The Pyramid’s Big Idea

Alan Freeman, GM of The Pyramid in Memphis, Tenn., has a problem: The Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA team that manages Memphis’ FedExForum, has a non-compete clause to block events from happening at The Pyramid. So how is Freeman supposed to bring concerts, family shows and other events to his venue?

He has an idea. Basically, the GM is calling for a plan that would offer the Grizzlies a share of the revenues from events the team would agree not to block. At least that’s what he told the Memphis County Commission’s public service and tourism committee February 14th, according to the city’s Commercial-Appeal.

Freeman reportedly said he would also offer the Grizzlies some luxury suites for events at The Pyramid, adding that his plan wouldn’t put the venues in competition.

“For instance, they’ve got ‘Disney On Ice‘ this weekend,” the paper quoted Freeman as saying. “If we had a show that didn’t attract anywhere close to the same type of audience as Disney on Ice, that’s the type of show I want to be able to have permission to do.”

When Pollstar contacted Freeman for comment, the GM said only that the plan had been submitted to the Grizzlies and he had not yet heard back from the team.

Meanwhile, Stan Meadows, senior corporate counsel for the Grizzlies, told The Commercial-Appeal, “This is the first I’ve heard of this proposal and, of course, we’re always open to entertain new proposals but it does not seem promising.”

The Grizzlies have reportedly said any national events at The Pyramid or Mid-South Coliseum – even if they don’t compete with a Grizzlies-staged event – would financially hurt the FedExForum, and taxpayers would be put at risk if dedicated revenue streams fall short.

“When people say we’re going to deny Memphis this act and this act and this act, remember: There are only so many dollars in every market,” Meadows reportedly said last year.

The Grizzlies scored the non-compete clause in 2001 negotiations with the city and county. In return, the team accepted responsibility for the venue’s operating losses.