PLAN 'C' FOR ARENA SITE 

PLAN 'C' FOR ARENA SITE

Mayors Willie Herenton of Memphis and Jim Rout of Shelby County strained mightily to present what looked like a compromise arena-site selection at their sweltering mid-afternoon press conference Wednesday atop the Rock & Soul Museum downtown.

The very choice of a venue for the announcement, of course, gave the game away. The winner was Mayor Herenton's choice -- Site B, the Linden Avenue site which he'd held to stubbornly for more than two months despite the insistence of Mayor Rout and an official site-selection committee that Site A, on Union Avenue opposite AutoZone Park, was to be preferred.

On Wednesday afternoon, the two mayors tried to pass off the ultimate locaton as a brand-new "Site C," but clearly it was the Linden site with modifications -- notably the turning of the building on its axis so as to present a north front toward Union Avenue, and a tree-lined mini-parkway which will open the arena, visually and access-wise, to Union.

The letter 'C' might,in one sense, stand for "cosmetic," but the changes will probably have a larger impact than that suggests.

An unspoken context for the tug-of-war between the mayors was both racial and political.

Mayor Herenton was determined to locate the arena close to southern, blighted areas of the central downtown area (including a newly built cluster of public housing units), so as to give the area a developmental momentum and a gloss more consistent with neighboring areas to the north.

Mayor Rout and most members of the city establishment wanted the site further north, for the same reasons in reverse. The amendments to the Linden site, which establish both a north and a south entrance point, in effect are designed to give both sides the essence of what they wanted.

GENERAL AREA OF THE ARENA

CLOSEUP: SITE OF THE ARENA

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

Blogs

News Blog

FBI Warns of Online Shopping Scams

News Blog

Forrest Family Sues City Over Gravesites

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: DJSteveMagic

From My Seat

Frank's Faves (Part 1)

Beyond the Arc

Jevon Carter’s Debut Brings Hope To Dismal Grizz Weekend

Tiger Blue

#3 Tennessee 102, Tigers 92

News Blog

TVA Says It's 'Committed' to Not Use Aquifer Wells

News Blog

State Liquor Laws On Trial at U.S. Supreme Court

We Saw You

Stumbling Santa, Crosstown Concourse, Red Boa Ball and more!

ADVERTISEMENT

More by John Branston

  • Pyramid History 101

    Bass Pro should acknowledge the big pointy building’s backstory.
    • May 14, 2015
  • Let it Be

    What to do about the Fairgrounds? How about nothing?
    • Jan 29, 2015
  • Let’s Go, Shelby County Schools!

    Some suggestions for how the new Shelby County Schools system can hold its own in the years to come.
    • Aug 14, 2014
  • More »
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

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