FedExForum

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FedExForum
The Grindhouse
FedExForum logo.svg
FedExForum.jpg
Location 191 Beale Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Coordinates 35°8′18″N 90°3′2″W / 35.13833°N 90.05056°W / 35.13833; -90.05056Coordinates: 35°8′18″N 90°3′2″W / 35.13833°N 90.05056°W / 35.13833; -90.05056
Broke ground June 20, 2002
Opened September 6, 2004
Owner City of Memphis
Operator Memphis Basketball, LLC.
Construction cost $250 million
($312 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Ellerbe Becket[2]
Looney Ricks Kiss
Project manager PC Sports[3]
Structural engineer ABS-EQE Structural Engineers[2]
General contractor M.A. Mortenson Company[2]
Capacity Basketball: 18,119
Ice hockey: 16,411
Concert: 19,000
Tenants

Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) (2004–present)
Memphis Tigers (NCAA) (2004–present)
Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament (2005-2009, 2012)
American Athletic Conference Tournament (2014)

FedExForum
Part of Beale Street Historic District (#66000731)

FedExForum is an arena located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It is the home of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the NCAA Division I men's basketball program of the University of Memphis, both of whom previously played home games at the Pyramid Arena. The arena officially opened in September 2004 after much debate and also a derecho wind storm on July 22, 2003 that nearly brought down the cranes that were building it near the famed Beale Street. It was built at a cost of $250 million and is owned by the City of Memphis; naming rights were purchased by one of Memphis' most well-known businesses, FedEx, for $92 million. FedExForum was financed using $250 million of public bonds, which were issued by the Memphis Public Building Authority (PBA). The venue also has the capability of hosting ice hockey games, concerts, and family shows. In 2011, Tony Allen popularized the term "The Grindhouse". A local fan (@Hamlin38103) tweeted the suggestion to him and he made it popular.

Design[edit]

FedExForum during a Memphis Grizzlies basketball game

FedExForum was designed by architectural firm Ellerbe Becket. Concrete work done with the help of Dowco Construction and Apac. The arena is 805,850 ft² (75,000 m²) in size, covering 14 acres (57,000 m²). The Arena is round, with a dome. The playing floor is lower than ground level. It is capable of seating 18,119[4] for basketball and has 1,000 premiere courtside seats. There are 27 courtside suites, 32 club suites, 4 party suites, and 80 club boxes. It also contains a full-sized practice basketball court, visible from the huge lobby. The plans called for a mass transit bus depot, which brought a federal grant of $6 million, but the depot was changed to a premium parking garage, and Memphis had to return the money.

FedExForum's interior was designed to pay tribute to Memphis' musical heritage, with paintings and murals depicting some of the city's most famous artists. Most of the Arena's restaurants are named in conjunction with FedExForum's overall theme of music with Opus Restaurant and the Blue Note Lounge. The two other restaurants are sponsor-driven with the Lexus Lounge just off the Arena Floor and Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 in the Grand Lobby of the Arena.

FedExForum was the first arena to utilize new "see-through" shot clock units which allow spectators seated behind the basket to see the action without having the clocks interfere with their view. The idea came when a fan of the NBA's New Jersey Nets who sits behind the basket at Continental Airlines Arena sent an e-mail to NBA Commissioner David Stern, asking for technology to improve his view, and Daktronics obliged with the innovation at FedExForum in 2004.[5] The NBA approved the unit a year later for full use and has seen the new units installed at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, Time Warner Cable Arena, TD Garden, Rose Garden, The Verizon Center, Philips Arena, and Staples Center after the approval. As of the pending start of the 2011-12 NBA season every NBA arena has implemented the transparent shot clocks, with Pepsi Center, The Palace of Auburn Hills, Oracle Arena, Target Center, and Sleep Train Arena being the last NBA arenas to install the clocks.

Hostings[edit]

On February 23, 2008, FedExForum hosted the college basketball game featuring the Number 1 ranked Memphis Tigers basketball Tigers vs the Number 2 ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols won the game 66–62. The facility also hosted the Conference USA men's basketball tournament from 2005 to 2009. It was the site of the South Regional finals in the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and was one of the four Regional finals in the 2010 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament.

On September 25, 2004, FedExForum hosted the Glen Johnson vs Roy Jones Jr. for the IBF Light heavyweight title. Johnson won the fight with a 9th round knockout.

On July 19, 2006, the Nashville Predators and the Columbus Blue Jackets played the first NHL game ever at FedEx Forum.

FedExForum hosted two major professional wrestling events in 2007: World Wrestling Entertainment's Unforgiven on September 16, 2007 (headlined by The Undertaker and Mark Henry) and the PMG Clash of Legends independent show on April 27, featuring Hulk Hogan versus Paul Wight.

On December 12, 2009, FedExForum hosted an Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title fight, at UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez.

In August 2010, the Professional Bull Riders' Built Ford Tough Series tour made their first appearance at FedExForum.[6]

On August 4, 2010, FedExForum held the memorial service to Memphis native Lorenzen Wright, a former Memphis Tiger and Memphis Grizzlies player.

On May 26, 2013, Sir Paul McCartney made his second visit to Memphis to play a concert here, after visiting Graceland.

On November 1, 2013, Rapper Future performed for the Memphis Grizzlies 2013 - 2014 season home opener.

From March 12 to March 15, 2014, The American Athletic Conference hosted their 1st annual tournament at the FedEx Forum.

On June 6, 2014, Bruno Mars will headline the FedExForum in Memphis to play a concert here for The Moonshine Jungle Tour.

On October 5, 2014, Katy Perry will perform here for The Prismatic World Tour.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Ellerbe Becket "FedExForum". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ "FedExForum". PC Sports. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies". Forbes. 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Fans Like NBA's See-Through Shot Clocks". NBC Sports. November 19, 2005. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Memphis Invitational Presented by Cooper Tires". Professional Bull Riders. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Pyramid Arena
Home of the
Memphis Grizzlies

2004 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Pyramid Arena
Home of the
Memphis Tigers

2004 – present
Succeeded by
current