Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Revive the Roundhouse

Image from Wikipedia

The Mid-South Coliseum is a storied Memphis venue that has fallen on hard times. It used to house concerts by such acts as Elvis and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It was home to the United States Wrestling Association. It hosted many a basketball game and ice shows and roller derby and hockey games and cat shows. The Ringling Brothers Circus performed here. There were a lot of graduation ceremonies and church conventions held here and other city-wide community events. Some Cotton Carnival events were held here. The Mid-South Fair used it.

It closed after a 2006 decision that bringing it into compliance with ADA regulations would be cost-prohibitive, but there are a lot of people who think the building should not be demolished. If Sears Crosstown can be saved then so can the Mid-South Coliseum. There are events that want a space larger than a club venue but that don't need something the size of the Fed-Ex Forum. I just do not believe the Fed-Ex Forum decision-makers would allow their non-compete clause to contribute to a decision to tear down the Coliseum. We need a mid-sized venue like this, and we are losing a lot of events to North Mississippi because of this issue.

Save the Coliseum!

This past week-end there was an event held on the grounds to raise awareness of the issues and options. There was a lot of music:

Food trucks and vendor booths and basketball goals and wrestling.

We left before the wrestling started. Surely the Powers-That-Be will realize that it is more cost-effective to rehab this historic structure than to tear it down and... do what with it? Oh, nobody has a plan for a better use of the space? Well. that's just brilliant. I'm sure they'll think of something trendy that'll appeal to a key constituency.

See my coke above? That's the drink I'm contributing to the weekly Tuesday link-up at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog.


  1. Bulldoze it and pave a parking lot. (Remind you of a song from around 1970?) Things change and not always for the better.


  2. How sad that this beautiful building has fallen on disrepair. That's sometimes what happens when buildings must be made ADA compliant. Like you, I hope you the powers that be will find a way to save this beautiful building.

    Thanks for sharing this venue, as well as your hot dog and coke with us for T this Tuesday. I hope they are able to find a way to save the Coliseum.

  3. That sounds sad! Happy T-Day !

  4. I simply don't understand the logic of discarding the old, or that 'new' is always better. perhaps your post will convince some people it's worth saving...well done.

    1. lol, just have to say nobody with any power over this will ever see this post much less be influenced by it. But sometimes you just hafta vent, ya know? And there are influential folks on the side of saving the coliseum, so there is hope :)

  5. We've lost a lot of great old buildings because of this type of thinking. Hopefully they will come up with an alternative to destruction.

  6. Best wishes to all those striving to save this old building. I don't understand the mindset of councils etc sometimes. New isn't always better and surely the cost of upgrading the building would be recouped over the years any way. It's not as if it will be paid for outright and someone would be out of pocket. We had a new health centre build completed last year but it means the old town hospital will be left to ruin. It can't be pulled down because it's a listed building. So why oh why couldn't it have been converted on the inside (no probs there for listed buildings), and have sensitive annexes added to the outside!?! Greased palms is my guess....Sheesh! Get me off my soapbox! Lol.
    Many thanks for your comments about the butterflies and the FB fiasco. It seems I have to start again. Oh well, it will be nice making friends all over again, lol. Happy T day :o))

  7. It sure would be a sad day to see that classic structure demolished.
    So often it comes down to the almighty dollar and if it costs more to save something...
    well there it goes.
    Hope the rally helped and that someone gets busy with a viable plan.
    Happy T Day
    p.s. the only time I drink coke is with a little rum ;-)

  8. Sorry to hear that this building is in danger of being torn down. I like stadiums that are not named after corporations...unfortunately, there don't seem to be too many of those around anymore. :( Hope that T Day cheers you up!

  9. I hope they find a way to preserve this beautiful venue. Hope you had a great Tuesday!

  10. OH i do hope they will save such a unique building! Happy Tday! Hugs! deb