Mid-South To Rumble On?

Before the FedEx Forum and The Pyramid, Memphis had the Mid-South Coliseum, and some are refusing to let it go away. 

Photo: AP Photo / The Commercial Appeal, Brandon Dill
A rally is held at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis Feb. 12. A group is lobbying to repurpose the city’s elder arena rather than have it demolished.

Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton is spearheading an effort to build a $230 million sports complex on the city’s fairgrounds, which would imply the demolition of the Mid-South Coliseum, shuttered since 2006. The arena’s history includes shows by Elvis and The Beatles, along with a storied history with professional wrestling (Jerry Lawler wrested Andy Kaufman in the building).

Memphis has spent years with the unused Pyramid, a misguided concept that that has been dormant since its NBA home team Grizzlies moved to the city’s youngest arena, FedEx Forum.

The Pyramid is about to reopen as a Bass Pro Shop. One older arena soon being filled with fishing tackle does not bode well for the future of the elder statesman Coliseum. However, a grassroots campaign wants to preserve the facility because of its history.

The coalition is called “Put the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in the Mid-South Coliseum.”

Wresting ties to the city run deep, with the Grizzlies recently hosting a “wrestling night” with wrestling-themed belts and appearances by Lawler and Ric Flair, according to the Memphis Business Journal. The newspaper noted that for decades Mid-South was “the center of the regional wrestling universe.” The coalition held a rally at the arena Feb. 12 and says it will plan more rallies to gain support.