Update on the Fairgrounds – March 2010
The purpose of this email is to update all interested parties on progress and developments concerning the City of Memphis’ plans for the former Mid-South Fairgrounds.
Greening and Parking
Last week, we received permission from the City Council to move forward with the remaining demolition of structures and asphalt on the Fairgrounds. Note that this demolition schedule does not include the Mid-South Coliseum, whose future is still undetermined. Our planned demolition should be concluded by this fall and is not expected to interfere with University of Memphis football games or other events at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
As stated in last month’s email, we will expand parking on the Fairgrounds site for the upcoming football season by several thousand spaces. These spaces will be on a seeded/sodded “grassphalt” surface in place of the the old Libertyland structures which have been demolished and removed.
The Council’s fairgrounds committee also unanimously approved a recommendation to spend $666,000 on design expenses for the public green space feature that will connect East Parkway with the entrance to the Liberty Bowl; this recommendation will be taken up by the full Council tomorrow. We anticipate this design phase will be complete within six weeks, at which point the Council will consider funding the actual development and planting of this green space.
Flea Market, Roller Derby, and Liberty Bowl Brunch
We are still in negotiations with some other local venues about possibly relocating the popular Flea Market. We believe we may be close to a solution that will keep the Flea Market centrally-located and easily-accessible for the many thousands of vendors and patrons who enjoy it every month. The Flea Market will continue to operate on the Fairgrounds through April, and we hope to announce its new location by the end of March.
We also recently made the decision to exempt the Creative Arts Building and the Pipkin Building from our current demolition plans. We are negotiating with the Memphis Roller Derby and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl to see if these facilities will meet their needs for events this year.
Zippin Pippin Roller Coaster
The City Council of Green Bay, WI has approved a decision to acquire the intellectual property of the “Zippin Pippin” brand and some of the signage materials and other pieces of the ride for. Those materials are being transported to Wisconsin and the newly constructed Zippin Pippin should be open to the public in May of 2011. The unusable wood that was part of the roller coaster is being discarded.
An update on the Fairgrounds and more information will be available at the Executive Session of the City Council, which meets tomorrow, Tuesday, March 23, at 1:00 p.m. in City Hall. Please join us for this public discussion.