APPEALS COURT HEARS ARENA CASE 

APPEALS COURT HEARS ARENA CASE

Three appeals court judges meeting in Memphis heard both sides of the debate over a publicly funded $250 million NBA arena for the Memphis Grizzlies Monday. Plaintiff Duncan Ragsdale made his now familiar case that there must be a referendum before the city and county can pledge their credit for the project. Chancellor Walter Evans upheld that position in July, and the city and county appealed. The hearing, which lasted about an hour, centered on the question of public or private purpose. "Whatever purpose that exists is outweighed by private purpose," said Ragsdale. Almost all of the revenue sources from the proposed arena "have been bargained away to the Grizzlies," he said. Attorney Leo Bearman said the city and county properly complied with provisions of the Sports Authority Act in issuing bonds for the arena. He argued for a broad concept of public purpose, "not just what goes on at the footprint of the building." The judges gave no indication of when they might rule. Some of the judges' sharpest questioning seemed to favor the city and county. Justice Holly Lillard said building an arena, or even three of them, was clearly a valid public purpose if elected officials so decided. "How is it my job to be a super-legislator?" she asked Ragsdale. Justice Frank Crawford said the key question was whether there was compliance with the Sports Authority Act. If there was, he said, "then this thing is legal." The arena is expected to take two or three years to build. In the meantime the Grizzlies will play in The Pyramid.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The Latest

News Feature

The Six Fs: Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Food & Wine

Hen House Wine Bar Set to Open this Month in East Memphis

Tiger Blue

Tulsa 58, Tigers 57

Sports Feature

Memphis 901 FC Transfer Tracker - Pierre da Silva Off to Miami

Memphis Gaydar

OUTMemphis Celebrates Pandemic Wins

Beyond the Arc

Can the Grizzlies Keep the Streak Alive in Minnesota?

News Blog

Council Renaming Commission Discusses Requirements

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2021

Contemporary Media
65 Union, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation