City unveils $684M plan to renovate sports stadiums, build new 901 FC home

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 2:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2022 at 2:22 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The City of Memphis is looking to invest big money into its local sports teams.

A new proposal calls for four major projects:

  • A newly-renovated FedExForum
  • A newly-renovated Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium
  • A newly-renovated AutoZone Park
  • A new stadium to house Memphis 901 FC

The total cost of the project is an estimated $684 million. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is asking the state of Tennessee to foot $350 million of that bill.

Strickland says he believes FedExForum and Liberty Stadium need extensive renovations, while AutoZone Park needs slight renovations.

The ultimate goal is to keep the professional teams in Memphis, and to give the University of Memphis a better position when it comes to conference realignment.

The mayor also touts an increase in jobs, sales tax revenue and economic activity in the form of $21 billion over 15 years from operations and construction.

The city has hired Younger and Associates, the same team that provided an economic analysis for Nashville, which is planning on building an all-new $2 billion stadium for the Tennessee Titans.

The proposed Memphis 901 FC stadium would take the place of the Mid-South Coliseum, which would be partially incorporated into the new proposed design.

Strickland said he’s had talks with a group who wants to preserve the Mid-South Coliseum about the plan.

Strickland says having both baseball and soccer at AutoZone Park has damaged the field to the point where a new stadium is necessary.

The proposed stadium would include up to 10,000 fixed seats with another 5,000 possible for concerts and could be completed by Spring 2025.

Strickland says FedExForum has been passed over by other, newer NBA stadiums, but he says there’s no need to build a new arena.

“It doesn’t meet the standards now,” he said.

The Grizzlies are contracted to stay in Memphis until 2029.

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