The Mid-South Coliseum has been saved, according to the group that has worked for years to preserve the structure.
Demolishing the Coliseum was a central part of previous plans to transform the Memphis Fairgrounds into a youth sports mecca. But state leaders gave their blessing on a new plan Monday that — at least — leaves the building in place. That was enough for the grassroots Coliseum Coalition to celebrate.
"The Coliseum is officially saved!" the Coalition wrote on Facebook and Twitter Monday.
For that exclamation, the group pointed to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland's plan for the Fairgrounds. In its third phase, the plan would put Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) funds with private investment to "achieve the reactivation, adaptive reuse, or redevelopment of the Mid-South Coliseum," the Coalition said.
"These are huge wins for the Coliseum, and big steps forward to a great Fairgrounds," reads the group post. "We still have to make Phase 3 happen and get the Coliseum open, but like the rest of Memphis, the Coliseum and Fairgrounds have some strong winds in their sails."