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The Mid-South Coliseum Likely To Be Demolished

February 24th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
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The Mid-South Coliseum–the “House that Jerry Lawler Built”–may be no more.

Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton was quoted in a recent article that appeared in the Memphis Business Journal, saying the Coliseum, which was the longtime site of major concerts, minor sports (indoor soccer), Memphis State Tigers basketball, and Monday Night Wrestling in Memphis, will most likely be torn down, along with the remains of the Liberty Land amusement park and surrounding facilities at the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

The MBJ writes:

Wharton…also addressed the future of the Mid-South Coliseum, which the city closed in 2006 because of the prohibitive cost of bringing the venue into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Although this is clearly a facility that holds a special place in the hearts of many Memphians, we do not believe that we have the financial wherewithal to make the necessary upgrades to re-open the Coliseum, nor is it apparent that sufficient market demand exists in Memphis for a venue of its size to be open year-round,” Wharton said. “Our intention now is to convene a public hearing to determine the best options for its future, which may include its eventual demolition.”

As the Memphis Mayor closed his press conference, Jerry Lawler emerged from the front row, disguised as a reporter, and threw a fireball into the face of the Wharton, who defeated the King in the city’s mayoral race last year, screaming, “We’ll see about that, brother!”

File under Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis Wrestling and Jerry Lawler.

  1. PG-13
    February 24th, 2010 at 19:00 | #1

    that is so sad, i have very fond memories of going to MSC. I went to a ton of Riverkings games there, I have a few memories of being younger and seeing local wrestling, but what I remember to do this day is going to MSC for Hulk Hogans “retirement tour” in 92 or 93 and leaving with a pair of Brutus the Barber foam shears. well this is a sad day indeed

  2. Don Christian
    February 25th, 2010 at 06:39 | #2

    Not only saw the King in action many, many great times, but also; Memphis State basketball games, several James Brown concerts, the 1st big British invasion concert in town (The Dave Clark 5), The Rolling Stones, The Beatles (both shows) and much more. And now, like most of the best of Memphis it’s gone or soon will be, very sad!

  3. February 25th, 2010 at 07:11 | #3

    I will also remember the MSC as being the home of one of my favorite basketball teams ever-the Memphis (State) Tigers with all time favorite Keith Lee….

  4. Cousar
    February 25th, 2010 at 07:58 | #4

    I thought the Coliseum was a protected landmark, which is why it hasn’t been demolished already.

  5. Brian
    February 26th, 2010 at 13:25 | #5

    Mismanagement is what ultimately destroyed the Coliseum. In addition to wrestling, the Memphis Riverkings were a loyal tenant and drew a decent crowd, but Beth Wade and company treated them like crap. I don’t often support teams moving but I fully supported the Riverkings going to Desoto (by the way if you have never been to the Desoto Civic Center, it is a wonderful venue) and she simply did not like the “type of crowd wrestling drew.” I recall here saying that once. I never understood why they didn’t consider moving the Lady Tigers to the Coliseum for more games after the Tigers moved to the Pyramid. In addition, the venue still could have been used for some concerts, etc.

  6. admin
    February 26th, 2010 at 14:36 | #6

    Brian, I know all too well about Beth Wade–she did everything she could to force wrestling out of the venue, raising the rent and mandating an expensive security “force” be hired to “control” the rowdy wrestling fans, whom she always looked down upon.

    That said, it was pretty funny watching the passive-aggressive conversations between Lawler and Wade backstage. They both clearly thought the other was vile and insignificant, masking their hostility with smiling faces.

  7. February 28th, 2010 at 16:59 | #7

    i remember MSC all monday night wrestling and all great memories .
    that house that Jerry The King Lawler built and all great events in there like
    elvis presley and beatles and james brown and our memphis tigers basketball team,
    our all time memphis tigers keith lee im sorry to heard that MSC will be tear down
    im going miss MSC but they will never take memories of MSC from us

  1. March 12th, 2010 at 18:12 | #1