The main floor of the MidSouth Coliseum.
The group advocating for a re-opened MidSouth Coliseum hopes to host events inside the now-shuttered building sometime this year.
The grassroots Coliseum Coalition began work to save the building in 2015. Last year, they proclaimed the Coliseum to be officially saved after state officials approved a city plan for the Fairgrounds, which included the building’s preservation. In between, the group led tours through the building to show that the building is in “excellent shape,” they said.
“Our VIP tours have been packed and are drawing people who’ve shied away in the past,” said Coliseum Coalition spokesman Marvin Stockwell. “A lot of people are realizing that the building's issues are solvable, and that the opportunities that the Coliseum presents are too good to be held back by old narratives.”
This year, the Coliseum Coalition plans to continue the tours and is planning another Roundhouse Revival event. So far, the group has hosted three of the Revival events, all of them outside the Coliseum.
Coalition president Roy Barnes said that with the city’s Fairgrounds plan approved, he hopes this fall’s Revival event will be inside the building. Further he said that this year’s bicentennial celebration’s for Memphis and Shelby County “represent a great opportunity to celebrate a place that has brought so many Mid-Southerners together for decades.”
“What a tremendous opportunity to welcome Memphians back into their building,” Barnes said. “We look forward to putting on another great community event that celebrates the authentic talent, creativity, and athleticism that put Memphis on the map. But this time, wouldn’t it be cool if we were under the dome!”