Though nowadays it seems like every arena either gets renovated or torn down because of the fact that the arena is outdated by today’s standards. A couple of week’s age, we looked back at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, MI. Now we move south to Memphis, TN as we look at the Mid-South Coliseum. Before I start all I have to say is please enjoy this trip down memory lane of the arena once called "The Entertainment Capital of the South"
Mid-South Coliseum Past & Present:
The Mid-South Coliseum was built in 1963 in Memphis, TN and the Coliseum closed it's doors in 2006 due to the fact that it wasn't up to code in certain aspects of the arena and would cost to much money to bring up to code. Now city is looking at possibly tearing down this arena because it has been unused since 2006 and they are looking at expanding the Fairgrounds. Certain members of the local area disagree with the idea of tearing it down and are trying to make a case for the Coliseum to avoid being demolished. I personally side with the people who don't want the Coliseum torn down, because in my opinion the arena isn't doing any harm staying up and it would allow families to bring their kids to the arena and share in the memories. Though I don't live anywhere near nor have I ever been to the Mid-South Coliseum, but I do know that keeping it around would also do wonders for keeping certain memories alive for those who were lucky enough to witness a concert, wrestling event, or any other event at the Legendary building.
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Mid-South Coliseum Has Been Home To:
The Mid-South Coliseum has since its fair share of legendary inhabitants from The Beatles & Evils Presley in the music business to Jerry Lawler vs Andy Kaufman in the Wrestling business. The Coliseum was one of the few stops for The Beatles on their final American Tour, the group played two concerts there on August 19th 1966. The Beatles weren't the only legendary figures to entertain at the Coliseum as the likes of Whitney Houston, The Jackson 5, Judas Priest, Eric Clapton & His Band, and many other big names of the music industry. I almost forgot that the "King of Rock N Roll" also played multiple concerts at the Coliseum. Elvis had his first concert in the Memphis on March 16, 1974 at the Mid-South Coliseum and then he another concert four days later at the arena again on March 20th. Elvis would have his last concert at the Coliseum on July 6, 1976. However, the Mid-South Coliseum hasn't just played host to some of the biggest names in the business, but they have been home to some of the biggest names in wrestling.
The Mid-South Coliseum was actually an arena that frequently hosted events from USWA/Memphis wrestling. Within the arenas hallowed halls the first Empty Arena Match took place between Terry Funk and Jerry "The King" Lawler. This match was a great brawl which, considering the type of match and those who are a part of it I wouldn't expect anything less. Roughly 6 months to a year after the Empty Arena match the Mid-South Coliseum saw another memorable moment. On April, 7 1982 wrestler Jerry Lawler finally collided with comedian Andy Kaufman; the match was that long and ended in disqualification after Lawler piledrove Kaufman twice. Kaufman was taken away in an ambulance.
I have absolutely no emotional attachment to the Mid-South Coliseum, but I do have an attachment to history. Also it would be hard to believe that a good amount of people in the Memphis area don't have an attachment of some sort to the building. In my honest opinion, if you don't conserve history, then history is forgotten!!! If you're going to knock it down, then do something to keep the memory alive because once again history is forgotten if not conserved.
Photos by: Mike Brown
For more Pictures visit: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/local-news/mid-south-coliseum
I love looking back wrestling's past. I view my job as bring new life to the part of wrestling some people thought was gone.