Yes, it does seem odd to turn the Pyramid, that unique arena in downtown Memphis’s waterfront area, into the world’s largest pro shop. But then again, the notion of an arena shaped like a pyramid is an oddity to begin with, and maybe the world really does need a 32-story Bass Pro Shop.
Memphis city leaders and Mayor Willie Herenton presented a plan to sell The Pyramid, the arena on downtown’s wanterfront, to Bass Pro Shops, who would convert the unique structure into the world’s largest sporting-goods shop.
The plan called for a $100-million investment in the infrequently used facility, which would be renovated into a store, aquarium and 200-room hotel. Given the passion for fishing generally in the South, it would seem like such a megafacility would be bound to succeed.
Still, $100 million is a lot of money, especially in rough economic times, and most of the funding would come from federal, state, city and county sources; some existing debt on the building would need to be paid off as well, and Bass Pro Shops would pay a yearly rent of $1 million for 20 years.