Strickland hopes to keep professional sports teams in Memphis with $684 million stadium renovation plan

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – There was a big turnout for the Memphis Grizzlies’ home opener on Wednesday night. Thousands of fans filled FedExForum and the playing field.

This comes after recent talks about renovating the stadium in Memphis.

Earlier this week, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented the Memphis City Council with a nearly $700 million plan for renovations at four Memphis-area stadiums.

Strickland says the current FedExForum doesn’t meet the standards of other NBA stadiums around the country, but he wants to change that.

The plan also includes renovations at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, where the Memphis Tigers play, and AutoZone Park, home of the Redbirds.

Strickland also wants to replace the Mid-South Coliseum in Midtown with a new soccer stadium for Memphis 901 FC.

“Liberty Park, as you said, a rebuilt football stadium, a new football stadium, a new sports complex and private development that will continue there,” Strickland said. “Every year over a million people come to the sports complex alone, so I mean we have all kinds of activities, family fun. It’s just going to be a great destination for Memphians.”

The total cost of the project is 684 million dollars.

Strickland is asking the state of Tennessee for $350 million to help with the costs.

He says his overall goal with the proposal is to keep professional teams here in Memphis and better position the University of Memphis to compete in conferences.

Strickland says these projects can also increase job availability, income and economic activity in the city.

He anticipates $21 million will be brought into the city over 15 years from the operation and construction of these stadiums.

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