Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) is legally challenging the Memphis Grizzlies’ non-compete agreement that is blocking it from adding a concert hall to Graceland.
The Grizzlies’ FedexForum use agreement with the city bans other publically-funded places in the city from holding concerts with more than 5,000 attendees, but EPE has filed a declaratory judgement action with the Chancery Court of Shelby County to contest that, officials announced Wednesday.
After EPE agreed to change its plans from constructing a 6,200-seat concert hall to a multi-purpose facility between 50,000 and 75,000 square feet, City officials said they would still have the ability to sue for any damages caused to the city if the Grizzlies were to leave Memphis.
EPE officials also say that a representative for the Grizzlies told the enterprise that even if the multi-purpose facility is permitted, it would have usage limitations until the end of the franchise’s agreement with the FedexForum.
However, EPE's statement points out that the proposed multi-purpose facility is “substantially similar to the facility now proposed by the city of Memphis for the Fairgrounds,” which would operate with no limitations.
“Since no reasonable business person would have agreed to these two limitations, Elvis Presley Enterprises was left with no choice but to protect both itself and the city of Memphis by filing a declaratory judgment action, so that it can move forward with its business plans, continue to invest heavily in the Graceland campus in the Whitehaven community of Memphis, and bring more jobs and increase tourism in the community, Greater Memphis and Shelby County,” EPE’s statement read.
Depending on the court's ruling, EPE will move forward with it's original proposal for the 6,200 seat space or the multi-purpose facility. The original $50 million proposal also includes additional museum and retail spaces.