Editorial Results (free)
1. NBA Uses More Ways to Prove ‘Numbers Don’t Lie’
- Thursday, November 28, 2013
Walk up to an ATM, and you’re on camera. Walk into a convenience store, and you’re on camera. Walk onto an NBA court during game time, and you’re not only on camera but every movement you make – or don’t make – will be tracked, sifted, analyzed.
2. Grizz Make Adjustments Without Center Gasol
- Tuesday, November 26, 2013
In the immediate aftermath of All-Star center Marc Gasol’s knee injury, frontcourt mate Zach Randolph had a simple plan.
“Man, praying, praying,” Randolph said after Gasol limped off the FedExForum court during the Friday, Nov. 22, game won by the San Antonio Spurs. “Need him.”
3. Looking for Last Season’s Grizz to Make Appearance … Now
- Friday, November 15, 2013
The Grizzlies are going out on a four-game road trip that starts with a Friday, Nov. 15, game in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Maybe a change of scenery will do them good. After a 3-5 start to the season that feels even worse than the record, a change of scenery is as good an idea as any.
4. Cardinal Way Has St. Louis Back in Fall Classic
- Friday, October 25, 2013
From 2002-2006, the St. Louis Cardinals had a farm director named Bruce Manno. He was a guy who had his own ideas on how things should be done. One of them was to require that all Cardinal minor-league players – from Rookie ball to Triple-A Memphis – wear their pants pulled up to their knees so their stirrup socks would show.
5. Basar Looks to 2014 County Commission Election
- Tuesday, October 15, 2013
It may be the first time that a Shelby County Commissioner has given public notice of a barbecue.
Commissioner Steve Basar has held four at his house in the year that he’s been on the elected body. And he told political supporters at a fundraiser last week that he has “sunshined” all of them, a shorthand term to describe the public notice required by Tennessee’s open meetings law – or Sunshine Law – for any deliberative gathering of two or more commissioners.
6. Leuer, Davis Provide Bright Spots in Preseason Loss
- Thursday, October 10, 2013
October makes for some great postseason baseball. But the preseason basketball? Not so great.
The Grizzlies were, at times, flat-out ragged in their play while losing 95-90 to the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, Oct. 9, at FedExForum. It was especially rough in the early going as in the first half the Grizzlies made 13 of their 17 turnovers while running first-year coach Dave Joerger’s new offense aimed at moving the ball sooner in the 24-second shot clock.
7. Calathes Poised to ‘Surprise’ People in Rookie Season
- Wednesday, October 09, 2013
If rookie Nick Calathes turns out to be that long-coveted, legitimate back-up point guard for the Grizzlies, then count Mike Conley as the first one to have said, “I told you so.”
8. Nichols Ready to Back Up Hype
- Friday, October 04, 2013
Every player has his favorite spot on the floor, that go-to place where everything seems to slow down, where the player most feels like himself even amid the chaos.
But maybe more important when you are a much-hyped, homegrown University of Memphis freshman is to have that special place off the floor. A retreat, where in this case young Austin Nichols can make the world spin a little more slowly and turn down the volume on all the outside noise.
9. Good Feelings Abound as Grizz Open Camp
- Tuesday, October 01, 2013
The immediate past features a franchise-best 56-win season, a first-ever trip to the Western Conference Finals and a declaration from ESPN The Magazine that the Memphis Grizzlies are the No. 1 pro sports franchise in North America.
- Saturday, September 21, 2013
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center will host Line Dancing for BLUES, in recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the student alumni center, 800 Madison Ave. The event will include a line dance-a-thon, and information on infant mortality and the BLUES Project. Suggested donation is $5. Visit uthsc.edu/blues for details.
11. Pro Relieved Near Loo, Amateur Pays Out Wazoo
- Thursday, June 27, 2013
Did you ever wonder if in golf you get a lift from the loo? Or if there’s a penalty for breaking and entering while on the course? Tourneys in May spoke to these issues. Kinda.
The 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship in Kavarna, Bulgaria, was won by Graeme McDowell, who bested Thongchai Jaidee in the final match. Ho hum. For present purposes, let’s go to McDowell’s May 19 quarterfinal match with Nicolas Colsaerts. On hole 10, a short par-4, Colasaerts sprayed his tee shot right of the fairway, near the green, into a thicket marked as a hazard.
12. Wacha Handling Latest Example Of Pitcher Care
- Friday, June 21, 2013
A few days ago, when the St. Louis Cardinals optioned young Michael Wacha back to Memphis, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny did not utter some of baseball’s most frightening names.
13. Grizzlies Confident Despite Odds Against Them
- Friday, May 24, 2013
The Grizzlies have to win four of five to beat the San Antonio Spurs and advance to the NBA Finals. In other words, if reality itself could hold up a towel it would read: “I don’t bluff.”
The Grizzlies dropped the first two games in San Antonio and, historically speaking, a fool would soon part with his money if betting on the Grizzlies to come back and win the series. Because when a team wins the first two games of a seven-game series, it goes on to win that series 93.7 percent of the time. The Grizzlies already have upset these odds once, falling behind the Los Angeles Clippers 0-2 in this year’s opening-round playoff series before rallying to win four straight.
14. Grizz Win With Tony Being Tony
- Friday, May 17, 2013
Had things turned out differently, we would know too well Rule 12, Section V, item a, from the NBA rulebook:
“An official may assess a technical foul, without prior warning, at any time. A technical foul (s) may be assessed to any player on the court or anyone seated on the bench for conduct, which in the opinion of the official, is detrimental to the game. The technical foul must be charged to an individual.”
15. Grizzlies Take Down Thunder in Overtime
- Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Moments before Game 4 of the Grizzlies-Oklahoma City playoff series tipped off at FedExForum Monday night, Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol stood at midcourt to be recognized for making the NBA’s All-Defensive teams (Allen first-team, Gasol and Conley second-team).
16. Z-Bo, Defense Bolster Grizz in Win
- Friday, April 26, 2013
In Game 1 in Los Angeles, the Grizzlies were missing in action. In Game 2, they were just good enough to lose by two points.
So Game 3 Thursday night at FedExForum provided a choice: win or try to become the first team in NBA history to rally from a 0-3 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series.
17. Clippers’ Bench Spells Trouble for Grizzlies
- Friday, April 19, 2013
The Los Angeles Clippers may or may not prove to be serious Western Conference title contenders. Count TNT analyst Charles Barkley as their No. 1 doubter, having called them “fool’s gold” and compared them to a pretty girl that steals your heart only for you to discover she is “dumb as a box of rocks.”
18. Conley Proving Adept at Stealing the Show
- Friday, April 05, 2013
The question came at Lionel Hollins as a compliment, the way many questions after dramatic victories do.
The Grizzlies had just beaten the San Antonio Spurs, 92-90, at a rowdy FedExForum on a driving layup by point guard Mike Conley for the team’s 50th win – tying the franchise record. So the coach was asked to explain his team’s “resiliency.”
19. Alternative Spring Break on Docket for Law Students
- Wednesday, March 06, 2013
The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and its Public Action Law Society are sponsoring the fourth annual alternative spring break next week.
It’s a series of events that will involve 48 law students from seven law schools, some of whom will come here from out of state to participate alongside Memphis law students.
20. Budget Deliberations
- Friday, February 22, 2013
When Shelby County Commissioners get together Saturday, Feb. 23, at Memphis City Schools Central Nutrition Center for a county budget retreat, they will have a long menu of county financial matters to review.
21. Suburban Districts Back in Federal Court
- Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The faded red kick ball that is the issue of metropolitan school districts in the Shelby County suburbs is now back in Memphis federal court after about two-and-a-half months of private mediation talks.
22. Grizzlies Must Reset Season’s Shot Clock
- Friday, February 08, 2013
In the NBA, everyone’s used to living with the tight deadline that is the 24-second shot clock. Players and coaches are always turning the page from last possession to next possession.
And so it must be for this Grizzlies’ season.
23. Tony and DJ: The City’s Basketball Game-Changers
- Friday, January 25, 2013
The supreme talents – the All-Americans, the All-Stars – can take possessions off and still score their 25 or 30 points a night. They can pick their spots to play defense, which in reality means going for a steal here and there, and then mostly defer on the hard work. You know, staying with their man step-for-step, cleaning the glass – sorry, I don’t do windows – or risking humiliation by contesting potential dunks – sorry, I’m not ending up on somebody’s poster.
24. Grizz Nation Grows With Every Convincing Victory
- Friday, November 30, 2012
Joe McDuffie was just another fan in a Kobe jersey, glancing around FedExForum and pointing out patches of purple and gold.
25. Opening Game Not Necessarily Preview Of Grizz Season
- Friday, November 02, 2012
So on the first day of their new NBA season, the Grizzlies picked up where they left off – losing an intense, physical game in Los Angeles on Halloween night to the Clippers. It was a game that, quite honestly, did not look or feel like a regular-season game.
26. A Season for More
- Monday, October 29, 2012
Last season, the Grizzlies made the playoffs and even earned home-court advantage for their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Last season, the Tigers made the NCAA Tournament after winning the regular season and tournament Conference USA championships.
27. Grizz Bench, Outside Shooting Hitting Stride
- Friday, October 26, 2012
Don’t make too much of the preseason. That’s a mantra that has been well-tested. But also, don’t make too little of the preseason.
The Memphis Grizzlies finally addressed their need for more outside shooting – enter Wayne Ellington – and a viable backup point guard – welcome Jerryd Bayless. Through the team’s first seven preseason games, the newcomers have been adjusting to their new team and the team has been adjusting to them. The final preseason game, on Friday, Oct. 26, will bear no resemblance to what is to come in the regular season because Coach Lionel Hollins has said he’s giving the team’s key players the night off, or at least most of the night off.
28. Take Another Look at Officials’ Split-Second Calls
- Friday, October 19, 2012
Hindsight, especially from press row or your seat in the 17th row of the upper bowl at FedExForum is a wonderful thing. After all, with the benefit of a gigantic video board and replay, we can see when the official got the call wrong and we got the call right.
29. Redbirds General Manager Weiss Named PCL Executive of the Year
- Friday, October 12, 2012
Growing up outside Philadelphia, Ben Weiss rooted for the home teams – Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and 76ers. But his strongest memories aren’t of games won and lost, of home runs hit or touchdowns scored.
30. Team Mantras Usher in New Basketball Seasons
- Friday, October 05, 2012
Although the date and time are unknown, there was a point some years ago when it became mandatory for every big-time college and pro team to have a mantra.
And so it is for the Grizzlies and University of Memphis Tigers. The Grizz and local media gathered at FedExForum and coach Lionel Hollins said: “Our buzz words are sacrifice, trust and consistency.”
31. Grizzlies Must Answer Many Difficult Offseason Questions
- Friday, May 18, 2012
In the world of sports talk radio, improving the Grizzlies would be easy. As easy as, say, “Eddie from East Memphis” calling in and suggesting the Grizzlies ship Dante Cunningham, Jeremy Pargo and Quincy Pondexter to the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden.
32. Box Scores Reveal Grizzlies’ Strengths
- Friday, May 11, 2012
Two box scores. In one, right there in black and white, is the proof that the Memphis Grizzlies hit 11-of-16 three-point shots (68.8 percent). In the other is the evidence of an 0-for-6 night from three-point range, which even a math-challenged sports writer can figure out is 00.0 percent.
33. Memphis Responds With Trademark Grit, Grind
- Friday, May 04, 2012
“We gave this game away,” Rudy Gay said. “We got too casual and comfortable,” said O.J. Mayo.
What else were these Grizzlies to say after a 24-point fourth-quarter lead disappeared on their home court in a 99-98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series?
34. Grizzlies Shift Focus To Playoff Grit, Grind
- Friday, April 27, 2012
As the shortened but grueling NBA season was winding itself down into so many ugly wins over mere Hornets, Bobcats and Cavaliers, the Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay looked back and summed up the journey.
35. Conley Becoming Master of the Steal
- Friday, April 13, 2012
The NBA’s steals leader this season, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, has his opinion.
The coach of the team leading the NBA with 9.7 steals per game, Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies, has his opinion.
36. Gay, Mayo Help Grizzlies Beat Lakers 102-96
- Monday, March 26, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) – After losing the first three games on their West Coast trip, getting a win in the finale should let the Memphis Grizzlies rest easier on the flight home.
Rudy Gay scored 18 points and Mayo had 12 of his 16 in the fourth quarter, helping Memphis avoid a winless trip by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 102-96 on Sunday night.
37. Bynum, Bryant Help Lakers Beat Grizzlies in 2 OTs
- Wednesday, March 14, 2012
MEMPHIS (AP) – It took two overtime periods, but the Los Angeles Lakers eventually made sure the Memphis Grizzlies stayed behind them in the Western Conference standings.
Andrew Bynum had a season-high 37 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant scored 22 of his 34 points after halftime, and the Lakers beat Memphis 116-111 in double overtime on Tuesday night.
38. Mayo Scores 22 to Lead Grizzlies Past Nuggets
- Monday, March 12, 2012
DENVER (AP) – Sitting quietly at his locker, Andre Miller tore the stat sheet into shreds and put the bits of paper in the trash.
39. On-the-Job Training for Grizz PGs
- Friday, March 02, 2012
Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins bravely sent rookie backup point guards Josh Selby and Jeremy Pargo into the game … with 25 seconds left in what would be a 96-85 Grizzlies victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at FedExForum.
40. On-the-Job Training for Grizz PGs
- Thursday, March 01, 2012
Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins bravely sent rookie backup point guards Josh Selby and Jeremy Pargo into the game … with 25 seconds left in what would be a 96-85 Grizzlies victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at FedExForum.
41. Lessons From a 3-Legged Dog
- Thursday, February 23, 2012
DAVIDSON, N.C. – This community of 11,000 residents, site of my alma mater, is also home to my favorite place to spend the night on the road: the Davidson Village Inn, half a block down Depot Street from the campus.
42. FDA: New Suppliers to Ease 2 Cancer Drug Shortages
- Wednesday, February 22, 2012
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Federal regulators have approved new suppliers for two crucial cancer drugs, easing critical shortages that had been ratcheting up fears that patients, particularly children with leukemia, would miss lifesaving treatments.
43. Gasol’s Path Leads Him To NBA All-Star Game
- Friday, February 17, 2012
People smiled and shook their heads. In high school gyms all across Shelby County, the curious came out to see the novelty act that was Pau Gasol’s younger brother and they dismissed the kid. If he looked soft playing for Lausanne Collegiate School against players a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter – and he did – then he didn’t exactly project as an NBA player.
44. Tennessee Cruises to 77-58 Win Against Arkansas
- Thursday, February 16, 2012
KNOXVILLE (AP) – The Tennessee Volunteers have had the hang of coach Cuonzo Martin's tough defensive style for a while. Now they're starting to get into the swing of his motion offense, too.
45. Gay has 25, Allen 21 to Help Grizzlies Beat Nets
- Thursday, February 16, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – There's nothing complex about the Memphis Grizzlies. They just play old-fashioned basketball.
It's defense first, and offense by committee. Rudy Gay leads the way most of the time but anyone can step up in the clutch. Tony Allen and Marresse Speights did it against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night.
46. Conley, Gay Lead Grizzlies Over Rockets, 93-83
- Wednesday, February 15, 2012
MEMPHIS (AP) – Tony Allen was determined to stop Rockets leading scorer Kevin Martin.
47. Grizzlies End 3-Game Skid, Beat Timberwolves 85-80
- Thursday, February 09, 2012
MEMPHIS (AP) – Quincy Pondexter had nothing to show in his first opportunity to start for the injured Tony Allen.
48. Tony Being Tony at Center of Grizz Roller Coaster Season
- Friday, February 03, 2012
Tony Allen is the middle of everything.
If the Grizzlies are making a frantic comeback, like they did recently at home to beat the Denver Nuggets in overtime, Allen is in the highlight reel blocking the shot of Denver forward Al Harrington as he barrels down the lane toward the rim, the potential game-winning basket in hand, Allen flying out of nowhere like some sort of Grit & Grind Superhero.
49. Spurs Hand Grizzlies 4th Straight Loss, 83-73
- Tuesday, January 31, 2012
MEMPHIS (AP) – The San Antonio Spurs hardly looked like an aging team playing the second night of a back-to-back.
But the Memphis Grizzlies sure appeared to be a team still in a haze from a four-game road trip.
50. Sum Greater Than Parts for This Grizzlies Squad
- Friday, January 27, 2012
Team identities are never static. When Rudy Gay was injured last season, the Memphis Grizzlies formed a new identity, one even more devoted to the interior game and feeding the ball to power forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol.
51. Gasol Lead Grizzlies Past Hornets 93-87
- Thursday, January 19, 2012
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Marc Gasol likes to think his good basketball genes go beyond his 7-foot-1 stature and even affect his decision-making on the court.
"I try to make the right play every time," Gasol said. "If it's my shot, it's my shot. If I feel somebody else has a better shot than I'm going to take, I have to pass it. That's my DNA. There's nothing I can really change with that."
52. Grizz Struggling Without Z-Bo As MLK Game Approaches
- Friday, January 13, 2012
It’s almost cruel. At a time when the Grizzlies are playing without their best player, power forward Zach Randolph, NBA legends George Gervin and Clyde Drexler are coming to FedExForum.
Drexler and Gervin are being honored on Monday, Jan. 16, for their contributions to civil rights as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. There’s also the matter of the Grizzlies’ nationally televised noon tip-off with the Bulls, the team that handed them a 40-point loss in Chicago earlier this season. So imagine if the Grizzlies could sneak “Clyde the Glide” and Gervin, aka “The Iceman,” into uniform and find a way to make the years magically melt away for a couple of hours.
53. Westbrook, Durant Lead Thunder Over Grizzlies
- Wednesday, January 11, 2012
MEMPHIS (AP) – Russell Westbrook couldn't hit a shot last time he faced the Memphis Grizzlies.
54. Ginobili's 24 Helps Spurs Get Revenge on Grizzlies
- Wednesday, December 28, 2011
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Manu Ginobili never saw the Memphis Grizzlies play that badly in the playoffs, and is pretty sure he won't again.
But the San Antonio Spurs will take it.
Ginobili scored 24 points and San Antonio ran away from what barely resembled the up-and-coming Memphis team that stunned the 61-win Spurs in the first round last season, beating the Grizzlies 95-82 on Monday night.
55. Jaguars Try to Spoil Titans' Must-Win Situation
- Monday, December 26, 2011
NASHVILLE (AP) – With all the AFC's playoff scenarios, the math is simple for the Tennessee Titans.
Win Saturday or nothing else matters.
Tennessee ruined the chance to control its playoff fate with two straight losses, and none more painful than the last to the previously winless Colts. Now the Titans (7-7) are looking up at the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals needing lots of help to earn a playoff berth under first-year coach Mike Munchak.
56. Titans Lose 27-13 to Previously Winless Colts
- Tuesday, December 20, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Of all the losses they've had to the Indianapolis Colts, this had to be one of the toughest for the Tennessee Titans.
Dan Orlovsky threw for one touchdown, Donald Brown ran 80 yards for another late in the game and the Colts won their first game of the season, 27-13. The loss has the Titans (7-7) on the brink of elimination from the playoff race.
57. Grizz Keep Roster Intact While Watching Funds
- Monday, December 19, 2011
It wasn’t all that long ago that virtually every deal the Memphis Grizzlies did was tagged with the phrase “financial considerations.” And when queried why the Grizzlies did a particular deal, Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Chris Wallace answered, “cap space” – as in, room beneath the NBA’s salary cap to make further personnel moves.
58. Titans DE Ball Considered Retirement After Concussion
- Monday, November 21, 2011
NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee Titans defensive end Dave Ball says he briefly considered retirement after his latest concussion two weeks ago against Cincinnati.
59. Home Run
- Monday, April 18, 2011
From March to September, Matt Hughes is a busy man. His 10-year-old son plays for the Jackson (Tenn.) Coyotes, a competitive baseball team. Just about every weekend Hughes and his family of four hit the road for a baseball tournament, traveling around the Southeast to places from Memphis to Panama City, Fla.
60. Schoolhouse Shuffle
- Monday, April 26, 2010
On a cold February morning, a group of excited parents clustered in a tent in back of Kate Bond Elementary School.
61. UofM-Area Residents Work to Salvage 38111
- Wednesday, February 17, 2010
For Tk Buchanan, community development specialist for the University of Memphis Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA), the 587 foreclosures last year in the 38111 ZIP code are more than a statistic.
62. Out of Bounds
- Monday, November 16, 2009
The August report from the NCAA calls him “student-athlete 1.” Everyone but the NCAA and the University of Memphis calls him Derrick Rose.
63. Heating Oil Prices Cool Down as Winter Approaches
- Tuesday, September 29, 2009
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Homeowners who heat with oil were feeling sticker shock just over a year ago as prices soared close to $5 a gallon, but they're breathing easier now.
Heating oil prices are barely half what they were in summer 2008 – and while prices might go up and even exceed last winter's, nothing indicates any severe spike this winter.
64. Justin's Empire: Timberlake drives business interests where it all began
- Monday, August 10, 2009
Justin Timberlake might be best known for hit records, dance moves and sold-out concerts, but the 28-year-old entertainer extraordinaire is much more than a singer/dancer/performer. The award-winning, chart-topping Timberlake – or, simply, JT – has become an institution, a brand name that transcends his showbiz persona and carries as much cachet as any living celebrity.
65. House Budget Proposal Sent to Full Floor Vote
- Wednesday, June 17, 2009
NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee’s Republican House speaker is describing a state spending plan headed for a full floor vote as a “compassionate budget” because it doesn’t include some of the deeper cuts proposed in the Senate Republican version.
66. Ramsey’s Entry Marks New Phase In Governor’s Race
- Tuesday, June 02, 2009
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s entry Monday into the Tennessee governor’s race marks a new phase of an arduous – and expensive – Republican primary campaign.
67. Norfolk Southern, Fayette Move Closer to Intermodal Marriage
- Friday, May 15, 2009
The South Fayette Alliance on Wednesday night began the process of endorsing a site where the group wants Norfolk Southern Corp. to build its proposed intermodal facility, although it didn’t reach a formal position.
68. Guns in Bars Proposal Advanced to Full House Vote
- Thursday, March 12, 2009
NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee handgun permit holders could carry their weapons where alcohol is served under a proposal headed for a full House vote.
The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday advanced on a voice vote the measure to allow handguns at restaurants and bars where alcohol is available until 11 p.m.
69. New Developer Awaits TVA Approval for Pickwick Project
- Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Mississippi’s Tishomingo County Development Foundation has selected a new developer to take over a Pickwick Lake marina project that that has been mired in environmental problems, a federal lawsuit and defaulted lease payments.
70. Local NBA Chapter Welcomes New Officers, Board
- Thursday, November 13, 2008
The Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association on Saturday will present its new officers and board members at its annual Barristers’ Ball, a combined ceremony and fundraiser, at the Memphis Botanic Garden.
71. Bass Pro Project Picture Becomes Clearer
- Wednesday, August 27, 2008
For six hours Monday, the political and legal forces backing a Bass Pro Shops development of The Pyramid made their case to Memphis City Council members and the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.
They began that morning at City Hall and ended that afternoon at the County Building as Bass Pro CEO Jim Hagale ran to catch a 3 p.m. flight out of Memphis.
After it was done, the effort had made some progress with the skeptical local elected officials who are most concerned with the financial assumptions behind the project. And critics on both bodies succeeded in stripping away a bit of the gift wrapping on the package.
Part of the sales pitch included how rent from Bass Pro would help pay the remaining city and county government debt on The Pyramid. The combined debt comes to about $10 million with county government owing just more than $5 million of that.
Commissioner Mike Ritz calculated that all but about a million of the county’s debt would be paid by the time a Bass Pro Shop opens.
Memphis Regional Chamber President and CEO John Moore came with a printed handout after the meeting to refute the point. Ritz had his own and neither made much progress in convincing the other. But Ritz is the one with a vote on the future of the project.
“Some of them are drinking the Kool-Aid,” Ritz said after a couple of rounds with Moore on the point. A lobbying session between Ritz and former County Commission member Charles Perkins, hired by the city of Memphis, appeared more amicable.
Incoming commission chairwoman Deidre Malone said the four-member city-county Pyramid Reuse Committee of which she’s a member will be the next to take up the proposal and make a recommendation to the full council and commission.
A commission vote could come by the end of September, she estimated.
Council member Jim Strickland chaired the council’s session but said no vote had been scheduled by the full council.
Negotiators for the city, who have taken the lead in the talks at the agreement of both mayors, had set a Sept. 15 deadline to have approval by both bodies.
But Hagale didn’t seem to be worried about trying to enforce an exact date.
“All these deadlines are floating around. I’m not sure what they are,” he told The Daily News. “I’m going to be honest. I’ve signed three agreements here. The ball is in the city and county’s court. Hopefully, they’ve had enough time to vet all of the other options and they’ll come to a conclusion. This process, I think, for everybody’s benefit needs to be finalized.”
As Commissioner Steve Mulroy questioned Hagale about Bass Pro’s Memphis business plan, Hagale put a finer point on the efforts from his end of the negotiations that began three years ago this week.
“I’ve signed three agreements since this all started that have not been counter-signed,” he said. “Frankly, I think Bass Pro has been given credit for delays in this project that are not rightfully ours.”
The central question for commissioners and council members is $30 million in state and federal government funding to build a parking garage and take on infrastructure projects around The Pyramid.
City Housing & Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb was adamant that no city or county general fund revenue would be used in the project. He and the city negotiating team said $87 million in potential funding through the use of tax incentives and other financing instruments has been identified to draw the $30 million from. That includes drawing from excess tax revenue returned to projects already in zones identified as a tourism development zone (TDZ) and a tax increment financing (TIF) area.
Strickland questioned attorney Charles Carpenter, part of Lipscomb's team, closely on whether the city and county governments would be on the hook if there aren’t excess revenues.
“That’s never been anticipated,” Carpenter replied.
“There’s no way possible?” Strickland asked.
“I’m not that omnipotent,” Carpenter responded.
Strickland was uncertain at the end of the session.
“I still am not crystal clear in my mind that general fund tax dollars will not be used for the project. It was said that they are not intended to be used,” he said. “I don’t know the answer to that.”
Attorney Hunter Humphreys said Bass Pro’s $1-million-a-month rental fee to local government starting in the second year of a 20-year contract once the new attraction is open could be offset with ad valorem tax revenue or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements. But Humphreys said that wouldn’t include an offset for sales tax revenue.
Ritz, who had feared tax offsets would mean Bass Pro wouldn’t pay any rent, argued the language on that point could be more specific in the agreement.
Humphreys said a lease agreement to come after the development agreement would have more detail.
“I think it’s clear on this issue. … I’d love to argue it if it were ever disputed on this issue,” he told Ritz.
The 20-year contract would follow a two-year construction period that would in turn follow the one-year period covered by the development agreement unveiled this week.
The commission and council would have to approve those agreements as well.
Meanwhile, Hagale said structural issues that had been a concern of Bass Pro this summer have been resolved.
“I don’t think that at this point, we have any concerns about the structural feasibility of that building,” he said.
Concerns about new seismic standards in place since The Pyramid was opened in 1991 and how to build a seven-story hotel inside the structure were a major issue earlier this year as project negotiations reached a decisive point. Hagale told The Daily News on Monday that he was unaware of the end of July deadline at the time.
He also addressed doubts about his commitment to the project.
“Early on we said that we wanted this to be really evaluated on the merits, and not become a part of the theatrics,” Hagale said at the first session of the day....
72. Rejected Charter Ordinance Puts County in ‘Critical’ Situation
- Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Shelby County Board of Commissioners can’t agree on what voters were saying last week when they voted down one of two proposed sets of amendments to the County Charter – charter ordinance No. 360.
73. More Charter Chat On Tap Today
- Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Shelby County Board of Commissioners members appear on their way to an August countywide vote on charter changes that would leave five offices elected, but term-limit the elected officials and make them part of the charter as opposed to offices with duties now defined by the Tennessee Constitution.
74. Crye-Leike's Cohn Earns GRI Designation
- Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Earlier this year, Cohn received the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation from the National Association of Realtors
Jerry Feinstone, president and founder of Bosco's, has been named the Tennessee Restaurant Association's 2007 E. Carlton Scruggs Tennessee Restaurateur of the Year. Feinstone is an active member on the Tennessee Restaurant Association board and was instrumental in rallying TRA support for the state's non-smoking ordinances.
75. Troubles in Midwest and Former Housing Boom Areas Push New Foreclosures to an All-Time High
- Friday, September 07, 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeowners, struggling to deal with sharp increases in their adjustable mortgage payments, got hit with a record number of foreclosure notices in the spring as the crisis in subprime lending intensified.
76. Debate Mounts on Fairgrounds Proposals
- Thursday, December 01, 2005
When local bands the Zippin Pippins and the Revolutionaires perform at Murphy's in Midtown next week, the show will be about more than music: It also will pay homage to the amusement park where Memphians have enjoyed the scent of funnel cakes, the charm of an old-fashioned carousel and the dips and dives of roller coasters since it opened in 1976.
77. Archived Article: Newsmakers
- Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Armstrong Allen attorneys chosen for Best Lawyers
Memphis Estate Planning Council Elects Officers
The Memphis Estate Planning Council announced the following 2004-2005 officers: Mike Wood, president; David B. Jones, vice president; Frank E. Da...
78. Archived Article: Small Biz Focus
- Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Creative Kitchens Enjoys Building Boom
The Daily News
The home sales boom of recent years has meant strong sales for Creative Kitchens.
The 10-year-old, Collierville-based business has seen its own boom as a resu...
79. Archived Article: Law Focus
- Thursday, August 08, 2002
Shelby County delinquent parents to lose license
County moves to pull licenses of non-paying parents
By MARY DANDO
The Daily News
About 800 delinquent parents in Shelby County are about to have their licenses revoked.
The Tennessee De...
80. Archived Article: Mba P.2
- Friday, November 03, 2000
Bar Association announces nominees Bar Association announces nominees William H. Haltom Jr., president of the Memphis Bar Association, has released the report of the Nominations and Elections Committee for 2001. The 2001 president will be G. Patrick...
81. Archived Article: Landmarks (lead)
- Wednesday, July 14, 1999
Should it stay or should it go Landmarks board to discuss future of Melrose School By LAURIE JOHNSON The Memphis Landmarks Commission today will consider the future of the old Melrose high school at 843 Dallas St. in Orange Mound. The city has recei...
82. Archived Article: Alliance (lead)
- Tuesday, May 25, 1999
By STACEY PETSCHAUER Mid-South governors map area's future growth By STACEY PETSCHAUER THE DAILY NEWS The term "Mid-South," as most everyone knows, is commonly used to describe the city of Memphis, its outlying areas and areas in surrounding states....
83. Archived Article: Memos
- Wednesday, September 03, 1997
Lisa Sanford has been named assistant vice president of executive banking for Enterprise National Bank at its Poplar/Ridgeway location Lisa Sanford has been named assistant vice president of executive banking for Enterprise National Bank at its Popl...