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Elvis’s Graceland unveils plans for new Memphis venue

Elvis Presley Enterprises hopes the proposed 6,200-seat theatre will fill a niche for a large venue in Memphis, falling between the FedEx Forum and Orpheum Theatre

By Jon Chapple on 24 Aug 2017

image © Graceland/Elvis Presley Enterprises

Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), the company which manages Graceland, has unveiled plans for a 6,000–7,000-cap. entertainment and sports venue on the 14-acre estate in Memphis, Tennessee.

Presenting the proposal to Memphis city councillors on Tuesday, Jay Campbell of EPE’s lawyers, Adams and Reese, said the new venue will “fill the gap” between two other Memphis venues – the 18,119-capacity FedEx Forum arena and 2,500-cap. Orpheum Theatre – and generate approximately 150 jobs for Whitehaven, the suburb where Graceland is located.

Campbell said based on conversations with promoters, including Live Nation, the venue is expecting to attract around 50 events a year, and will cost US$40–50 million – of which at least half is to be provided initially by the city. Minutes from the meeting show EFE is asking for tax increment financing (TIF) at a rate of 65% for the development; an increase of 15% on the 50% increment Graceland enjoys currently.

If approved, the new venue is expected to open in 2019

“As with the hotel [which opened in 2016] and museum, we can only build to a certain level without the city’s support,” said Campbell.

Reid Dulberger, president and CEO of EDGE, the city’s economic development organisation, spoke positively about the economic impact of Graceland (pictured) to date, saying revenue from the estate is “money raised in Whitehaven and spent in Whitehaven”.

If approved, the new venue, which Campbell said will likely have 6,200 seats, is expected to open in 2019.

Plans for the redevelopment, showing the venue in green, are pictured below:

New Graceland venue


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