Effort aimed at readying Coliseum to host Roundhouse Revival 4 and other previtalizing events this fall.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Grassroots and nonprofit leaders, City of Memphis officials and scores of volunteers will take part in a second Coliseum clean-up from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10. The effort is to prepare the building to host Roundhouse Revival 4 on Sept. 21, and to host other previtalizing events this fall.
Clean Memphis will lead the effort, while the Coliseum Coalition will work to coordinate the event and recruit volunteers. People who wish to participate must sign up in advance at coliseumcoalition.org/clean. There is a 50-person limit. Volunteers will receive lunch and a VIP Coliseum tour at the conclusion of the clean-up.
Before the first Coliseum clean-up on April 27, City of Memphis officials moved stored items and prepped the site for volunteers. Work on moving stored items is ongoing. Memphis Public Library staff and interns collected papers and memorabilia, and plans are in the works to create an online digital collection, preserve certain items in the library’s permanent collection, and help curate items for display during the Coliseum’sprevitalizing period.
“We are excited to be a part of the previtalization of this historic place,” said Clean Memphis Executive Director Janet Boscarino. “Part of our mission is to raise awareness around materials having value. To that end, we will focus on upcycling and recycling materials, avoiding landfilling as much as possible.”
The City’s Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) application set the stage for the clean-up when the City, to demonstrate how its plan differed from past plans added the language: “The Mid-South Coliseum and other historic buildings are preserved and not demolished.” The TDZ application was approved by the State building commission in November. The Coliseum Coalition’s building assessment in 2016 found the building in excellent shape, and a second assessment by Allen & Hoshall – part of the City’s TDZ due diligence – corroborated that finding.
“The Coliseum has been officially saved, and soon it will be cleaned up and ready to host the public once again,” said Marvin Stockwell, co-founder of both the Coliseum Coalition and Friends of the Fairgrounds, which conducted a yearlong stakeholder input process. “When people get to see what our VIPs have been seeing for the last two years, we will find the collective civic will to reopen the building. Investors will see thepublic’s love of the building, and they’ll see the opportunity.”
Over the last four years, the Coliseum Coalition has drawn large, diverse crowds to Roundhouse Revival 1, 2 and 3, all of which were daylong previtalizing events featuring music, wrestling and basketball. Coliseum Coalition President Roy Barnes said the events and the tours have all contributed to the growing public opinion that the building has a future, and he said he’s excited to have the Roundhouse Revival series finally move inside the Coliseum.
“The VIP tours we’ve done in conjunction with the City have been packed, and it’s great to have small groupsof potential investors tour the building, but it’s exciting to think of the public having the same opportunity,”Barnes said. “What a tremendous opportunity it will be, after 13 years, to welcome Memphians back into their building!”