M. Actually, that wouldn't be a bad idea. We could use a University District. As for a new stadium downtown, I'd rather not. Whenever I see that huge plot of surface parking around Nashville's stadium, I cringe. Land downtown could be used for better things. I don't think we can attract an NFL team here any time soon, so why build a world class stadium for a college team and a couple of annual football games? I think a good model for Memphis to look at would be the Rose Bowl. How does the Liberty Bowl compare and contrast?

Edit- I wanted to also add that if they were to build a parking garage for a stadium downtown, it would have to fit around 7,500 cars for a 69,000 seat stadium. Peabody Place garage has about 1,000 parking spaces. That would be a huge cost for a garage that would only be heavily used for less than 20 days out of a year. Personally, I would like to see a new stadium happen if the cost for upgrading the Liberty bowl would be 75% of the cost of just building a new one. If they do build a new one, I want to see it built at the old Mall of Memphis site.

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I think a new stadium is un-realistic. You look at the pros and cons, the cons far outweigh the pros. where as a good renovation is far better. We have to remember this is a College football team, who doesn't even sell out their crowds at the current stadium. They play roughly 10 games a season there? and then we have the liberty bowl? a few high school marching band competitions, and maybe some soccer matches. Is that really worth the price were talking about?? I'd much rather give that money to U of M to i don't know, grow their academic department, expand R and D.

No way were going to have an NFL team in the next 20 years in which case a stadium we build today would be old and outdated 20 years from now.

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I think a new stadium is un-realistic. You look at the pros and cons, the cons far outweigh the pros. where as a good renovation is far better. We have to remember this is a College football team, who doesn't even sell out their crowds at the current stadium. They play roughly 10 games a season there? and then we have the liberty bowl? a few high school marching band competitions, and maybe some soccer matches. Is that really worth the price were talking about?? I'd much rather give that money to U of M to i don't know, grow their academic department, expand R and D.

No way were going to have an NFL team in the next 20 years in which case a stadium we build today would be old and outdated 20 years from now.

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I was wondering where would an on campus stadium go? If they put it in that parking lot on the south side of the stadium, can you imagine how cramped it would be?

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If you're talking downtown retractable-roof stadium you aren't talking about just the NFL. You're talking about more conventions. Keeping COGIC. Maybe luring Future Farmers of America from Indy or something like that (conventions with >20K attendees). Potential Final Fours. Along with SHC, LB, and Tiger football.

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The city/Robert Lipscomb won't release the report of a consultant they hired (Convention, Sports & Leisure, International), citing errors and "gross assumptions". Looks like its about to turn into a real pissing war between the city and the consultant group. :huh:

At any rate, this does seem rather suspicious - almost as if the $150 million price tag was not corroborated by CSL...

CA article here>>

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Agree. Looks like the report is not what they expected. Rumors are already rampant that the new stadium will cost at least 300 million. Thats a mighty high price tag for a stadium that does not hold an NFL team.

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I don't think the city of Memphis would be well advised to spend 300 million dollars on a football stadium at this point in time. There are things we all would love to have and things we can afford in our own personal lives and the same holds true for the city; so I am not sure its a wise use of taxpayer funds to spend that type of expenditure on a stadium for a college football team stadium, retractable roof to enable other functions or not. If a study, or perhaps studies, could show that Memphis could really capitalize on such a facility......then perhaps it could be sold to the public, but if I was a taxpayer in the city of Memphis I would want the city to slow down on the talk of further facility expenditures until at least the city figures out what it is going to do with the MidSouth Coliseum, the Fairgrounds, and finally dispenses with the Pyramid in a finalized fashion. Too many balls in the air if you ask me.

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Agree. Looks like the report is not what they expected. Rumors are already rampant that the new stadium will cost at least 300 million.

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