Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Pyramid Arena and Mud Island Marina, Memphis

Annie of Little Rock Daily Photo posted this great view of the M Bridge, taken as she was coming over the bridge from Arkansas coming into Memphis. It showed the Pyramid Arena on the left, and I thought that you might enjoy seeing a different view of that here today.

The Pyramid is a sports and entertainment/mulit-purpose arena that was built in 1991, and is jointly owned by the City of Memphis and Shelby County. The pyramid design was chosen as a reference to Memphis' namesake, Memphis, Egypt, which is home to ancient pyramids. It is the third largest pyramid in the world, and is higher---at 32 stories---than both the Statue of Liberty and the Taj Mahal. This photo was taken from the residential side of Mud Island, and you can see the Mud Island Marina, operated by the Memphis Yacht Club, in the foreground.

This arena was the home of the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team (currently #1 in the nation) for many years, and at that time was nicknamed the "Tomb of Doom", and it was also home for several years to the Wonders Cultural Series. It has been a popular choice for many local high school and college graduations. We saw both my sister (college) and my older son (high school) graduate there, and also took our sons to many ice shows and circus performances there when they were younger.

When the FedEx forum was recently built for the Memphis Grizzlies pro basketball team, the contract was written that the Univ. of Memphis Tigers would also play at the Forum, and that most major ice, circus, and music shows would also use that venue. I will try to post a photo of the Forum in the next day or two. Currently, the Pyramid isn't being used for anything, except occasionally for stage sets for movies being filmed in Memphis. Ideas for future use of the Pyramid have included an indoor theme park, a Memphis branch of the Smithsonian, and most recently Bass Pro Shops has expressed an interest in locating a superstore there.

I would hate to see this facility go...it's unique to Memphis, and an eye-catching part of our skyline. What do you think might be a good use for this attractive structure?

14 comments:

Jana said...

Great photo and history of the building!

Kate said...

So glad you posted this photo. When I saw Annie's blog, I wondered about the pyramid in Memphis. Now I know. Thanks for all the information!!

dot said...

I've never heard of it but it sure is an interesting place. I wonder why they quit using it for graduations and things like that.

Dan said...

Great pic and love the history of the place. Too bad it has fallen into disuse. As for potential uses of it, there is an indoor ski area in Dubai, UAE. It is part of a shopping center. I wonder if something like this would work in Memphis. Maybe indoor ski slop, ice-skating and shopping?

Rambling Round said...

This has been built since my last trip to Memphis, probably about 1990. Great building!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

You've got me wanting to go back to Memphis. :)

Annie said...

It's so interesting to me that the pyramid isn't being used consistently now and it is only 17 years old. Such a waste, really. I once saw Disney On Ice there, but that's the only time I've been inside.

Thanks for linking to me and giving information about the pyramid. I've linked again to you, just in case some haven't come over yet.

photowannabe said...

Hi, and thank you for this wonderful information and for answering my question about the pyramid.
I appreciate your stopping by my blog and leaving your kind words. Come again anytime.

oldmanlincoln said...

Well, this was an interesting post to look at and read. Nice job.

Steve Buser said...

I am putting my vote in for the Memphis branch of the Smithsonian. Do they have other branches? Just sounds like a wonderful idea.

-- steve buser
New Orleans Daily Photo

smilnsigh said...

Oh golly, I don't know what it could be used for. But something better be found! Like you say, it would be a shame to lose it.

And learn something new every day... I didn't know what your city was named for, before now.

Mari-Nanci
Photos-City-Mine

sukipoet said...

I too saw the pyramid at Annie's blog and thus came to yours. Thanks. It is amazing.

Dusty Lens said...

Sounds like this is quite a large complex. I like the museum idea, add a science museum with seasonal and travelling exhibits. Restaurants, and perhaps a cultural center. hope soemthing good comes of this. Hey, get the Memphis Belle back and put her on display in there, perfect!

Thiên said...

Hey, I've been by there numerous times in my drives to see family. I like it!